1. Select ONE (1) category from the completed World View Chart, e.g., “Cosmogony,” “Human Nature,” “Salvation” — NOT a particular religion. Provide a rationale for choosing this category. What is compelling about this category? Why is it important in the study of religion?
2. Describe the selected content and explain the significance of the selected category across ALL of the religions studied. Show in what ways the category is significant for each religion.
3. Give an example of how you have noticed this category in your life, town or country. What impact does this category have in the everyday lives of people who practice religion in your area? (You do not have to give examples of all the religions in your area, just one you have noticed besides any you practice). For example, in Cincinnati, Ohio, there are Hindu, Greek Orthodox, Catholic festivals in the summer. So if my category were “Festivals and Celebrations” I could use those events as my example.
4. Use at least three (3) quality resources as references for the assignment and document your sources using APA Style for in-text citations and references. Note: Wikipedia and similar Websites do NOT qualify as quality resources.
5. Write clearly and coherently using correct grammar, punctuation, spelling, and mechanics.
of those things need to be addressed! The following are additional suggestions / hints for doing a good job on this paper:
In relation to #2 above, Your paper should reflect the FULL RANGE of the religions we have studied, but it should NOT just go through each religion in order. Look at the variety of ways your category has expressed itself in the range of religions, and identify some meaningful ways of organizing your paper. For example, if you were using the category “nature of the Sacred,” you will see that some traditions (e.g., many Indigenous religions, some forms of Daoism, Jainism) view the Sacred primarily as a non-personal “force” or “spirit”; some traditions (e.g., Judaism, Christianity) view the Sacred as One God with “personal” characteristics; some speak of the Sacred as One God who is described more “non-personally” (e.g., Islam, Sikhism); some traditions view the Sacred in terms of multiple gods, which nonetheless are united in some way (theistic Daoism, Hinduism); some traditions view the Sacred as a non-personal framework to which all things need to become aligned (e.g., Buddhism). [The descriptions used in this example are just ONE of many ways this particular category could be divided up.] The key thing is that you cover the various ways your category gets expressed and dealing with all the religious traditions, even though you might cover multiple religions that share certain features.
If you happen to be dealing with either the Rituals category or the Festivals category, do NOT just rattle off a list of things. Are there particular types of Rituals or Festivals that seem to recur, regardless of religious tradition? What TYPES of rituals or festivals seem to recur; why?? Finding and organizing your paper around those is helpful.
Recognize that a particular category may not be particularly significant for a specific religious tradition. For example, the category of “afterlife” tends to be relatively unimportant in Buddhism, and (generally speaking) it is FAR less important in Judaism than it is in Christianity and Islam. Whenever you encounter that, make certain that you point that out, and explain why that may be the case.
As you work on the paper, try to push yourself to detect wider patterns related to your category. What do you learn about humanity and about the role of religion by paying attention to your particular category? You might want to review the first chapter in your textbook, and think about your category in relation to the material found there.
Notice that you need to be using academic-quality resources for your paper (beyond just the textbook), and providing a full bibliography in APA format. Books on the nature of religion can be especially helpful; often there are whole chapters dealing with particular categories.
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