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Course Details

Fall 2015-2016
* ANT 217 (SA)   na, npdf

Religion: An Anthropological Introduction

Bridget M. Purcell

This course approaches religion not as a static entity or a singular essence, but as a term born of cross-cultural comparison, whose definition is open to continual contestation and revision. The first half of the course focuses on major conceptual approaches to the study of religion, beginning with classic works of social theory and moving through key anthropological debates that have shaped the field. The second half explores religious life in specific ethnographic and historical contexts, with a focus on contemporary questions surrounding secularism, revivalism, spirituality, agency, media, and religious pluralism.

Sample reading list:
Durkheim, Emile, The Elementary Forms of Religious Life
Luhrmann, Tanya, When God Talks Back
Geertz, Clifford, The Interpretation of Cultures
Turner, Victor, The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-structure
Jackson, John, Thin Description:Ethnography & the African Hebrew Israelites
McIntosh, Janet, The Edge of Islam: Power, Personhood, and Ethno-religious...
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
On average, 150 pages of reading per week. Short weekly reading responses (25%), one midterm essay (7-9 pages), and one final essay (10-12 pages).

Requirements/Grading:
Paper in Lieu of Mid Term - 25%
Paper in lieu of Final - 35%
Class/Precept Participation - 15%
Other (See Instructor) - 25%

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
23873 C01 11:00 am - 12:20 pm T Th   Chancellor Green   103   Enrolled:5 Limit:20