The Michaelmas term of this course introduces students to some of the key concepts, themes, and debates in the anthropology of religion. Most of the readings are drawn from classic and contemporary studies in the discipline; we also consider some signal contributions from sociology, linguistics, philosophy, the history of religions, theology, and psychoanalysis. Topics to be covered include: the relationship between science and religion; conceptions of the sacred and secularity; the problem of belief; ritual action; “lived religion;” religious language; piety; power; fetishism; and sacrifice (blood and otherwise). These are approached through case studies of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism—“world religions”—as well as so-called traditional or tribal religions, and secular humanism, too.

    Teacher: Picture of Mukulika BanerjeePicture of Laura BearPicture of Fenella CannellPicture of Matthew EngelkePicture of Stephan FeuchtwangPicture of Mathijs PelkmansPicture of Michael ScottPicture of George St.Clair