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Cornell University    
  Feb 17, 2018
Courses of Study 2017-2018
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ANTHR 2546 - [South Asian Religions in Practice: The Healing Traditions]

(crosslisted) ASIAN 2254  
(GB) (CA-AS)      
Spring. Next offered 2018-2019. 3 credits. Student option grading.

A. Willford.

This course offers an anthropological approach to the study of religious traditions and practices in South Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Nepal). The course begins with a short survey of the major religious traditions of South Asia: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Islam. We look to the development of these traditions through historical and cultural perspectives. The course then turns to the modern period, considering the impact of colonialism, nationalism, and globalization upon religious ideologies and practices. The primary focus of the course will be the ethnographic study of contemporary religious practices in the region. We examine phenomena such as ritual, pilgrimage, possession, devotionalism, monasticism, asceticism, and revivalism through a series of ethnographic case studies. In so doing, we also seek to understand the impact of politics, modernity, diasporic movement, social inequality, changing gender roles, and mass mediation upon these traditions and practices. (RL)

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