Fall 2015 not offered
|Certificates: Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory|
Religion can be defined through beliefs or traditions or texts, but it always takes physical form through ritual. Ritual is the one universal in religion, but the question of how to understand ritual is possibly the most contested question in the study of religion. Can a ritual be read like a text? How do symbols produce effects, and how should we understand these effects? What is performative speech and how does it work? How does ritual behavior reflect and shape social relationships? This course introduces students to the major approaches of studying ritual. The readings draw heavily, but not exclusively, on anthropological approaches to ritual, both classic texts and recent innovative approaches focusing on language and embodiment. Students will be required to do practical fieldwork observations of rituals so that they can put these texts in dialogue with their research experience.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ANTH)(CSCT)(RELI-MN)(RELI)(SISP-Anth Conc)(SISP-Reli Conc)
Arnold van Gennep, THE RITES OF PASSAGE
Victor Turner, THE FOREST OF SYMBOLS
J.L. Austin, HOW TO DO THINGS WITH WORDS
Articles/Selections by Emile Durkheim, Clifford Geertz, E. Valentine Daniel, Saba Mahmood, Michael Silverstein, Webb Keane and others
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Readings, class participation, three take-home exams, practical exercises.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This course fulfills the "Method & Theory" requirement for the Religion Department major.
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