ANTH& 234 Religion & Culture • 5 Cr.


A global introduction to the religions of the world from a broad comparative perspective. Students examine the development and aspects of various religions (indigenous, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, and others). The relationship between religion and the social and cultural context are explored, especially in relation to nationalism, politics, and globalization.

Description starting Summer 2019

A broad cross-cultural study of religion and the relationship between humans and the supernatural world. Anthropologists are focused on the relationship and the interconnections between people's religious traditions and beliefs and other aspects of culture. This course explores religious symbols, rituals, myths, religious specialists, magic, and the supernatural.


After completing this class, students should be able to:

  • Evaluate religion using academic methods, such as those used in anthropology, comparative religion, and/or religious studies.
  • Describe and compare the doctrine, institutional structures, and ethical systems of a sample of the religions (e.g., indigenous religions, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, and/or others) while emphasizing the development of World Religions and their subdivisions.
  • Analyze the various media (e.g., texts, music, ritual, symbolism, architecture, etc.) through which religious knowledge and belief are expressed.
  • Explore the interplay between religious belief systems and religious practice.
  • Evaluate relationships between religion and the social/cultural context, especially in relation to nationalism, politics, and globalization.