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Anthropology of Religion,

Magic, and Witchcra6

Los Angele Valley College Fall 2015: Sec6on 3040

Th 6:45-9:55 FL 112

Class Information & My Philosophy

Anthropology of Religion, Magic, and WitchcraH is a cultural study of dierent religious
ideas, mo6va6ons, and movements. This class will focus on breaking down and poin6ng
out our own ideas about religion as well as how we perceive other cultures that prac6ce a
religion dierent from our own. Anthropology 121 will begin with simple concepts of
religion, then moving onto more in depth concepts such as myths, souls, and the aHerlife.
This course will end with new age religions and how they inuence people today.

Course Objec6ves

For the Love of Teaching

I became a teacher to encourage

people to learn. This seems like such a
simple reason for wanting to teach,
- Explain the concepts of ethnocentrism and however it is true. I was very lucky to have
cultural rela6vism and apply these concepts been raised by teacher who shaped my
to understanding contemporary social issues. world view from a young age about the
- Explain how the terms culture and
power of knowledge. As I have grown as a
worldview are dened and used in
person, I feel the need to pass on this gift of
knowledge to others while at the same time
- Explain and dieren6ate between the
learning from my students.
dierent ways religion is dened and between
Ideas about anthropology in theory
the dierent theore6cal approaches to the
and how I view culture has made me who I
study of religion.
am. Learning about the different methods
- Explain the func6ons served by various
that anthropologist put into practice has
religious phenomena, both for the individual provided me with a fundamental philosophy
and society.
for how I approach the classroom.
- Explain how religious phenomena, such as
I look at my experience with my
the nature of supernatural beings and
students as an opportunity to share our
witchcraH beliefs, reect the culture in which cultures and stories throughout the
they are found.
semester. I feel that bringing in real world
- Explain and compare and contrast the basic experiences make what we learn more
concepts of the class including mythology,
applicable. I strive to have my classroom
symbolism, rituals, specialists, altered states, be a relaxed environment. I want my
magic, divina6on, supernatural beings, and
students to feel like they can discuss the
material freely without judgment.
- Explain how and why new religious
movements happen.
Upon successful comple6on of this course
you will be able to:

Rome Gyes

Class Text;
Stein and Stein The Anthropology of
Religion, Magic and Witchcra7, 3rd ed.
[ISBN: 978-0-205-71811-5]

Student Learning Outcomes:

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) are faculty-dened expecta6ons of knowledge and skills students can demonstrate
as a result of learning acquired in a course. The SLOs for this course are that you will be able to discuss other cultures
in a non-ethnocentric manner and evaluate religious behaviors using basic anthropological concepts and theories

Grades & Useful

Grading Breakdown & Useful Info
Your grade will be based upon two
exams worth 100 points. In addi6on
to these exams I will give out
classwork, homework, projects that
will add up to 200 points. The last 100
points of this course will be made up
of class par6cipa6on. Class
par6cipa6on is key to the func6oning
of this course. Students will be
expected to akended and have read
the assigned chapters prior to the

90% - 100% A 80% - 89% B

68% - 79% C 60% - 68% D
59% and below F
Make up exams will not be accepted without prior
warning or a doctors note. Late homework and
projects will be deducted 5 points per day missed.

If you are a student with a disability
requiring classroom accommoda6ons and
have not yet contacted Services for
Students with Disabili6es (SSD), do so in a
6mely manner. SSD is located in the
Student Services Annex, room 175. You
can also call SSD at (818) 947-2681 or TTD
(818) 947-2680, to meet with a SSD
counselor. If SSD has already sent the
memo conrming accommoda6ons
required for this class, please meet with
me to discuss arrangements.

Plagiarism is the use of others words and/or ideas

without clearly acknowledging their source. When
you incorporate those words and ideas into your
own work, you must give credit where credit is due.
Plagiarism, inten6onal or uninten6onal, is
considered academic dishonesty and is not
tolerated. Anyone found to be plagiarizing or
chea6ng on assignments or exams (e.g., copying or
giving answers, using crib sheets, etc.) will (1)
receive a zero (fail) on the assignment, and (2) be
referred to the Vice President of Student Services
for further disciplinary ac6on, following due
process. For further informa6on on plagiarism, go
to the Wri6ng Center website (www.lavc.edu/
WCweb/plagiarism.html) and refer to the
DISCIPLINARY ACTION in the current Schedule of
Classes and Catalog.
If you have any unexplained absences during the rst
two weeks of the semester, you will be excluded from
the class unless you inform me that you wish to remain
in the class. The message must be received no later
than Monday of the third week of class.
It is highly recommended that you make akendance a
priority. Eort and par6cipa6on, which require
akendance, may be a considera6on for determining
your nal grade.

Important Dates:
September 7 Labor day
November 11 : Holliday
November 26 - 29 : Thanks Giving
December 21 Final Day of Class

Please note that it is your responsibility to drop the

class if you so wish. You may drop a class at any 6me
through Sept. 13th. The deadline to drop without
receiving a W is Nov. 22nd. If you stop akending
class and do not ocially drop through the Admissions
and Records Oce, you will receive a nal grade of F
in the course. I reserve the right to exclude students for
excessive absences.

Below are a few websites that will help
you find different events throughout Los
Angeles. I will also let you know about
other upcoming
the semester.



Tentative Class Calendar




Class intro & Def, Anthro.

Religion Why?

Syllabus & Class Objectives

Reading: Ch. 1

Ethnocentrism & Examination of

Religious tensions

Finish Ch: 1

Film; The Gods Must be Crazy

Read Ch: 2

Myths, & Cultural Perspectives

Religious Symbols

Read Ch: 3

RitualsRitual Obsevation

Read Ch: 4

Altered States/Holly Rollers

Read Ch: 5

Religious Specialists/Shamans
Magic & Divination

Read Ch: 6
Exam 1

Contagious Magic Exercise

Read Ch: 7

Continue C.M. & Presentations

The Soul

Contagious Magic Representation

50 points


Magic & Spells

Read: Ch.8


Astrology & Religion


Gods & Spirits

Read Ch: 9


R.O. Assignment

R.O. Assignment Due

100 points


Witch Craft

Read: Ch. 10


New Age Religions

Read: Ch. 11


New Age Religions

Final Exam