What Is Religion?

Students will answer the question “what is religion?” by comparing and contrasting various religious traditions through a series of analysis papers, culminating in a final 6-10 page research paper, using the materials assigned in the course.

Students will be required to address the “elliptical” character of religion in that their definition must touch on both the social and personal/belief dimensions of religion.     What you need to include: You are free to present the information in your final paper according to your own understanding, however, you need to have the following elements  Introduction body paragraphs (Likely divided into two parts) conclusion.

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Bibliography/Works Cited page (not included in the                6-10 page minimum/limit)    Your FIRST PARAGRAPH should contain the following: Why study other religions? Provide a brief summary of the Catholic tradition’s statement on the need to study religion as stated in the document Nostra Aetate (Unit 1) What is your religious studies method? Identify the four approaches to religious studies (see: Capps)  and identify the approach you will be employing in your analysis (Unit 1)  What is religion? 

Provide a thesis statement that directly answers the prompt in the first paragraph that will be the definition of religion you will defend over the course of the paper.  How are you going to demonstrate your thesis? Provide a brief “road map” or outline that says what your paper will discuss.   

Your BODY PARAGRAPHS should employ the data gleaned from your first three analysis papers to support your thesis. Make the case for your definition of religion by comparing the various histories, beliefs, and practices of the religions you analyzed as well as one tradition discussed in the “Indigenous Traditions” and “New Religious Movements” units.

Hence your body paragraphs should support your thesis (definition of religion) by discussing the following content areas: A religion from India  A religion from East Asia  A religion from the Middle East  An Indigenous tradition  A New Religious Movement  One piece of information from one of the Religion and Society Readings  One piece of information from the Religion and Science Reading 

*NOTE: you must include a citation for each of the above, including the Capp’s and Nostra Aetate readings on your works cited page at the end of your paper. Please refer to each content area where the correct citation has been provided. So, you should have a total of at least 9 different citations on your work cited page. 

  Your CONCLUSION PARAGRAPH should  Provide a succinct summary of what you discussed in your body paragraphs. This is a “reverse road-map” of the road map you presented in the first paragraph Restate your thesis – be sure to restate the main point or the main take-away Why does it matter?/“Call to action” – lastly, connect your research to a wider issue we have discussed in class, in your local community, or in the global community.   

Formatting   Submit plagiarism check report from plagiarismdetector.net Word Document Times new roman, 11pt font  1” Margins  Name, Professor, Course, and Date in the top left corner of your paper Provide a title  Provide a work’s cited page formatted according to MLA    How to Cite an Interview In-Text citation rules Citations for Books Citations for Electronic Sources Citations for Periodicals (Including Scholarly Peer-reviewed journals)

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