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Course Offerings

Course Details

Fall 2009-2010
* ANT 218 / REL 218 (EM)   na, npdf

Religion and Medicine

João Biehl

The seminar examines illness experiences and therapeutic practices as they are related to religious traditions worldwide. We will specifically look at the mind-body interface amid suffering and investigate how new medical technologies intermingle with belief systems and local forms of care. We will also consider how the themes of sacrifice and salvation are actualized in humanitarian and global health interventions and theorize emerging notions of wellbeing and human agency. Students will learn to analyze representations of religious experience and to conduct ethnographic interviews.

Sample reading list:
Biehl, Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment
De Certeau, The Possession at Loudon
Good, Medicine, Rationality, and Experience
Harrington, The Cure Within: A History of Mind-body Medicine
Kuriyama, The Expressiveness of the Body
Kidder, Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer

Reading/Writing assignments:
100-150 pp weekly readings. Two research papers (each 6-8 double-spaced pages).

Requirements/Grading:
Paper in Lieu of Mid Term - 30%
Paper in lieu of Final - 35%
Class/Precept Participation - 15%
Other (See Instructor) - 20%

Reserved Seats:
Open to ANT Concentrators Only 1
Open to REL Concentrators Only 1
Sophomores Only 1

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
25507 S01 7:30 pm - 10:20 pm W   Aaron Burr Hall   216   Enrolled:26 Limit:20 Closed