What is Animism? Animism is a way of approaching life that emphasizes relationships. The term has historical baggage from white, Western academics who misunderstood and judged indigenous cultures; however, many (including some white dudes like myself) are reclaiming the term in helpful ways. Blog. 13 December 2019. Impeachment lesson plan: Up close to the impeachment; 3 December 2019. The 2019 Prezi Awards are here: Show us what you’ve got! In general, The term religion is reserved for an organized cult with a priesthood and dedicated sites of worship or sacrifice, while magic is prevalent in all societies, regardless of whether they have organized religion or more general systems of animism or shamanism. Animism - Animism - The animistic worldview: Part of the conceptual difficulty experienced both in anthropology and in the history of religions, when animism is to be placed among other systems of belief, springs not from the early association of animism with a speculative theory of religious evolution but directly from the huge variety of animistic cults.