Welcome to Beliefs: An Open Invitation to Anthropology of Magic, Witchcraft and Religion. This book was the combined efforts of the authors, contributors and editors who have been teaching these concepts to students for a number of years. While there are many great textbooks that teach the concepts covered in this textbook, there was a need for an Open Educational Resource (OER) for students. The success of Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology and Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology inspired this project in 2020, when the authors began curating the OER at Los Angeles Valley College. The project quickly grew over the next two years to include many talented anthropology instructors, thanks to the support and guidance of ASCCC.
How to Use This Book
Students: The material included in this book will keep you engaged and interested in the Anthropology of Religion. The contributors have included material from their own lectures that have been interesting for students in their classrooms. The core concepts discussed in the chapters are accompanied by ethnographic examples from various cultures around the world. This textbook also has accompanying audio playlists of each chapter that is available on Soundcloud, so you can listen to the material on-the-go.
Instructors: This book is designed to allow you to use the contents in their entirety or choose the topics that best fit your curriculum. The sequence of the chapters can be rearranged for class if desired, allowing you to build your own book. The textbook also has a corresponding Canvas Shell in Canvas Commons that includes teaching resources. We have also included student exercises and journal assignments to help students better understand the concepts discussed by actively engaging with the material presented. The study guides at the end of each chapter include key terms, important social theorists and other core concepts discussed within the corresponding chapter. Students can fill out the study guide as they read to better engage with and reflect on the material covered. We thank and commend you for selecting this textbook and the accompanying resources for your classroom.