Explore the boundaries of magic, science, and religion.
Susan Lanigan received a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Tulane University, and wrote her Honour’s Thesis on funerary and mortuary practices throughout differing cultural groups, and how these practices relate to spirituality and religion. The spiritual beliefs of cultures help us understand a variety of aspects of their daily life, and the secular and anthropological study of all spiritual concepts is, in Susan’s view, essential to understanding what makes us a global community.
This course will discuss the role of magic, science, and religion in different cultures across the globe, and put them into an anthropological perspective. Combining geography, history, and cultural anthropology, the goal of the course is to educate students on a variety of cultural practices related to spirituality. The course does not aim to prove any one faith “right” or “wrong”, and the ethics of one religion over another will not be discussed — it is very important that students enter the course with an open mind and willingness to learn about different cultural practices without the idea of right/wrong, good/bad.
This class is recommended for learners aged 11-15. After each class meeting, learners will be encouraged to dive deeper into the day’s topic with varied projects.
Sample Course Outline
This class has 8 class meetings where each discussion focuses on exploring the boundaries between magic, science, and religion. We will discuss mature topics such as death, the afterlife, and funerary practices so please consider your learner’s readiness to engage in these topics.
Magic, Science, and Religion is offered in Summer 2019 and Fall 2019.