Csordas, Thomas (UCSD) – Catholicism and Global Cultures

Catholicism and Global Cultures ANSC 100
T/Th 11:00-12:20 CSB 004
Thomas J. Csordas SSB 272
Office Hours by Appointment

Tracing its history to the origins of Christianity, the Roman Catholic Church is the world’s largest religious institution and quite likely its most diverse. Although it is highly centralized and hierarchical, it has adapted to countless different cultural milieus around the world. For this reason it is an excellent example of the relation between processes of globalization and the localization of meaning, practice, ritual, and experience. This course will focus on reading ethnography about Catholicism around the world, identifying and discussing cultural differences and similarities. Grading will be based five writing assignments, each comparing two books based on 1) what they say about Catholicism, 2) what they say about the local culture, and 3) what they say about the anthropologist’s approach. Undergraduates will read selected chapters from the assigned books; graduate students will read the entire book.

Language, Charisma, and Creativity: Ritual Life in the Charismatic Renewal Thomas J. Csordas 2012 Palgrave Preface, Chapters 1-4

Occasions of Faith: An Anthropology of Irish Catholics Lawrence J. Taylor 1995 U Penn Press Preface, Chapters 1-2, 5, 7- 9

Jesus in Our Wombs: Embodying Modernity in a Mexican Convent. Rebecca Lester 2005 University of California Press Introduction, Chapters 1-3, 11-12

Gender, Catholicism, and Morality in Brazil: Virtuous Husbands, Powerful Wives. Maya Mayblin 2010 Palgrave Introduction, Chapters 1-4, Conclusion

Resurrecting Cannibals: The Catholic Church, Witchhunts and Pagans in Western Uganda Heike Behrend 2011 James Currey Introduction, Chapters 3, 6-8, 11-13

The Church of Women: Gendered Encounters between Maasai and Missionaries Dorothy Hodgson 2005 Indiana Introduction, Chapters 1, 4, 5, 7, Conclusion

Kerala Christian Sainthood: Collisions of Culture and Worldview in South India Corinne Dempsey 2001 Oxford U Press Introduction, Chapters 1-3, Conclusion

Power and Religiosity in a Post-Colonial Setting: Sinhala Catholics in Contemporary Sri Lanka R. L. Stirrat 2006 Cambridge U Press Chapters 1-4, 7, 9-10

God Aboveground: Catholic Church, Postsocialist State, and Transnational Processes in a Chinese Village Eriberto P. Lozada 2002 Stanford U Press Chapters 1-3, 5, 7, 10

Investing in Miracles: El Shaddai and the Transformation of Popular Catholicism in the Philippines Katharine L. Wiegele 2004 University of Hawaii Press Chapters 1-4, 6, Epilogue