Religion: Current Debates - Not offered in AY 2022-23

Undergraduate Program Status

Course Level: 
Course Open to: 
Students on-site
US Credits: 
ECTS Credits: 
Course Description: 

Questions of religion have been central to anthropology from its beginnings and remain so today when religion (re)emerges as a global force. While the early scholarship perceived religious phenomena through the skeptical lens of secular science, recent critiques brought up anthropology’s own orthodoxies and the need for theoretical and methodological renewal. Every new paradigm, including most recently cognitive science, took up the challenge to explain religion and its pervasiveness in human culture and society. The anthropology of religion emerged out of such creative tensions as a vibrant field of theoretical inquiry and impressive scholarship. The course explores some of the most important contemporary debates on religion that also reflect theoretical turns in anthropology and sociology: on time and temporality, ontology, modernity, media and mediation, morality, secularism and cultural transmission. They constitute focal points of new theorization and core analytical categories in our understanding of religion.

Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of the course students will: a) have advanced knowledge of key concepts and theoretical debates that shaped the contemporary study of religion and critically assess them b) be able to analyze contemporary religious phenomena by drawing on the most recent scholarship c) develop an interdisciplinary, comparative perspective on religion and secularism in the modern world.