• April 23rd, 2016

Utilizing the course readings of the following questions with thesis-driven essay

Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements

Utilizing the course readings, address one (3000 words) of the following questions with thesis-driven essay


  • What does it mean to study religion anthropologically? How is the anthropological perspective on religion different from the perspective of other disciplines? What are the major schools of thought or theoretical approaches to religion in anthropology and related sciences? What is the contemporary cognitive scientific approach to religion (see Lambek’s introduction and Astuti and Bloch, “Are Ancestors Dead?”) and how does it relate to the anthropological method?


  • What is the anthropological critique of “belief”? Is “belief” part of all religions or critical to religions? How are religious or supernatural beings “agents” like, but different from, human beings (see Descola, “Presence, Attachment, Origin”; Poirier, “The Dynamic Reproduction of Hunter-Gatherers’ Ontologies and Values”; and Cannell, “Ghosts and Ancestors in the Modern West”)? What are the main areas or topics on which religions offer ideas or explanations?


  • What are the similarities and differences between ordinary language and religious language? Why are they similar, and why are they different? What is myth, and why has it been such a central topic in the study of religion? What was Lévi-Strauss’ approach to religious language (see Lambek, “Varieties of Semiotic Ideology in the Interpretation of Religion” and Stoller, “Religion and the Truth of Being”)? How is religious language a “performance,” and what are some of its performative types and traits?


  • What, to you, is an adequate anthropological perspective on the concept of “morality” (see Laidlaw, Kwon, and Daswani)? How do capitalism, globalization, and notions of trade operate in constructing cultural and religious concepts of morality? What does it mean to talk about the “politics” of religion—both individually and collectively—in ethical terms? How does religion legitimate society—and sometimes contest society’s legitimacy?

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