Overview of Course
Anthropology of Religion is an examination of the ways people around the world interact with the supernatural, with special emphasis placed on Mediterranean/European beliefs, Native American beliefs, animism, Wicca, Appalachian Snake Handlers, and Haitian Vodou (plus much more). This course begins with an overview of anthropological approaches to the study of belief systems including magic and witchcraft, a quick look at performance theory, and a survey of popular religions. We will then explore other world religions, myths, magic, symbolism, divination, witchcraft, altered states of consciousness, ghosts, revitalization movements, and finally pilgrimages in order to gain an appreciation for and understanding of the variety of worldviews and practices that exist today. Prior to each port of call the unique religious, magical, or witchcraft related sites and activities that you can visit on your own will be discussed. You will be expected to write your term paper based on the observations you make at these sites.