How (and why) do we learn about beliefs that are fundamentally different than our own? We will explore some of the basic tools that anthropology uses in approaching, describing, and interpreting culture. We will also explore the diversity of human expression across distinct religions and cultures. We will consider as wide a range of traditions as possible so that we may look comparatively at such concepts as “cosmology”, “god”, “family”, “ritual”, “myth”, “worship”, and so on. This course also provides an introductory overview of the history of anthropology as an academic discipline. It is not advisable (or, perhaps, not even possible) to endeavor to “practice/conduct anthropology” apart from some basic understanding of where anthropology emerged out of as a discipline. We will explore anthropology’s development alongside colonial and missionary efforts and discuss the history of this field within academia and discuss some ongoing challenges innate to studying cultures.