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1. The belief in the existence of individual spirits that inhabit natural objects and phenomena.
2. The belief in the existence of spiritual beings that are separable or separate from bodies.
3. The hypothesis holding that an immaterial force animates the universe.

[From Latin anima, soul; see anə- in Indo-European roots.]

an′i·mist n.
an′i·mis′tic adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.animistic - of or pertaining to the doctrine of animism
References in periodicals archive ?
14), the Church Fathers and the church Apologists 'unified animistic and sacred outlooks, as well as the mystical ideologies led by Orpheus, Pythagorus, and the philosophies of Plato and the Stoics' in order to create their new approach.
Rightly rejecting the ahistorical formalism of the logical positivists, Schlagel sets out to describe the growth of scientific rationalism from its origins in earlier mythopoetic and animistic consciousness to its present level.
It is, instead, the defense of a cultural identity that survives and even renews itself despite the secular exploitation, ignorance, and isolation that mark the lives of the indigenous peoples of the Andes, an identity that functions on its own terms, that is, by acclimating the foreign--as it has done in the case of the Spanish practice of bullfighting--to its own magical, collective, animistic Andean tradition, a tradition sharply differentiated from that of its invaders (Spanish, coastal, Christian, white, and Western).
Similarly Bruce's account of animistic societies includes radically different cultural expressions from the chthonic religions of pre-Homeric Greece to contemporary aboriginal groups in Australia and America, to Buddhism, Asiatic martial arts, Roman foundational myths and ancient Egypt.
6% expressing animistic beliefs in the power of ancestral spirits to provide protection and good fortune (Congdon 1985).
In many ways, their perspective was typically animistic and encompassed every aspect of the world around them.
Of special value in Benjamin Foster's well-organized monograph on Mesopotamian religion is an introductory section describing the history of pioneering research, starting around the turn of the last century, in which the philosophical or religious bent of the scholars heavily influenced their individual reading of Sumerian and Akkadian religion: from Jastrow's thesis that Mesopotamian religion derived from local animistic cults that merged into more complex belief systems, to the cynicism of Oppenheim, who disdained any historical approach.
And from Nagaland, a rural state that has an animistic traditional religion, comes my personal favourite of the tales, a captivating story of a princess who falls in love with a tree spirit and will do anything to protect him.
A basic element of the animistic belief system is that these souls must remain in harmony to sustain health.
A sensitive observer to the dramas of life in the surreal-fantasy world, Garcia's twilight landscapes are populated by animistic sages with human figures that create new compositional dioramas.
Faux rubies, faux cloisonne, faux frog; yet, for all this "fauxness," I can't help but see him in an animistic sort of way.
Popular Buddhism in Southeast Asia also reflects the importance of family and has incorporated animistic beliefs.