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Cornell University    
 
    
 
  Nov 22, 2017
 
Courses of Study 2016-2017 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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ASIAN 4449 - History and Methods of the Academic Study of Religion

(crosslisted) RELST 4449  
(HB) (KCM-AS)      
Spring. 4 credits.

Prerequisite: two courses in religious studies or permission of instructor.

D. Boucher.

This course provides advanced students in Religious Studies or the humanities a working familiarity with important methodological issues in the academic study of religion. Following a brief historical outline of the development of the academic study of religion, we will survey major approaches to the academic study of religion currently used and discussed in Religious Studies today. We will read representative and seminal works from the following approaches to the study of religion: anthropology, philosophical hermeneutics, phenomenology, history of religions, the sociology of religion and critical ideological studies. For each of these cases, we will see how these studies both build upon the nineteenth century assumptions of the nature of religion and have addressed twentieth century religious and theoretical issues. For each of the texts we will be reading, we will try to grasp why particular approaches had the appeal they did when they did. The course operates as an intellectual history of the rise of the study of religion as an academic (as opposed to confessional) subject. (RL)



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