chapter
Religion
Pages 14

Melanesian *religion, ritual and *cosmology have been approached from a variety of perspectives, though three have tended to predominate. The role of initiation ceremonies in male psychosexual development has attracted the attention of a number of studies inspired by *psychoanalysis (e.g. Herdt 1981); scholars influenced by *Marxism have examined the role of religion in maintaining the control of senior men over women and juniors (e.g. Keesing 1982); while the symbolism of ritual has been analysed from various *structuralist, †semiotic and other †interpretive perspectives (e.g. Gell 1975).