Anthropology of Religions
Cod: 41009
Department: DCSG
Scientific area: Anthropology
Total working hours: 156
Total contact time: 15

This course is designed to study the specific religious phenomenon from the point of view of the social sciences and, more particularly, of the anthropology.

The uniqueness of the anthropological, sociological or historical approach of religion is to trying to explain religious experiences in the context of social, cultural and political relations. If the mentioned social sciences strive increasingly to think the issue of socio - cultural diversity, anthropology plays a crucial role in this kind of approach, which is essential in the context of contemporary societies marked by religious and cultural conflict and also the renewal of religiosity from a critical analysis of the religious phenomenon and various anthropological  point of view on religion.



Students should be able to:
•    Understand the specific approach of anthropology in relation/ respect to religion.

•    Recognize the diversity of religious practices and its role in the social and cultural from this  point of view.
•    Develop the capacity to reflet and criticize on subjects of scientific relevance and citizenship.


1.    Anthropology  of religions:

1.1    Definition of the objet of study
1.2    Overview of religion in anthropology:debates and  issues

2.    Anthropology of Religions and religious practice
2.1    Ritual diversity and ethnographic contexts
2.2    Religions, power and social order

3.    Anthropology of religions and actual challenges
3.1    Tradition and modernity
3.2    Conflicts and religious and cultural tensions

Douglas, Mary,1991 Pureza e Perigo - ensaio sobre a noção de poluição e tabu, Lisboa, Edições 70.
Eliade, Mircea. 1999. O sagrado e o profano. A Essência das Religiões. Lisboa, Livros do Brasil.
Geertz, Clifford. 1978. “A religião como sistema cultural”, In A interpretação das culturas, Rio de Janeiro, Zahar.

Hervieu – Léger, Danielle. 2005. - O peregrino e o convertido. A religião em movimento, Lisboa, Gradiva.
Mbembe, Achille,2013. África Insubmissa – Cristianismo, poder e Estado na sociedade pós -colonial. Edições Pedago.

Obadia, Lionel. 2011. Antropologia das Religiões, Lisboa, Edições 70
Carmo, António, 2001, Antropologia das Religiões, Lisboa, Universidade Aberta.

- In the online classroom it will be provided specific bibliography for each theme.



Continuous assessment is privileged: 2 digital written documents (e-folios) during the semester (40%) and a final digital test, Global e-folio (e-folio G) at the end of the semester (60%). In due time, students can alternatively choose to perform one final exam (100%).