Indigenous Religion and the New Age: Inspiration or Appropriation?|
Spring 2019 not offered
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.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)(RELI)
Comaroff, Jean ETHNICITY INC. Vine Deloria, Jr. GOD IS RED,
Castaneda, Carlos, THE TEACHINGS OF DON JUAN
Elizabeth Povinelli, THE EMPIRE OF LOVE
Michael Taussig, SHAMANISM, COLONIALISM AND THE WILD MAN
|Examination and Assignments: |
Readings, Participation, one in-class reading response, 4 two-page reading response papers and one final 10 page paper.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This course fulfills the "Thematic Approach" or "Method and Theory" requirement of the Religion Major.