This course explores some fundamental questions about the role that religious institutions, practices and commitments play in shaping contemporary social, cultural and political life. Attention to the diversity of human religious practice has been central to anthropology and remains a topic of considerable interest and continuing research in anthropology and development studies. The course will consider a variety of religious phenomena found throughout the world and the theoretical and methodological approaches that anthropologists use to account for them. It will particularly focus on religious resurgence not only in the world religions but in countless local religious expressions. Emphasis is given to the analysis of religious forms of representation, symbolic settings and social action, understanding how religious experience is perceived and interpreted by adherents, and highlighting the way in which individual and group identities are constructed, maintained and contested within religious contexts.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Appreciate the centrality of religion to human social life and to the theoretical ambitions of the social sciences.
- Describe some of the enormous variability of religious phenomena and their revitalisation.
- Explain the basis of anthropological critiques of taken-for-granted categories such as "religion".
- Critically analyse religious resurgence in its local and interlocal contexts.
- Examine religious ritual through practical research methods.
This course may be counted towards an Anthropology or Religious Studies major.
Indicative AssessmentTutorial participation (10%) [Learning Outcomes 1-5]
Research essay, 2000 words (35%) [Learning Outcomes1-5]
Field report, 2000 words (40%) [Learning Outcome 5]
In-class presentations, 5-10 minutes (15%) [Learning Outcomes 1-5]
In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle.
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
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