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ANT2005 Anthropology of Religion and Belief: Practices, Contexts and Diversity

Semester 1, 2013 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Arts
School or Department : School of Humanities and Communication
Version produced : 21 July 2014

Contents on this page


Examiner: Lara Lamb
Moderator: Bryce Barker


Pre-requisite: ANT1001


Religion is one of the principal cultural phenomena in which humans participate. It informs significant global events, as well as the everyday detail of people’s lives. As the holistic study of human kind, anthropology is particularly concerned with examining religion and belief itself, and also how it impacts on other social and cultural institutions.


This course presents a theoretical analysis of religion and belief as cultural phenomena. Through the study of diverse, local perspectives on religion and belief, this course guides students in recognising the connections between various social and cultural institutions. It explores the dynamics of religion and magic in human societies through comparative studies of elements, forms and symbolism in systems of religion and belief.


On successful completion of this course, students should be able to demonstrate:

  1. a knowledge and understanding of relevant concepts, theories, and examples;
  2. an ability to understand and critically evaluate relevant professional literature;
  3. an ability to engage in Anthropological research on relevant topics, and to report in an effective way.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Theoretical contexts to religion and belief 20.00
2. Religion and self 20.00
3. Diversity of practices 20.00
4. Religion and society 20.00
5. Diversity of contexts 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • ANT2005 Introductory Book/Study Guide.
  • Bowen, John R 2011, Religions in practice: an approach to the anthropology of religion, 5th edn, Pearson Publishing, Boston.
  • Moro, P. and J. Myers 2012, Magic, Witchcraft and Religion: a reader in the anthropology of religion, 9th edn, McGraw Hill, NY.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Bowie, Fiona 2006, The anthropology of religion: an introduction, 2nd edn, Blackwell, Oxford.
  • Kehoe, Alice 2000, Shamans and religion: an anthropological exploration in critical thinking, Waveland Press, Prospect Height, III.
  • Klass, M and Weisgrau, M (eds) 1999, Across the boundaries of belief: contemporary issues in the anthropology of religion, Westview Press, Boulder, Colo.
  • Klass, Morton 1995, Ordered universes: approaches to the anthropology of religion, Westview Press, Boulder, Colo.
  • Lambeck, Michael 2002, A reader in the anthropology of religion, Blackwell, Malden, MA.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Lectures 13.00
Private Study 66.00
Project Work 60.00
Tutorials or Workshops 26.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ONLINE TUTORIAL PRESENTATION 20 20 15 Apr 2013 (see note 1)
ESSAY (2500-3000 WORDS) 30 30 24 May 2013
ONLINE TUTORIAL PARTICIPATION 10 10 07 Jun 2013 (see note 2)
EXAMINATION 40 40 End S1 (see note 3)

  1. Assignment Description: Online Tutorial Presentation. (approx 1500 words).
  2. Assignment Description: Online Tutorial Participation. Tutorial participation is defined as ongoing contribution to discussions.
  3. Students will be advised of the exam date when the timetable has been finalised.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this external course. However, it is the student's responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To successfully complete an individual assessment item, a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. This statement must be read in conjunction with Statement 4 below.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without extenuating circumstances and without prior approval, then a penalty of a maximum of 5% of the assigned mark may apply for each working day late, up to a maximum of 10 working days, at which time a mark of zero can be recorded for that assignment.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade, a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    The exam for this course is a CLOSED EXAMINATION, and candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any deferred or supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. (a) The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner. (b) Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if requested by the Examiner. (c) In accordance with University's Assignment Extension Policy (Regulation 5.6.1), the examiner of a course may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances such as documented ill-health. (d) In the event that a due date for an assignment falls on a local public holiday in their area, such as a Show holiday, the due date for the assignment will be the next day. Students are to note on the assignment cover the date of the public holiday for the examiner's convenience. (e) Students who do not have regular access to postal services or who are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements. (f) Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in the course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of the course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded the temporary grade: IM (Incomplete-Makeup). An IM grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non-directed personal study. (g) Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or sit for an examination at the scheduled time, may apply to defer an assessment in the course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded: IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  2. Students may be assigned an "Incomplete" grade to signify that all the requirements of the course have not yet been met. Students who are graded "I" can pass the course by successfully completing such additional work as prescribed by the examiner by a given date. Students who have been awarded an IM, ISM, IDM or IDB grade must access information regarding further work to be completed, in the Student Centre of U Connect. The Grades Page in the Student Centre contains information about further work to be completed. Students who have not completed the additional work to the satisfaction of the examiner by the given date will receive the appropriate Failing grade.