What is magic? What is science? And what is religion? How are the three related? And in what ways are they different? In this course, we will explore these questions through readings that include Guy MacLean Roger's The Mysteries of Artemis of Ephesos, Max Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, and Emily Martin's "The Egg and the Sperm." Along with reading ethnographies about magic, science, and religion that are drawn from across the world, each week we will also think carefully about and discuss, contemporary events and practices relevant to our context and interests.
You will read texts actively and closely, formulate your own interpretations of them, make persuasive arguments about them, and work with a community of writers and thinkers. Respect for diverse systems of belief is an essential part of the conversation in this class. This is true for most classes, but particularly true for a class that deals with religious belief.