Looking at Religion on the Ground

1390 [CRN: 25235]

Literate religions are still too often studied almost exclusively on the basis of their formal—usually canonical—literature and the textual products of their elite and learned representatives. While useful, this utilizes only a narrow band of possible sources and excludes too often what religious people, from commoner to king, actually do or make or see. To get at these things more closely, other kinds of sources must be used: archeological, inscriptional, art historical and architectural. The seminar will read and discuss a wide range of scholarly works that have used these kinds of sources and watch how they can change our understanding.
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