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Center for Curriculum and Transfer Articulation
Magic, Witchcraft and Healing: An Introduction to Comparative Religion
Course: ASB214

First Term: 2012 Summer I
Lecture   3 Credit(s)   3 Period(s)   3 Load  
Subject Type: Academic
Load Formula: S

Description: Origins, elements, and forms of religion; a comparative survey of religious beliefs, myths, rituals and symbolism including magic, witchcraft and healing as practiced in selected regions of the world; the place of religion in the total culture

MCCCD Official Course Competencies
1. Distinguish among major theories of the origin of religion. (I)
2. Contrast the major characteristics of tribal religion with those of world religions. (I)
3. Define magic, myth, ritual, and symbol and describe their functions to the individual and the social group using selected examples from belief systems in various regions of the world. (II, V)
4. Classify types of religious action in selected cross-cultural contexts. (II)
5. Describe and analyze how religious healing rituals affect illness states. (II-IV).
6. Define and differentiate between the major types of religious practitioners/healers. (III)
7. Classify categories of altered states of consciousness and describe their social and psychological functions. (IV)
8. Define the major classifications of evil forces in selected cross-cultural contexts. (V)
9. Analyze attitudes about witchcraft and evil in the context of social control and social harmony. (V)
10. Describe the functions of funerals and death ceremonies in selected cross-cultural contexts. (VI)
11. Distinguish between various attitudes/beliefs concerning life after death in selected cross-cultural contexts. (VI)
12. Identify the major forces of religious change and innovation. (VII)
13. Analyze the occurrence of nontraditional beliefs in western society. (VIII)
14. Identify characteristics of belief in the occult. (VIII)
15. Compare and contrast selected culturally-specific belief systems in different regions of the world. (IX)
MCCCD Official Course Outline
I. The Anthropological Study of Religion
   A. Religion as a part of culture
   B. Religious origins and social evolution in historical perspective
   C. Tribal religions versus world religions
II. Myth, Ritual, and Symbolism in Cross-Cultural Perspective
   A. The role of myth in society
      1. Sacred time and place
      2. The mythic hero
   B. Ritual as action and behavior
      1. Rites ofpassage
      2. Healing ritual
      3. Theoretical approaches to understanding ritual action
   C. Symbolism
      1. Taboo
      2. Art, architecture and design
      3. Anomaly
III. Religious Practitioners in Selected Cross-Cultural Contexts
   A. Shamans and healers
   B. Mediums and priests
   C. Prophets
IV. Altered States of Consciousness
   A. Visions quests
   B. Hallucinogenic drugs and religious ecstasy
   C. Psychotherapy of religious healing
V. Witchcraft, Sorcery, and Forces of Evil in Cross-Cultural Perspective
   A. Witchcraft
      1. Examples of witchcraft in specific societies
      2. Witchcraft as a means of social control
      3. Witchcraft as a leveling device
   B. Sorcery
   C. Demons, exorcism, and magic
      1. Psychosocial aspects of exorcism
      2. Divination
      3. Magic
      4. Illness
VI. The Afterlife in Selected Cross-Cultural Contexts
   A. Ghosts, souls, and ancestors
   B. Death and cosmology, transformation and regeneration
   C. Sacrifice and cannibalism
   D. Funeral and death ceremonies
VII. Religion and Social Change in Selected Cross-Cultural Contexts
   A. Revitalization movements
   B. Cargo cults
   C. Nativistic movements
VIII. Non-Traditional Beliefs in Western Society
   A. The occult in the scientific world
   B. Mysticism
   C. New Age religion
IX. Selected Belief Systems in a Cross-Cultural Perspective
MCCCD Governing Board Approval Date:  12/8/1998

All information published is subject to change without notice. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information presented, but based on the dynamic nature of the curricular process, course and program information is subject to change in order to reflect the most current information available.