to the anthropology of religion
for the advanced student
Professor: Dr. M.D. Murphy
Class Time and Place: Wednesdays 2-4:30 p.m., 119 ten Hoor
Office: 24C ten Hoor
Office Hrs: Tues & Thurs: 2-3:30 p.m.; & by appointment
This course of lectures, discussions, films and readings
introduces the advanced student to anthropological approaches to the study of religion.
Topics to be covered include myth, ritual, magic, witchcraft, shamanism, the prehistory of
religion, pilgrimage, marianism and the social organization and development of religion.
This course carries "W" designation, therefore writing proficiency is required
for a passing grade. Prerequisites: 12
hours in anthropology, graduate standing, or permission of the instructor.
A photocopied compilation of
the readings (articles and book chapters) is available at the University Suppy Store. See
schedule of readings below.
- Midterm Exam: October
- Final Exam:
Thursday, December 13, 2-4:30 p.m..
Each writing assignment requires carefully edited prose and
will be graded for intellectual content, originality, comprehension of reading material,
coherence, logic, organization, grammar, punctuation, spelling, and prose style. Writing
proficiency is an absolute requirement for passing the course.
third week week each student must submit a review of one of that week's assigned readings.
For organizational purposes each student will be assigned to one of three groups (Groups A
, B, and C) and will be responsible for a total of four reviews. The review should be a
minimum of 3 pages long (750 words) and must be typewritten,
double-spaced, paginated, stapled, and begin with a complete citation of the work being
reviewed. Reviews may be returned for rewriting. Not following the General
Guidelines for Reviews and Papers will cause points to be deducted.
Students are responsible for retaining copies of all written work.
GENERAL WEB PAGES FOR THE COURSE
Each week students will be assigned to lead the discussion
of particular readings. Student performance of this task, as well as general contribution
to discussion, will be evaluated. Class participation will be
evaluated separately from attendance. That is, the quality of participation is
assessed independent of deducting points for poor attendance.
PROMPTNESS AND PUNCTUALITY
All class assignments must be completed on schedule or the grade will suffer
Attendance at every class meeting is a non-negotiable
requirement. More than two unexcused absence will
lower the grade for the course at the rate of 5% per absence.
The final grade for the course will be based on the
Reviews = 30%; Midterm = 30%; Final = 30%; Class Participation = 10%
MAKE-UP EXAMINATION POLICY & TERM PAPERS
Students who miss the midterm--for whatever
reason--will be required to write a 15-20 page, typewritten paper on a topic approved by
the instructor in advance. Those who wish to substitute a paper for the mid-term may do so
but plans should be made early in the term.
====TOPICAL SCHEDULE & READING ASSIGNMENTS====
AUGUST 22: ORIENTATION
TO THE COURSE
AUGUST 29: THE
ANTHROPOLOGICAL STUDY OF RELIGION (Group A)
SEPTEMBER 5: THEORY
IN THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF RELIGION I (Group B)
Functionalist and Psychodynamic Approaches
- Tylor, E.B. (1871) Animism. From Primitive Culture.
London: John Murray.
- Radcliffe-Brown, A. R. (1945) Religion and Society. The
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 75:
- Spiro, Melford E. (1987) Religious Systems as Culturally
Constituted Defense Mechanisms. In Culture and Human Nature: Theoretical Papers of
Melford E. Spiro. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Pp.145-160.
||SEPT. 12: THEORY
IN THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF RELIGION II (Group C)
Materialist, and Postmodernist Approaches
- Crandon-Malamud, Libbet (1993) Blessings of the Virgin in
Capitalist Society:The Transformation of a Rural Bolivian Fiesta. American
Anthropologist 95(3): 574-596.
- Harris, Marvin (1966) The Cultural Ecology of India's Sacred
Cows. Current Anthropology 7(1): 51-64.
- Scott, David (1992) Anthropology and Colonial Discourse:
Aspects of the Demonological Construction of Sinhala Cultural Practice. Cultural
Anthropology 7(3): 301-326.
