General information

Module title Anthropology of Religion
Language English
Module lecturer Dr Jan Lorenz
Lecturer's email janlor@amu.edu.pl
Lecturer position Assistant Professor
Faculty Faculty of Anthropology and Cultural Studies
Semester 2021/2022 (winter)
Duration 30
ECTS 5
USOS code AR

Timetable

Module aim (aims)

This course is an introduction to the anthropology of religion. We will begin by discussing anthropological attempts to define religion and proceed to explore key themes in the anthropological studies of religion, like belief, ritual and self-cultivation as well as specific topics like witchcraft and possession. A central theme running through this course is the way in which individuals face life and death in radically different circumstances. Our discussions will be grounded in the wider political, economic and social contexts of religious phenomena.

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)

Fluency in written and spoken English. Students must be able to comprehend and critically analyse academic texts, actively participate in class discussions and write the final essay.

Syllabus

LEARNING MODULE DESCRIPTION (SYLLABUS)
Module title: Anthropology of Religion
2. Module codeAR
3. Module type – compulsory or optional: Optional
4. Programme title: CREOLE, AMU-PIE, Erasmus+
5. Cycle of studies (1st or 2nd cycle of studies or full master’s programme): 1st and 2nd cycles
6. Year of studies (where relevant)2nd and 3rd (1st cycle) / 1st and 2nd (2nd cycle)
7. Terms in which taught (summer/winter term) Winter
8. Type of classes and the number of contact hours (e.g. lectures: 15 hours; practical classes: 30 hours): 30 hours, seminars
9. Number of ECTS credits5
10. Name, surname, academic degree/title of the module lecturer/other teaching staff/ e-mailDr Jan Lorenz, jan.lorenz@amu.edu.pl
11. Language of classes: English

II. Detailed information

1. Module aim (aims) This course is an introduction to the anthropology of religion. We will begin by discussing anthropological attempts to define religion and proceed to explore key themes in the anthropological studies of religion, like belief, ritual and self-cultivation as well as specific topics like witchcraft and possession. A central theme running through this course is the way in which individuals face life and death in radically different circumstances. Our discussions will be grounded in the wider political, economic and social contexts of religious phenomena.

2. Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)Fluency in English, written and spoken. Students must be able to comprehend and critically analyse academic texts, actively participate in class discussions and write the final essay.

3. Module learning outcomes in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences and their reference to programme learning outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the student will:
01 Have knowledge of the main concepts, theoretical perspectives and debates in the anthropology of religion
02 Develop ability to engage with academic literature and scholarly debates in contemporary anthropology of religion
03 Learn how to explore the place of religious belief and practice in social life
04 Have knowledge of the diversity of religious thoughts, practices, ethics and experiences in the contemporary world.
05 Learn how to undertake comparative analysis of religious phenomena by using anthropological theory

Learning content description:
1. Major theoretical approaches to religious belief and practice in anthropology and related disciplines
2. Key themes and major areas of concern in anthropological studies of religion and magic
3. Key definitions and typologies in the anthropology of religion
4. Ethnographic case studies of religious beliefs and practices across the world
5. Study of religion in relation to general epistemological, methodological and ethical concerns in anthropology.

Recommended general readings:
Boddy, Janice and Michael Lambek (eds.). 2013. A Companion to the Anthropology of Religion. Oxford: Blackwell
Cannell, F. ed., 2006. The anthropology of Christianity. Duke University Press.
Eller, Jack. 2007. Introducing the Anthropology of Religion. London: Routledge
Moro, Pamela A., James E. Myers, and Arthur C. Lehmann (eds.). 2009. Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion: An Anthropological Study of the Supernatural.8th ed. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing.
Morris, B. 2006. Religion and Anthropology: A Critical Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Compulsory weekly readings: A list of compulsory course readings will be provided by the course convener in the first seminar and deposited in an on-line course folder

Student workload (ECTS credits)
Contact hours with the teacher as specified in the programme 30h
Preparation for classes 70h
Preparation for class presentation 10h
Writing the final essay (2000 words) 40h
Total hours 150
Total ECTS credits for the module 5

Assessment criteria: The assessment for this course takes two forms. Every week students must read key texts for each session, actively participate in class discussions (20% of the final mark).
Each student has to prepare one seminar presentation (5-10 min, 10% of the final mark) and write a 2000-word essay on one of the topics chosen from a list provided by the teacher (70% of the final mark).
GRADES: A/5 EXCELLENT - outstanding performanceB/4+ VERY GOOD - above average with few minor mistakes and/or omissions C/4 GOOD - generally sound work with some minor mistakes and/or omissionsD/3+ SATISFACTORY – fair, but with a number of serious mistakes and/or omissionsE/3 SUFFICIENT – fair, but with significant shortcomingsF/2 FAIL

Titles of classes
Week 1 Introduction and basic concepts, early definitions of religion
Week 2 Defining „religion”
Week 3. Belief
Week 4 Practice
Week 5 Rituals
Week 6. Morality
Week 7 Corporeality and materiality

Week 8 Witchcraft and magic
Week 9 Possession
Week 10 Self-formation and conversion
Week 11 Pilgrimage, miracles and healing
Week 12 Technology, science and religion
Week 13 Death
Week 14 Beyond death
Week 15 Conclusion

Reading list

General readings are available in the AMU libraries and weekly key readings will be provided by the course convenor.