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Anthropology of Religion: The Afterlives of Religion

ANT 217/HLS 216/REL 218

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While 20th c. proclamations on the death of religion were clearly ill-conceived, the concept of religion has languished in anthropology for some time. This course provides a post-mortem, while also exploring new ways of understanding the influence of mystery and divinity on social life. We begin with classic theories of religion and major critiques before exploring traditions like Orthodox Christianity, Santería/Ocha and Hinduism alongside UFO cultures and immortalist associations. Readings pair ethnography from the Mediterranean to Melanesia with new theoretical approaches, asking students to read religion and non-religion against the grain.
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Section S01