SEPTEMBER 19: MYTH (Group A)
- Doty, William (1986) The Many Dimensions of Myths and
Rituals. In Mythography: The Study of Myths and Rituals. Tuscaloosa: University
of Alabama Press. Pp. 1-40.
- Dundes, Alan (1962) Earth-Diver: Creation of the Mythopeic
Male. American Anthropologist 64: 1032-1051.
- Leach, Edmund R. (1982) Genesis as Myth. Discovery
(May, 1982). Pp. 30-35.
Myths and Mythology
SEPTEMBER 26: (Group B) THE PREHISTORY OF RELIGION
OCTOBER 3: RITUAL
OCTOBER 10: MAGIC (Group A)
- Frazer, Sir James (1911-15) Sympathetic Magic. From
Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion (12 vols. 3d ed. Cambridge University
- Malinowski, Bronislaw (1955) Rational Mastery by Man of His
Surroundings. From Magic, Science and Religion. New York: Doubleday. pp. 25-35.
- Argyrou, Vassos (1993) Under a Spell: The Strategic Use of
Magic in Greek Cypriot Society. American Ethnologist 20(2): 256-271.
the Anthropology of Magic
A Magic Bibliography
Magic Bibliographies & Resources
OCTOBER 17: FILMS
ON ETHNOGRAPHY OF RELIGION
OCTOBER 31: WITCHCRAFT
& SORCERY (Group B)
- Evans-Pritchard, E.E. (1937) Witchcraft Explains Unfortunate
Events. From Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic Among the Azande. Oxfored: Clarendon
- Obeyesekere, Gananath (1975) Sorcery, Predmediated Murder,
and the Canalization of Aggression in Sri Lanka. Ethnology 14(1):1-24.
- Cheal, David and Jane Leverick (1999) Working Magic in
Neo-Paganism. Journal of Ritual Studies 13(1): 7-19
NOVEMBER 7: SHAMANS
& OTHER RELIGOUS SPECIALISTS (Group C)
- Bogoras, Waldemar (1904-1909) Shamanistic Performance in the
Inner Room. From The Chukchee, Vol VII of Franz Boas (ed.) The Jesup North
pacific Expedition. American Museum of Natural History.
- Rasmussen, Knud (1929) A Shaman's Journey to the Sea Spirit.
From Report of the Fifth Thkule Expedition, 1921-1924. Vol. VII, No. I. Intellectual
Culture of the Iglulik Eskimos. Copenhagen: Gyldendalske Boghandel, Nordisk Forlage.
- Levi-Strauss, Claude (1963) The Sorcerer and His Magic. From Structural
Anthropology. Basic Books.
- Turner, Victor (1972) Religious Specialists. International
Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. David L. Sills, ed. Vol. 13, pp. 437-44.
and Healing Shamanism
NOVEMBER 14: MARIANISM
The Cult of the Virgin Mary
- Sered, Susan (1991) Rachel, Mary, and Fatima. Cultural
Anthropology 6(2): 131-146.
- Bax, Mart (1990) The Madonna of Medjugorje: Religious Rivalry
and the Formation of a Devotional Movement in Yugoslavia. Anthropological Quarterly
- Murphy, Michael :Dean (n.d.) Identifying the Virgin Mary.
NOVEMBER 21: PILGRIMAGE
- Turner, Victor (1973) The Center Out There: Pilgrim's Goal. History
of Religions 21(3): 191-230.
- Cohen, Erik (1992) Pilgrimage and Tourism: Convergence and
Divergence. In Sacred Journeys: The Anthropology of Pilgrimage. Alan Morinis,
editor. Westport, CN: Greenwood Press. pp. 47-64.
- Murphy, Michael Dean (1994) Class, Costume and Community in
an Andalusian Pilgrimage. Anthropological Quarterly 67:49-61.
(The Black Stone)
NOVEMBER 28: DISCREDITING
RELIGION: Voodoo & Satanism (Group C)
- Brown, Karen McCarthy (1987) Voodoo. In The Encyclopedia
of Religion. Mircea Eliade, editor. New York: Macmillan.
