Magic, Science, and Religion (COMPLIT 290A, COMPLIT 390A, FRENCH 290, FRENCH 390, ITALIAN 390)
With the rise of the human sciences in the later nineteenth century, "magic," "science," and "religion" came to be understood as entirely separate domains, with different versions of truth and divergent methods of inquiry. But how has this division broken down in the past 150 years? How is it, for example, that other people's religion is "merely magic"? How does science still draw on religious categories, in particular to claim the universe is meaningful? How have new forms of magic shaped new age, global culture? We will examine these questions by pairing literary texts with readings from anthropology, history of science, religious studies, and cultural criticism. This course is taught in English.