WesMaps - Wesleyan University Catalog 2016-2017       Summer Session       Winter Session       Home       Archive       Search
Indigenous Religion and the New Age: Inspiration or Appropriation?
CHUM 312
Spring 2017
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: RELI 312, AMST 312

Is imitation the sincerest form of flattery? This course examines the way in which indigenous religious practices, images, and ideas become appropriated into New Age religion. In GOD IS RED, Native American philosopher Vine Deloria Jr. argued that indigenous religion is superior to western Christianity and the Christian West has much to learn from it, but many indigenous people understandably object when their practices are copied by outsiders, decontextualized, and used to make a profit. Where is the line between respectfully learning from and disrespectfully appropriating? Why are indigenous practices so appealing to the New Age? How do New Age desires intersect with the needs and desires of contemporary indigenous practitioners, as well as national legal structures and neo-liberal economies? What are the contexts within which decontextualized indigenous practices and ideas become re-contextualized as New Age? We will read and deconstruct the classic manifesto of New Age spirituality THE TEACHINGS OF DON JUAN, examine the Ayahuasca patent case, and consider questions of intellectual property, cultural appropriation, and spiritual tourism.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA CHUM
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)
Past Enrollment Probability: 75% - 89%

Last Updated on JUN-15-2024
Contact wesmaps@wesleyan.edu to submit comments or suggestions. Please include a url, course title, faculty name or other page reference in your email ? Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 06459