- Fritscher, John (1972) Straight From the Witch's Mouth. From Popular
Witchcraft. Bowling Green University Popular Press. pp, 89-90, 107-123.
- Hicks, Robert D. (1991) The Police Model of Satanic Crime. In
The Satanism Scare, J.T. Richardson, Joel Best and David G. Bromley, eds.. NY:
Aldine de Gruyter. pp. 175-189. (RA)
DECEMBER 5: RELIGION
TRANSFORMED AND TRANSFORMING
- Wallace, A.F.C. (1956) Revitalization Movements. American
Anthropologist 58: 264-281.
- Wood, Peter W. (1992) Pilgrimage and Heresy: The
Transformation of Faith at a Shrine in Wisconsin. In Sacred Journeys: The Anthropology
of Pilgrimage. Alan Morinis, editor. Westport, CN: Greenwood Press. pp.115-134.
- Behar, Ruth (1990) The Struggle for the Church: Popular
Anticlericalism and Religiosity in Post-Franco Spain. In Religious Orthodoxy and
Popular Faith in European Society. Princeton: Princeton University Press. pp. 76-112.
Academic Studies of
Politics & the State
Thursday, 2-4:30 pm.
Other Web Sites
General Guidelines for Reviews and Papers
(NOTE: Fail to follow these guidelines at
- You are responsible for keeping a separate copy of
every written assignment that you turn in.
- Your name should appear on every page of every written
- Number every page.
- Staple the pages together (no paper clips, no plastic
- At the top of the first page of each review provide complete
bibliographic information for each article or book chapter. Refer to the American Anthropologist Style
Guide for instructions in proper citation style. Simple examples include the
Smith, Clarence D. 1967 Prestige and Culture: Early Theories. American Anthropologist
Smith, Clarence D. 1953 Economics of the Pygmies. 2nd edition. London: Kegan Paul.
Chapter in book with editor(s)
Rohlen, Thomas P. 1981 Education: Policies and Prospects. In Koreans in Japan: Ethnic
Conflicts and Accommodation. C. Lee and George DeVos, eds. Pp. 182-222. Berkeley:
University of California Press.
- Written work will be graded for IDEAS, ORGANIZATION,
- The three secrets to good writing are : Rewrite, rewrite,
- Never suggest (by the absence of quotation marks and other
citation devices) that someone else's writing is your own. Do not use extensive quotations
in a review. Cut-and-paste authorship is not acceptable.
- When you think you have finished your review, read it aloud
to yourself, then make changes to rid it of awkwardness, confusion and redundancy.
For additional help in composition, check out the following
||Geographical Distribution of Case Studies
North America :
- Hopi, Crow (Linton);
- Canadian Prairie Indians (Morinis)
- Southeastern Indians (Knight)
- Catholic Pentecostals (Murphy)
- Heretical Catholics (Wood)
- Satanism (Fritscher, Hicks)
- Neo-Pagans (Cheal & Leverick)
- Bolivia: (Crandon-Malamud)
- Brazil: Nambicuara Indians (Levi-Strauss)
- Andes: Pilgrimage (Sallnow)
- Haiti (Brown, Ackerman & Gauthier)
- Burmese (Spiro)
- Sri Lankans (Obeyesekere, Scott)
- Siberians (Bogoras)
- Hindus of India (Harris)
- Hill Reddis & Saora of India (Von Furer-Haimendorf)
- Trobriand Islanders (Malinowski)
- Maring of PNG (Rappaport)
- Kaliai of West New Britain (Lattas)
- Satanism & Witchcraft (Russell, Luhrmann)
- Marianism (Sered)
- Spain (Murphy, Breuner)
- Italy (Breuner)
- Yugoslavia (Bax)
- Greek Cyprus (Argyrou)
- Ancient Greece (Levi-Strauss)
- Hebrews of Old Testament (Leach, Sered)
- Islam (Sered)
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