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School of Social Sciences

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BSocSc Social Anthropology
Explore human behaviour and relationships and the challenges across different cultures.

BSocSc Social Anthropology

Year of entry: 2018

Course unit details:
Anthropology of Religion

Unit code SOAN20811
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Anthropology
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The Anthropology of Religon.


Classification and categorisation: sacred and profane; ritual and ordinary action; transformation; magic and religion; the human and the divine.

Religious knowledge and experience.

Material religion.

Debates in the anthropology of religion.


  1. To introduce students to the main anthropological approaches to the analysis of religion.
  2. To work with key anthropological texts on the topic of religion.
  3. To explore religion in light of economics, politics and kinship.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course, successful students will be equipped with sufficient knowledge and skills to:

  1. Understand and engage with debates and literature in the anthropology of religion.
  2. Explore the place of religious practice and belief in social life.
  3. Undertake comparative analysis of 'religious' phenomena, knowledge and practice.

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and Weekly Tutorials/Films


Assessment methods

Students will be expected to do two formative writing exercises.

4000 word Final Essay - 100%

Recommended reading

Orsi, R A (ed) 2012
The Cambridge Companion to Religious Studies
Cambridge University Press: Cambridge

Lambek, Michael (ed.) 2002
A Reader in the Anthropology of Religion
Oxford: Blackwell

Morris, B 2006
Religion and Anthropology: A Critical Introduction
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Eller, Jack 2007
Introducing the Anthropology of Religion
London: Routledge

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Tutorials 9
Independent study hours
Independent study 171

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Anthony Simpson Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Length of course: 12 weeks

Monday 11.00-13.00

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