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Courses / Modules / ANTH2001 Cosmology, Ritual and Belief

Cosmology, Ritual and Belief

When you'll study it
Semester 2
CATS points
ECTS points
Level 5
Module lead
Anna Collar
Academic year

Module overview

This module is concerned with how people in different cultures make sense of their world. The spiritual beliefs and ritual practices of a range of different cultures across the world are considered together with some of the ways in which anthropologists seek to explain them. We ask such questions as can anthropologists really study other cultures' belief systems if they themselves have no personal belief in that system? Is a belief in witchcraft rational? How different are witchcraft and science? Are the causes of illness always natural or can they be social and cultural? We also cover other aspects of cosmology, ritual and belief such as life cycle rituals, spirit possession, witchcraft in contemporary Africa, Paganism in Britain, new religious movements, and the relationship between environment, culture and beliefs.