Faculty of Arts

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit



Dr Lejla Voloder



  • Second semester 2016 (Day)


This unit enables students to gain understanding of what magic, ritual and spiritual beliefs means to people in the modern world. It also introduces first year students to some of the contributions that anthropologists and sociologists of magic and religion have made to knowledge of human societies.
Case studies provide a comparative understanding of rituals and associated cosmologies in a variety of sociocultural settings, from both the developing world and post-industrial settings and examine critically the cultural borders established between the fields of science and spiritual belief.
Topics include: magic's rationalities; teenage magic in the west; witchcraft in the non-west; materiality and faith; embodied experience and spirituality.


With its focus on the cultural foundations for widely-received categories (magic, science, spirituality), the unit contributes to shaping Monash students as responsible and effective global citizens with capacity to:

  1. engage in an internationalised world;
  2. exhibit cross-cultural competence.

Essay-writing and response papers are designed to provide and develop skills in critical and creative scholarship, and to inculcate the ability to:

  1. produce innovative solutions to problems;
  2. apply research skills to a range of challenges;
  3. communicate perceptively and effectively.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study