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You will read a number of important scholar’s work this week. Russell McCutcheon is a philosopher of religion and is considered one of the foremost authorities on the study of religion. He is often the editor of edited volumes and introductory textbooks for graduate and undergraduate students alike. Robert Winzeler was cultural anthropologist that specialized in religion, psychology, and Southeast Asia. Winzeler is best known for his undergraduate textbookAnthropology and Religion: What We Know, Think, and Question, which I extracted two chapters for your reading this week. Winzeler raises some great questions that I want you all to be thinking about despite whether or not you agree with the answers he gives (I find his answers disagreeable myself). Lastly, you will be reading Colin Renfrew who is a very important archaeologist whose work has gone a long way to dismiss earlier scholarly assumptions regarding the “religions” of prehistoric peoples.
Do these three authors you read for this week agree or disagree as to what religion is, and is religion something all human beings possess or need to possess to be human? What do the authors write about regarding these questions and where in the reading do they write it? How do these questions challenge your previously held assumptions regarding religion, if at all? Why, or why not?
You have five hundred words to fashion a post that addresses one or more of these questions and hopefully articulates something else you found interesting from this week’s readings.
McCutcheon’s, “What is the Academic Study of Religion?” on
Winzeler’s “Anthropology and Religion” on Blackboard
Renfrew’s “Archaeology of Religion” on Blackboard