January 2022

Religion in Action

Listed in: Religion, as RELI-114


William Girard (Section 01J)


(Formerly offered as RELI-205/ANTH-212) Anthropology of Religions)

What does it mean to study religion from an anthropological perspective? Not so long ago, anthropologists had a clear answer. To study religion was to investigate all manner of beliefs and practices related to the supernatural or the sacred. However, in recent years, the category “religion” has been rethought in light of the term’s specific Western history, normative tendencies, and role in colonialism. The course will begin with a review of prominent efforts within anthropology to theorize religion. It will then take up these new conceptions of religion that encourage us to think differently about the ongoing role of religion in politics, the entanglements of race and religion, and secular life’s own religious roots.

Limited to 20 students. January term. Professor Girard.

If Overenrolled: Priority given to majors


Attention to Issues of Social Justice, Attention to Writing, Transnational or World Cultures Taught in English, Writing Intensive


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in January 2022, Spring 2022