So my friend MooSe decided he wanted to take this class, even though it was not directly a part of the program that he is enrolled in. His reasoning was that it would better help him in the Funeral Director program because it would give him insight in to other religions and cultures. So, when I decided I wanted to take as many of the General Education classes with him that I could, I signed up even though I was not sure I wanted or cared about what the class was about. Look, my midlife crisis wanted to harken back to High School and since I had made a really cool new friend in the Spring Semester, I decided to just enroll.
The teacher had me the first day of class, because of her personality and salty language. She is the department head and I think it might be why I like the class and her so much. The problem is that the reading is dry to me and I am not retaining as much of it as I truly want to. So I decided to try and blog about the class, the content, my feelings and experiences related to it.
We are about four weeks in to the semester and I have already learned some interesting things from this course! Anthropology uses scientific like principles of observation and documentation along with active participation to look at religious beliefs using a holistic approach without any opinion as to the truthfulness or validity of said beliefs. The first thing I learned was that many people often misuse the term holistic especially when it comes to herbal and other forms of “medicine.” Holistic just means encompassing the whole and very few of them really and truly do, but enough about that. The most important part of the comment above about anthropology to me was that it does not care or judge the validity or truthfulness of a religion and rather is more interested in why these beliefs formed and how they are observed by the individuals. Anthropology is the study of the diversity of humanity and anthropology’s study of religion could be seen as a study of the diversity of religion because within any given religion there are often multiple groups with various differences in how they believe and how that is reflected in their daily lives and worship. Anthropology wants to know how many religions there are, and how many different groups there are within each main religion. What is similar and different between religions and sub-groups, what relationships exist between the various sub-groups and what role does the local culture play on the religion?
So ends the first chapter of the textbook and the concepts of the first week of class