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REL 261. Religious Pilgrimage. 3 Hours.

This course examines religious thought and practice through the lens of ritual theory. Students explore what various scholars in the field of religious studies and related fields (anthropology and sociology, for example) have said about rites and rituals. Primary topics of focus include the structure and role of initiation rites, the functions of communities, and the lives of religious virtuosos such as mendicants and shamans. Also considered are various types of quest and the roles these journeys play in the formation of identity. Successful completion of this course satisfies the Cultures and Peoples requirement for graduation.