Catholic Anthropology

, Spencer Irvine, Leave a comment

The theology at the Catholic University of America, the only college in the United States chartered by the Vatican, may be doctrinally sound but its anthropology courses border on the pagan.

Consider this sampling culled from CUA’s catalogue:

ANTH 136 – Magic, Witchcraft & Religion
3.0 Credit Hours, Arts & Sciences, Anthropology

Relationships between magic and religion, witchcraft, sorcery, and the occult; taboo, power and the powers, divination, and healing; shamans and divine kings; cargo cults and messianic movements; voodoo and secret societies. Two hours of lecture and one hour of discussion per week. Summer sessions only.


ANTH  202 – Sex & Culture in Modern World
3.0 Credit Hours, Arts & Sciences, Anthropology

This course examines sex and gender issues in societies around the world that have been brought into the web of the modern world. It focuses on the creation, maintenance, and change of cultural differences in gender; the work of culture in sexuality; and equality and inequality between the sexes in different societies. It examines our own commonsense understanding and practices, and the various critical stances of “feminism.”


ANTH  315 – Globalization and the Culture of Capitalism
3.0 Credit Hours, Arts & Sciences, Anthropology

This course addresses the key elements of the culture of capitalism, examines its historical emergence, and analyzes some of the social, economic, and environmental consequences of its expansion in our globalizing world.


ANTH  218 – End of Nature? Environmental Degradation in a Globalizing Society
3.0 Credit Hours, Arts & Sciences, Anthropology

Environmental degradation in the form of the deforestation of tropical forests, the agricultural use of marginal lands, soil erosion, overfishing, overgrazing, and declines in the yields of American agriculture is an urgent and growing concern in this world of shrinking resources. This course will draw on current approaches in ecological, cognitive, and development anthropology. Case material will come from the tropical forests of Brazil, the Midwest of the United States, the mountains of the Andes and the Himalayas, the Sahel region of West Africa and the seas of North America and South Asia.


ANTH  260 – Religion, Thought and Moral Imagination
3.0 Credit Hours, Arts & Sciences, Anthropology

What do non-western religions tell about the social nature, context, and reference of cultural idioms of interpretation, symbolism, religious movements?  This course also examines how religious belief and practice fare in situations of contact, modernization, and contemporary globalization.


ANTH  366 – Identity & Community in America
3.0 Credit Hours, Arts & Sciences, Anthropology

What does “American” mean for the lives of people in the US, what makes these meanings “American”, and how do Americans use these meanings? The course examines how meanings are organized in myths, rituals, and public discourses; settings where meanings are used, contested, and negotiated in new social movements, Congress and courts, communities, ethnicity and race, families and kinship, violence and its aftermath, and the media.


Spencer Irvine is a staff writer at Accuracy in Academia.
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