Comparative and cross-cultural exploration of the relationships between religion, health, and healing. Cross-listed with: REL 040.
CDE students only even after level restrictions are removed; Degree students enroll in ANTH 076 A; Cross listed with ANTH 076 A, REL 040 A and ZRA; Total combined enrollment = 120
This course is a comparative and cross-cultural exploration of the relationships between religion, health, and healing. Through a consideration of case studies from the US, South Africa, Liberia, Uganda, and Egypt (among others), we will examine how religion shapes people’s understanding of health and well-being and provides them with a means of interpreting and responding to illness, suffering, and death. Drawing upon interdisciplinary approaches that include religious studies, anthropology, history, music, and critical race and gender studies, we will consider the diversity of ways in which religion both reflects and shapes ideas about health, well-being, illness, and disease. We will consider topics such as: the role of ritual and performance in healing practices; how religion complicates the politics of public health and medicine; issues of race, gender, and sexuality in relation to religious worldviews and healing systems; and the possibilities and potentials for integrating indigenous healing practices with Western bio-medicine.
• Students will develop an awareness of the diversity of attitudes towards religion, health, and healing in both Euro-American and non-European cultural contexts. • Students will develop an appreciation for the assumptions upon which their own ideas about religion, health, and healing are based. • Students will come to understand the intersection between religion and healing in a variety of contexts, including how such ideas came to be, how ideas about religion and healing are articulated in a variety of forms including ritual, biography, and political action, and how they are represented in a variety of media including scholarly writing, popular media, and films. • Students will develop critical thinking skills that will enable them to analyze information and evaluate arguments from diverse viewpoints and multiple perspectives. • Students will develop critical reading and writing skills that will allow them to interpret and apply the knowledge acquired in this class.
Course is designed to be engaging, rigorous, and flexible. Requirements include: engaging with a variety of texts and other materials (podcasts, films, digital media); discussion of course materials on Teams and/or on Blackboard; short writing assignments; final project.
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