an introduction to the anthropology of religion
for the advanced student

FIREW1.GIF (7032 bytes)  

Fall, 2001

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
email: mdmurphy@tenhoor.as.ua.edu

Course Description

Readings

Examinations

Writing Assignments

General Web Pages for Course

Class Participation: Presentations

Promptness and Punctuality

Class Attendance Policy

Grading Policy

Make-up Examination Policy & Optional Term Papers

Topical Schedule and Reading Assignments

General Guidelines for Reviews and Papers

Writing Tips

Geographical Distribution of Case Studies  

COURSE DESCRIPTION

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.

bookshelflight-motion2-w.gif (55348 bytes)READINGSbookshelflight-motion2-w.gif (55348 bytes)

A photocopied compilation of the readings (articles and book chapters) is available at the University Suppy Store. See schedule of readings below.

EXAMINATIONS

WRITING ASSIGNMENTS

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.

Reviews Every 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

CLASS PARTICIPATION

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 POLICY

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.

GRADING POLICY

The final grade for the course will be based on the following formulae:

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)

Intellectualist, Functionalist and Psychodynamic Approaches

19th Century Social Evolutionism
   Psychoanalyisis
   Culture & Personality
Functionalism
SEPT. 12: THEORY IN THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF RELIGION II (Group C)

Marxist, Cultural Materialist, and Postmodernist Approaches

Marxism
American Materialism
Cultural Materialism

   Literary Theories
   Postmodernism I
   Postmodernim II

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 Guest Lecturer: Dr. Jim Knight


          Religion and Magic in Archaeology
          Pepperdine Institute for the Study of Archaeology and Religion
          Rutgers Archaeology and Religious Art Site

          

OCTOBER 3:  RITUAL (Group C)

OCTOBER 10: MAGIC (Group A)

OCTOBER 17: FILMS ON ETHNOGRAPHY OF RELIGION

OCTOBER 24:    MIDTERM    

OCTOBER 31: WITCHCRAFT & SORCERY (Group B)

Witchcraft    Neo-Paganism

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.   pp. 123-129.
  • 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.

          Shamanism   Shamanism and Healing  Shamanism Overview

NOVEMBER 14: MARIANISM     (Group A)

  • 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 63(2): 63-75.
  • Murphy, Michael :Dean (n.d.) Identifying the Virgin Mary. Unpublished ms.
          The Cult of the Virgin Mary

NOVEMBER 21: PILGRIMAGE (Group B)

  • 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.

          Pilgrimage  
          Santiago de Compostela
          Lourdes Grotto WebCam

Hajar al-Aswad (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)
          Voodoo   Satanism   Halloween

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 New Religions
          Religion, Politics & the State

Wovoka

DECEMBER 13: FINAL EXAM Thursday, 2-4:30 pm.

Other Web Sites

Various Religions

General Guidelines for Reviews and Papers
(NOTE: Fail to follow these guidelines at your peril)

Journal Article
Smith, Clarence D. 1967 Prestige and Culture: Early Theories. American Anthropologist 16:214-245.

Book
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.

 Writing Tips

For additional help in composition, check out the following web sites:


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)

Mesoamerica:

  • Olmec (Diehl)

South America:

  • Bolivia: (Crandon-Malamud)
  • Brazil: Nambicuara Indians (Levi-Strauss)
  • Andes: Pilgrimage (Sallnow)

Caribbean:

  • Haiti (Brown, Ackerman & Gauthier)

Africa:

  • Azande (Evans-Pritchard)

Arctic:

  • Eskimos (Rasmussen)

 

 

Asia:

  • Burmese (Spiro)
  • Sri Lankans (Obeyesekere, Scott)
  • Siberians (Bogoras)
  • Hindus of India (Harris)
  • Hill Reddis & Saora of India (Von Furer-Haimendorf)

Micronesia:

  • Ifaluk (Spiro)

Melanesia:

  • Trobriand Islanders (Malinowski)
  • Maring of PNG (Rappaport)
  • Kaliai of West New Britain (Lattas)

Europe:

  • Satanism & Witchcraft (Russell, Luhrmann)
  • Marianism (Sered)
  • Spain (Murphy, Breuner)
  • Italy (Breuner)
  • Yugoslavia (Bax)
  • Greek Cyprus (Argyrou)
  • Ancient Greece (Levi-Strauss)

Middle East:

  • Hebrews of Old Testament (Leach, Sered)
  • Islam (Sered)

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