Piercing, restraint, sleep deprivation, starvation, tattooing. We examine religious modifications of the body through ritual, the use of clothing, the treatment of hair, and through other forms of decoration and even violent modification. In this introduction to the study of religion and recent theories of religion, ritual, and the body, students will learn how scholars investigate religion. They will also learn to describe two major theoretical approaches to religious ritual, to use these tools to explain practices from prayer to extreme forms of asceticism, and to describe and evaluate sources of information for the study of religion.
Introductory & Review Videos
- Religion and Society
- Symbols, Values, and Norms
- Animation: The Spread of “World Religions”
- History of Ideas: Rituals (*note, the video’s traditional vs. modern approach is problematic)
- What is Myth?
- Anselm and the Argument for God
- Aquinas and the Cosmological Arguments
- Divine Command Theory
- Max Weber and Modernity
- What is God Like?
- The Problem of Evil
- Perspectives on Death
- Ted Talk: The Power of Ritual