Skip main navigation


Course Description

Explores and analyzes, from a cross-cultural and comparative perspective, religious traditions in diverse cultural contexts with particular focus on the effects of globalization on religious beliefs and practices. Cross- cultural analysis of the concepts of magic, witchcraft, and religion. Examination of connections among the concepts of race, nation, and religion. Exploration of the above through ethnographic readings, class discussions, films, short papers, and a final research paper based on original fieldwork in a local religious or spiritual community. PREREQUISITE: Eligible for English 1A.

Learning Outcomes

  • Analyze and explain the major theoretical approaches of the Anthropology of magic, witchcraft and religion.
  • Identify and illustrate the dangers of ethnocentrism and the value and limits of cultural relativism
  • Analyze and explain particular human behaviors involved in religion and the supernatural.
  • Analyze various histories and politics of religions in western and non-western cultures.
  • Compare, contrast, and analyze particular monotheistic and polytheistic religions.
  • Analyze and explain religious traditions as they are embedded within systems of race, class, and gender.
  • Design, conduct, and write ethnographic research paper based on original field data.

Last modified: November 25, 2014
Gavilan College Red Diamond 5055 Santa Teresa Boulevard Red Diamond Gilroy, CA 95020 Red Diamond (408) 848-4800