Course: Anthropology 121: Anthropology of Religion, Magic, and Witchcraft
Instructor: Katherine Bradford, Ph.D.
Day and Time: Wednesday 6:50-10:00p.m.
Place: Instr 2001
Office Hours: Weds. 5:45-6:15 p.m. Bglw. 2
Telephone: (818) 364-7600 x4271
Advisory: English 28 or ESL 8
Course Description: Focuses on religious beliefs and practices around the world. Overview of forms of religious belief; variety of gods and supernatural forces; use of myth, ritual, religious ceremony, shamans, priests, and other religious specialists. Topics: symbolism, ritual, magic, divination, witchcraft, religious syncretism, death and the afterlife; ghosts, souls, and reincarnation.
Course Objectives: Students will critically and respectfully examine the religious diversity of cultures from around the world, and learn about the major traditions of social theory. Each tradition offers a different way of looking at the role of religion in people’s lives; students will learn about religion as a source of community solidarity and as a force in shaping world view and motivating action.
Student Learning Objectives (stipulated by college CR):
Students will be able to discuss the major traditions of social theory.
Student Learning Outcomes: Students will compare and contrast religious beliefs within the context of culture.
Stein, Rebecca L. and Philip L. Stein. The Anthropology of Religion, Magic, and Witchcraft, 3rd edition. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2010.
Bowen, John R. Religions in Practice, 3rd edition. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2005.
Winzler, Robert, Anthropology of Religion: What We Know, Think, and Question. Altamira Press, 2008.
Winkelman and Baker, Supernatural as Natural: A Biocultural Approach to Religion. Pearson, 2010.
Smith, Huston, The World's Religions: Our Great Wisdom Traditions. Harper 1991.
Grading: Grades will be based on 10 chapter evaluations (10 points each), 2 case study reports (50 points each), 1 religious site research project (100 points), and the final exam (100 points). Final grades will be based on the class curve. No makeup exams will be given.
Attendance: Send me an e-mail if you are going to be absent. This is especially critical for administration and records during the census period. Students must attend research project presentations.
Schedule, Topics, and Readings
American Anthropological Association
Society for the Anthropology of Religion
Vedanta Temple, Los Angeles
Stephen Wise Temple, Los Angeles
Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, Los Angeles
Islamic Center of Southern California, Los Angeles
Hsi Lai Temple, Hacienda Heights