ASS233 - Myth and Ritual


2023 unit information

Enrolment modes:

Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Online, CBD*

Credit point(s): 1
EFTSL value: 0.125




Incompatible with:


Study commitment

Students will on average spend 150-hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - campus

1 x 1-hour class per week, 1 x 1-hour seminar per week

Scheduled learning activities - cloud (online)

1 x 1-hour class per week (recordings provided), 1 x 1-hour online seminar per week


*CBD refers to the National Indigenous Knowledges, Education, Research and Innovation (NIKERI) Institute; Community Based Delivery


An introduction to the anthropology of religion. The unit examines the comparative study of cosmology, myth and ritual systems and their importance in the history of anthropological thought. The unit focuses predominantly on forms, recurrent themes and cross-cultural comparisons of myth. Through the analysis of creation myths, eternal return, and the concept of mythical archetypes such as trickster and hero, the unit critically evaluates different theoretical approaches centring on concepts of mythical thought and the human unconscious. Attention then shifts to the nature of ritual and to the relationship (or not) between ritual and myth. Themes explored include sacrifice, ritual time (and eternal return), life crisis, festival and performance, trance and ritual virtuality. Through the study of these phenomena, the unit concludes with some initial propositions concerning anthropology and religious experience.

Unit Fee Information

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