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SOC 279 Magic, Science & Religion and Mystical Prague Business, Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Program Summer 2019 June 9-Week 3 Course - Prague

Flight Credit Get a Flight Credit worth up to $1,000 when you apply with code* by February 17, 2023

SOC 279 Magic, Science & Religion and Mystical Prague

SOC 279 Magic, Science & Religion and Mystical Prague Course Overview


CEA Partner Institution: Anglo-American University
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Primary Subject Area: Sociology
Instruction in: English
Course Details: Level 200
Recommended Semester Credits: 3
Contact Hours: 42
Additional Fee: $35.00
Additional Fee Description:* An additional course fee of approximately CZK 800 is charged to cover expenses associated with this course. Amount in USD is estimated and is subject to change based on exchange rate.


This interactive course explores science, magic, and religion as socio-cultural phenomena. It will take students on a critical historical journey exploring the development of science as a Western discipline in the specific environment of medieval, post-medieval and modern Europe, with a special focus (but not only) on Prague. It will further examine the ever evolving relationship between science and non-Western and non-Christian cosmologies.

Starting with the Pre-Enlightenment mind-set prior to 1700 and taking it up to the 21st century, the course examines the process of forming and re-forming and defining and re-defining rationality and scientific inquiry while designating certain activities and elements as essential and "correct" and repudiating others as magical, irrelevant, and even harmful. The additional focus within the framework of the course is the formation process of modern objective religion. The discussion will include a critical examination of the impact that the division of religion, science, and magic has had on the way non-Western/non-industrial societies have been treated and their value systems have been assessed in modern history.

Special attention will be paid to Prague. This is because in the course of medieval and early modernity Prague was a cultural center where magic, religion, and science met in a variety of complimentary and conflicting ways. The course will take students across the city on a historical trip tracing the development of science as a Western discipline in the environment of Renaissance and early modern Europe. In this time Prague hosted an array of important proponents of astrology, alchemy, religious revolution, and early science. These included astrologists and astronomers Johannes Kepler and Tycho de Brahe, alchemists of the Rudolphine times, such as Edward Kelley and John Dee, and Catholic Reformists, such as Jan Hus and Master Jerome of Prague. The discussion will include a critical examination of the impact that the development of the concepts of religion, science, and magic in Prague has had on both Central European and global social history.

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