305sec52Spring2018.docx - ANTHROPOLOGY 305 ANTHROPOLOGY OF...

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ANTHROPOLOGY 305 ANTHROPOLOGY OF RELIGION Dr. Eric Canin Spring 2018 California State University, Fullerton Department of Anthropology Office Hours: Mon/Wed 1:15-2:15pm, by appointment Email: [email protected] Anth 305, Section 52 #21103 Online via Titanium COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course explores the varieties of religious experience. Religious practices and beliefs share remarkable similarities and well as key differences in all cultures of the world, whether ancient or modern, tribal or metropolitan. We will take the anthropological perspective, revealing the familiar in the strange and the strange in the familiar. That is, our own forms of religious expression and spirituality may appear exotic to others, and vice-versa. This course will examine the role of religion in societies and cultures in fostering social integration and community, as well as power, oppression and salvation. For the purpose of this course, religion ’ and ‘the religious’ will be viewed broadly in terms of the sacred and supernatural, and as a capacity of every human society. In addition to its more conventional forms, this includes what some might regard as cults, magic, witchcraft or superstition. Other topics we will cover include theories of religion, its history and evolution, myth, ritual, symbols, shamans, drugs, healing, revitalization and new religious movements, millennialism and apocalypse. The course will incorporate lectures, discussion, film, personal or field experience, the internet and library research. This course seeks to neither promote nor disrespect any particular religious belief, practice, or person, whether regarding “primitive” religion, mainstream “world” religions, or even modern doomsday cults. All religious activity will be viewed as forms of social and cultural expression, whether for good or ill. We shall endeavor to understand the varieties of religious experience in a spirit of respect, free inquiry and critical thinking. In short, prepare to leave preconceived notions, prejudices and proselytizing at the (virtual) classroom door. Class rhythm: The class virtually “meets” on Tuesdays, around noon (or “resets” if you prefer) on the Titanium page for this class. Essays and discussion that are due on a particular Tuesday, are due at noon. The current week’s announcements will be posted by noon on Tuesday. Further, the class is broken down into 3 segments, each with reading, films, an essay and a quiz. See “Online Class” below for more details. TEXT: The following text is available in the campus bookstore or as an ebook on the bookstore website. Make sure to get the 4th edition. Other reading may be available online on Titanium. Stein, Rebecca and Philip Stein. 2017. The Anthropology of Religion, Magic, and Witchcraft . 4th Edition. New York: Routledge.
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Anth 305 COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Participation 10% Essays (3) 30% Quizzes (3) 60% GRADE BREAKDOWN: Essays: Three written essays (30%; 10% each. Essays are based upon the textbook reading, and will include 2 or more choices for each assignment. Specific instructions will be posted.
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