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This course aims to: 1) Examine major anthropological and sociological theories of religion and ritual. This will include both classical theorists (such as Durkheim, Marx, Weber, Geertz and Turner) and contemporary theorists (such as Bell and Humphrey and Laidlaw). 2) Explore different religious traditions including Christianity, Islam and small scale religions through focusing on specific ethnographic case studies.3) Examine the mechanisms of religious change, including colonialism, globalism, syncretism and conversion. 4) Explore how religion relates to social diversity and identity. This will include a consideration of the relationship between religion and gender, ethnicity, sexuality and disability.
If students regularly attend lectures and seminars and complete the work of the class, by the end of the course they should be able to: 1) Identify and analyse major anthropological and sociological theories of religion and the key debates surrounding these theories2) Identify and analyse the causes of religious change at a local and global level and its affects on society3) Use a range of relevant theories and ethnographic studies to analyse the role that religion, ritual and symbolism play in the formation of gender, sexual and ethnic identity (and how these identities can be embodied)4) Display an understanding of religious diversity and difference