Anthropology of Religion

Course Description

Throughout this course, you will survey the main genealogies of anthropological scholarship on religion from Marx, Weber, and Durkheim to the current day. Thus your readings will address the demystification of religion as a form of cultural critique (the genealogy of Marx), the relationship of religion and politics (the genealogy of Weber), and the role and function of religion and its social practices (the genealogy Durkheim).

Special topics of study include sacrifice, symbols, supernatural beings (gods and spirits), magic, myth, ritual, women and gender, ecology, religion in sociocultural changes, and religion, conflict, and peace. You will be asked to be an anthropologist of religion and study one particular religious tradition using ethnographic methods throughout the three weeks they are here.

By the end of the course, you will:
• Know the main genealogies of anthropological scholarship and how that developed in the 20th century.
• Experience a small sense of what it means to do ethnographic fieldwork.
• Be able to analyze, to some degree, various religious traditions in an anthropological way.
• Begin to view the world and human beliefs and practices through an anthropological lens.

All of this will lay the foundation for future study in anthropology or religious studies at the college level.


All are welcome. No prerequisites required.


One Section Available to Choose From:

Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.

Dates: June 27, 2022 - July 15, 2022
Duration: 3 Weeks
Meeting Times: M-F 8:30A-11:20A
Status: Closed
Format: On-Campus
Instructor(s): Robert Kashow
Course Number: 10119