Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Area of Study
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4
Hours & Credits
Knowledge and understanding - The student has acquired knowledge and understanding of:
(1) the anthropological approach of religion as distinct from other disciplinary approaches.
(2) the classic and contemporary interpretations of religion through the work of classic and contemporary anthropologists.
(3) religion as a contemporary global phenomenon.
Application - The student has acquired the competences to:
(4) ask anthropological questions regarding the religious practices that they encounter during this course.
(5) critically assess different theoretical approaches in the anthropology of religion and their (in)ability to describe, interpret and represent religious praxis;
(6) describe some of the methodological problems that are typical for anthropology of religion, i.e. the insider-outsider gap, and embodied practice and interpretation (mind vs. body).
Making judgements - The student is able to demonstrate:
(7) reflection on their assumptions (biases) and an open and interpretive attitude vis a vis religious beliefs and practices.
The aim of the course Global Religion is to gain knowledge and insight into the forms of religion as a global practice. Our starting point is the idea that any investigation of religious practice should begin with the concrete forms in which religion presents itself to us in a research setting. The anthropological approach of religion is a social-scientific angle which looks for the way in which religious practice and social processes are related. This basically boils down to two questions: how social structure influences religious practice, and how religious practice influences social processes. This question applies to both small-scale societies and groups, and to large-scale societies, as well as to more network-like forms of social organization, for example, in digital media.
In the perspective of the global, these questions will direct us to the cultural logic of expansion, religious movements, in- and exclusion in religion, the urge for 'purification', and subsequently religion and violence, as well as relativism and formations of the secular.
TYPE OF ASSESSMENT
Weekly assignments: 50%; Written exam: 50%.
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Some courses may require additional fees.