PHIL 4903: Seminar in Religion
Seminar - 4 credits
- Requires prior completion of three philosophy or religion courses or instructor's permission.
- Description: We think we know cultural appropriation when we see it.
- Blackface, Native American headdresses, all manner of Halloween costumes—these clearly give offense.
- But what about Cardi B posing as the Hindu Goddess Durga in a Reebok ad, AA’s twelve-step invocation of God, or the earnest namaste you utter at the end of yoga class?
- In this class we will unpack the ethical dilemmas of a messy form of cultural appropriation: the borrowing of religious doctrines, rituals, and dress for political, educational, and therapeutic reasons.
- Does borrowing from another’s religion harm believers?
- Who can consent to such borrowings?
- Religion is an especially vexing arena for appropriation debates because diversity within religious groups scrambles our sense of who is an insider and who is not.
- In order to understand why some appropriations are insulting and others benign, we will have to ask difficult philosophical questions about what religions really are.
- Students will develop their own independent research projects and create public-facing ways to share their findings.
Requires prior completion of three philosophy or religion courses or instructor's permission. Show more.