James W Green
Anthropological approaches to religious experience and belief with emphasis on conceptual issues such as ritual, symbolism, identify, ecstatic experience, and revitalization movements in the context of globalization. Also addresses the diversity of religious expression in American culture and how that compares with other societies. Offered: jointly with JSIS C 321.
This course concentrates on one or more specialized aspects of religious experience as it is manifested in different cultures. I begin with some general social science theories about religion and then move into one or more specialized topics. In the past these have included ritual, shamanism, pilgrimage, altered states of consciousness, cults, religious movements and others. I usually pick one text that is somewhat theoretical and then include several ethnographic case studies to supplement it.
Despite the statement above about prerequisites, there are none.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Lecures, films, discussion. I encourage people to talk about their own views of these matters and their own experiences.
None and, despite what is said in the "official" description for this course, there is no prerequisite.
Class assignments and grading
Usually two papers, based on critiques of the reading materials and some kind of field experience (interview, observation, and/or library research)involving a religious occasion or perspective.
Evaluation of papers.