Online Ant 213 Anthropology of Magic, Witchcraft & Religion  





















Welcome Page

Ant 213  is a social science course about religion rather than a religious studies class as might be taught in a school of theology. The beliefs and practices of any religious tradition, even your own, are deemed appropriate subject matter for the descriptive and analytical purposes of this course.

This course interprets religious belief and practice in a variety of cultures from an anthropological perspectives which emphasizes cultural relativism. It examines various categories of religious beliefs & practices in their social contexts, considers major social theories about religion, and explores concepts regarding the interpretation of religion and related issues which have been taken up by social scientists, particularly anthropologists & sociologists.

You need not agree with any of the ideas presented in the course or the opinions expressed by class members. However, you must allow them to be expressed even if you strongly disagree 

Even humor about religion has it place, if it is not derogatory or insulting. With this in mind I offer you the following tale in hopes of setting an appropriate tone for the course.

Tale of the Zen Master & the Hotdog Salesman.
A Zen Master visiting New York City from Japan walks up to a hotdog vendor & says, "Make me one with everything." The hot dog vendor hands a hot dog to the master, who pays with a $20 bill. The vendor puts the bill in the cash box & closes it. "Where's my change?" asks the Zen Master. The vendor responds, "Change must come from within."

Now, spend some time checking the links to the right of this page. The course syllabus provides a sense of the organization and requirements of online Ant 213. Read about the course content on the modules page. From the modules page you can select and read some of the course modules. The orientation letter gives important information about the Blackboard online class room and some answers frequently asked questions.

I hope you  enjoy the course!
Andrew Habermacher, Ph.D.
Professor of Anthropology   

evised 12/12/2002