Seminar: Study of Religion

Methods in the Study of Religion
How do we think about religion? Is there a common way to talk about religion across cultural divides or should we simply concur that religion is like art, where “We can’t define it, but we know it when we see it? This course will take us through the basic twentieth and twenty-first century theories in the study of religion as “ways of perceiving” this most elusive of phenomena: anthropology, psychology, history, text, politics, philosophy, theology, experience. All of these ways of perceiving religion play a crucial role in the history of the field. We will end by thinking through recent issues in the study of religion–religion and politics, gender and sexuality, comparative and interfaith studies, and the authority of religious identity. Students will be asked to outline a single, compelling case study in religion, and each week they will apply the theorists we read to the details of their case. In applying theories about religion to real-life situations, students will become skillful practitioners of the art of interpreting religion. They will also develop their own approaches to the study of religion and be able to articulate that approach to a wider audience. (At least 3 courses in the study of religion or by waiver. Open only to juniors and seniors.) 3 hrs. sem.
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RELI 0400

All Sections in Fall 2024

Fall 2024

RELI0400A-F24 Seminar (Ortegren)