The Human Cosmos

Subject 121-056 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: One 2 hour lecture and a 1 hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: 3 contact hours/week, 5.5 additional hours/week. Total of 8.5 hours per week.
Prerequisites: Usually 50 credit points of first year subjects.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Douglas Lewis


Dr Douglas Lewis

Subject Overview: This subject is an introduction to the anthropological study of religion by an examination of myth and/or ritual, with ethnographic examples drawn mainly from Pacific Rim cultures. Students who complete this subject will have acquired a grounding in the anthropological and comparative study of myth and/or ritual; a knowledge of the varieties of religious practice; a knowledge of the principal theories and methods anthropologists employ in the study of religion; and a knowledge of the relationships between cosmology and society.
  • have acquired a grounding in the anthropological and comparative study of religion;
  • have acquired a knowledge of the principal theories and methods employed by anthropologists in the analysis of myth and ritual systems;
  • have a knowledge of the range of varieties of religious experience and representation in the world's societies.
Assessment: RAn essay of 2500 words 60% (due at the start of the examination period) and three 500 word tutorial papers 40% (due the 3rd, 6th and 9th week of semester).
Prescribed Texts:
  • A book of readings will be available from the University Book Shop and online through LMS prior to the start of semester.
  • Rappaport, R.A.Ritual and Religion in the Making of Humanity
  • 1 text TBA
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • have practice in conducting research and speaking articulately;
  • have practice in writing clearly in a variety of formats and reading with attention to detail;
  • have experience of systematically evaluating a body of empirical data and identifying its theoretical context;
  • have experience of methods of critical inquiry and argument leading to improved analytical skills;
  • have acquired awareness of issues relating to cross-cultural communication.
Related Course(s): Diploma in Arts (Anthropology)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Anthropology
Anthropology & Social Theory
Anthropology and Development
Anthropology and Development
Anthropology and Social Theory
Anthropology and Social Theory

Download PDF version.