SAN102 Critical Interpretation of Religion

Faculty of Social Studies
Spring 2020
Extent and Intensity
1/1/0. 6 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
Irena Kašparová, M.A., Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
Irena Kašparová, M.A., Ph.D.
Department of Sociology - Faculty of Social Studies
Contact Person: Irena Kašparová, M.A., Ph.D.
Supplier department: Department of Sociology - Faculty of Social Studies
Tue 12:00–13:40 U35
! SANb1007 Critical Interpretation of Religion && ! NOW ( SANb1007 Critical Interpretation of Religion )
Passing through the Introduction to Social Anthropology (SAN 101). Elementary knowledge about Judaism, Christianity, Islam and at least one of the religions of the East (Hinduism, Buddhism).
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
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Course objectives
One semester course introducing to the selected topics of anthropological perspective on religion. The course is not outline general overview about world religions, rather it focuses on classic topics of anthropological approach to the religion (sacral and profane, myth and ritual, magic and witchcraft) and on discussing means by which are being these topics constructed and lived.

Main objectives can be summarized as follows:
presentation of the main approaches to religion in social anthropology;
to gain ability to apply anthropological perspective on the study of religion;
to understand and analyze religious experience as an experience bounded by specific mode of thinking and knowledge.
Learning outcomes
At the end of the course the student will be able to: - write an accademic essay about anthropology of religion - identify and analyse connection between religion and other aspects of human society, such as kinship, politics, economics. - define the term ´religion´and its genesis in European thought - define religious thinking in world societies - define ´ritual´in his own society as well as in others - identify main theoretical concepts and topic in anthropology of religion.
  • I.
  • Religion as an anthropological category, colonial legacy (Clifford Geertz, Talal Assad)
  • Perspectivism and the study of religion
  • Religious and non-religious explanation of reality
  • "Primitive" and "advanced" religions. Written religions
  • II.
  • Myth, cosmology I. (Bronislaw Malinowski, Mircea Eliade, Ernst Cassirer)
  • Myth, cosmology II. (Émile Durkheim, Claude Lévi-Strauss)
  • Ritual I. (Marvin Harris, Mary Douglas)
  • Ritual II. (Arnold van Gennep, Victor Turner)
  • III.
  • Pilgrimages (Victor Turner, John Eade)
  • Religion and human body
  • Continuity and change: tradition, cargo cults
  • Diasporas. Religion and globalization
  • Religion and politics
    required literature
  • BOWIE, Fiona. Antropologie náboženství. Translated by Vladimír Petkevič. Vyd. 1. Praha: Portál, 2008. 335 s. ISBN 9788073673789. info
  • LUŽNÝ, Dušan. Náboženství a moderní společnost :sociologické teorie, modernizace a sekularizace. 1. vyd. Brno: Masarykova univerzita, 1999. 183 s. ISBN 80-210-2224-8. info
  • PADEN, William E. Bádání o posvátnu. Náboženství ve spektru interpretací. 1st ed. Brno: Masarykova univerzita, 2002. 179 pp. ISBN 80-210-2977-3. info
  • WAARDENBURG, Jacques. Bohové zblízka : systematický úvod do religionistiky. Translated by Břetislav Horyna - Dalibor Antalík. Vyd. 1. Brno: Ústav religionistiky filozofické fakulty Masarykovy univerzity, 1997. 163 s. ISBN 8090219713. info
    not specified
  • DURKHEIM, Émile. Elementární formy náboženského života :systém totemismu v Austrálii. Vyd. 1. Praha: OIKOYMENH, 2002. 491 s. ISBN 80-7298-056-4. info
  • DOUGLAS, Mary. Purity and danger :an analysis of the concepts of pollution and taboo. 2nd impr. with corr. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1969. viii, 188. ISBN 0-7100-8827-2. info
Teaching methods
Lectures, class discussion, papers
Assessment methods
Course requirements:
1 written essay (5 - 7 pages); class participation; oral exam.
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
The course is taught annually.
Listed among pre-requisites of other courses
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2006, Spring 2007, Spring 2008, Autumn 2008, Autumn 2009, Autumn 2010, Autumn 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019.
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