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Regular version of the site

190068 Saint Petersburg
123 Griboedov channel, Room 123

Phone:+7 (812)786-92-49 

Postal address: 
190068 Saint Petersburg
123 Griboedov channel

Department Head Adrian A. Selin
Academic Supervisor Evgeniy Anisimov
Changing Menstrual Habits in Late 20th- and Early 21st-Century Russia

Vasilyev P., Konovalova Alexandra.

Open Library of Humanities. 2023. Vol. 9. No. 1. P. 1-20.

Book chapter
Creating the Soviet Arctic, 1917–1991

Bruno A., Kalemeneva E.

In bk.: The Cambridge History of the Polar Regions. Cambridge University Press, 2023. Ch. 19. P. 462-486.

Working paper
The Image of the Past in Ciro Spontone’s ‘Historia Della Transilvania’

Khvalkov E., Levin F., Кузнецова А. Д.

Working Papers of Humanities. WP. Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2021

Аnthropology of Religion

Academic Year
Instruction in English
ECTS credits
Delivered by:
Department of History
Elective course
1 year, 1 module


Course Syllabus


Questions of religion have been central to anthropology from its beginnings and remain so today when religion (re)emerges as a global force. While the early scholarship perceived religious phenomena through the skeptical lens of secular science, recent critiques brought up anthropology’s own orthodoxies and the need for theoretical and methodological renewal. Every new paradigm took up the challenge to explain religion and its pervasiveness in human culture and society. The anthropology of religion emerged out of such creative tensions as a vibrant field of theoretical inquiry and impressive scholarship. The course is structured around major themes that shaped the study of religion
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The aim of the course is to introduce students into current theoretical debates in the filed of anthropology of religion.
  • The aim of the course is to discuss anthropological approach to the study of religion
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Students have knowledge on variety of rationalities
  • Students have understanding on how religion is present in the public sphere
  • Students know main ideas of academic debates about non-linearity of secularisation
  • Students know that religion can provide people with moral examples to follow
  • Students understand that mediation is. a crucial part of religious pracrice
  • Students understand the genealogy of the concept f religion
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Problems of definition
  • Varieties of Secularism
  • Morality, Ethics and Self-cultivation
  • Religious Temporalities and Regimes of Historicities
  • Religion, Mediation and Aesthetics s of Presence
  • Secular sensibilities in a postsecular age
  • Trading with God(s)
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking presentation of a text at the seminar, organization of discussion in class
  • non-blocking home exam - two short essays
  • non-blocking homework
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2022/2023 1st module
    0.25 * presentation of a text at the seminar, organization of discussion in class + 0.25 * homework + 0.5 * home exam - two short essays


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • James S Bielo. (2015). Anthropology of Religion: The Basics. Routledge.

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Bielo, J. S. (2016). A companion to the anthropology of religion. Social Anthropology/Anthropologie Sociale, 24(1), 103–106. https://doi.org/10.1111/1469-8676.12247