Welcome to the Contemporary Alternative Religions Course Page

This course provides an in-depth examination of one or more forms of contemporary alternative spirituality as practiced in North America.  In order to gain understanding of these alternative spiritual movements, we will draw upon social scientific studies of these groups, as well as explore images of these groups and their religious practices in both history and popular culture. This year, we will be focusing on the religion of Spiritualism, with a focus on the theme of "Spirits, Spirit Possession, and Spirit Communication." Spirit possession and talking to the spirits of the dead represent age-old religious themes that are undergoing revitalization in the modern world, with what appears to be a mainstreaming of Spiritualist beliefs within popular culture.  This course will explore both the historical roots of Spiritualism, and the modern prevalence of Spiritualist themes in television shows such as Ghost Whisperer, Medium, and Ghost Hunters.

Click here to download a copy of the Introduction to Contemporary Alternative Religions (Religious Studies 3811) course syllabus in .pdf format.



This course is not currently being offered. Check the Religious Studies course offerings to see when it might be offered next.