What seem to be the different teachings within the readings from the Qur’an? What stands out to you as unique about the love poems to God written by Rumi? Next, consider any preconceived ideas you may have held about Islam (from media, politicians, pop culture, social constructs, etc.). Do the primary readings from the Qur’an or Rumi support or challenge any preconceived assumptions or the popular image of Islam in the West? Why or why not?
What do you think of some of the major Eastern Religions/Philosophies (Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Shintoism, etc.,) ? What has surprised you? Which makes the most sense to you or do you think that they are so foreign to you that they don’t make any sense?
Are there other thoughts that have been stirred up in your mind as you have explored these different religious belief systems?
Please upload all assignments to the assignment dropbox link. In an emergency, you may send them to my college email in a viable WORD or PDF file. You are responsible for turning in a readable assignment. I will check all assignments through the Turnitin plagiarism checker.
Research Portfolio REL 2300
This Research Portfolio consists of ten pages that will specifically demonstrate scholarship and interaction of the material in this class.
All analysis is based on scholarship–one’s personal preferences toward the assignment may be discussed, but they are secondary to an analysis of the subject.
The following is an outline of the Portfolio:
Course number, time, semester, year
*Table of Contents (list the category, then list your specific choice)
*Pages 1-10 CONTENT
*Works Cited (Please note your library sources)
Page One: Basic summary of an Eastern Religion
Use a specific denomination. Example: Theravada Buddhism
Page Two: Biographical analysis of a religious figure
Example: Pope Francis, Mahatma Ghandi, Malala Yousafzai
Page Three: Analysis of a book
Page Four: Analysis of a movie
Page Five: Analysis of music
Page Six: Analysis of a sacramental or devotional religious practice
Example: Bar Mitzvah, communion, prayer, meditation.
Page Seven: Basic summary of a Western Religion
Use a specific denomination. Example: Methodist Christianity
Page Eight: Analysis of one interesting aspect of a religion
Example: Sacramental practice in Vedic Hinduism, Kosher practice in Judaism
Page Nine: Analysis of a current religious issue in contemporary context
Example: Christianity and marriage, Buddhism and violence in Tibet
Page Ten: Analysis of a documentary on religion or spirituality
Analysis: For each of the pages, use analysis methods derived from the classwork and the textbook. Examples include: marginalized, ethnographic, historical, linguistic, theological, text/subtext/context, iconography, symbolism, structural/post-structural/deconstruction, social, psychoanalysis, style, idealogical/world-view, hermeneutic, archetype, etc.,
Try to keep the topics manageable and relevant. Religion is not developed or practiced in a vacuum. It influences and is influenced by almost everything else found in culture—food, sexual practice and taboos, rites of passage (birth, marriage, death), entertainment (music, movies, art, literature, sports), healing arts, and understandings of the natural world. Be specific. Some broad examples: Christian expression in NASCAR; the reflection of Shinto in a piece of Japanese anime (choose one movie/book/game); Buddhism and the martial arts (choose one); Jewish history and belief in regard to tattoo body art; the Christian voice in the debate on gay marriage in the United States.
Sample ideas: Artwork, Concerts, Religious Services/Ceremonies/Events/Functions, Classes, Primary Religious Texts, contemporary books
-Use thesis statements
-Short introductions and conclusions
-Use proper grammar
-Use one inch margins and 12pt Times New Roman font, double spaced.
-Make sure to demonstrate your understanding of the content. Say what needs/deserves to be said rather than what could be said.
-Draw connections to course material: What concepts or ideas from this course can you apply to the ideas and topics you have chosen?
-Keep the topics specific, manageable and relevant. .
-List information or use bullet points
-Use emojis ?
-Give overly personal interpretations
-Use headings or subtitles (Instead, include all information in the text of your paper)
-Use long and general introductions and conclusions
-Primarily rehash classroom lectures—show initiative and research into the theme
-Use different fonts
-Use 1st or 2nd person
-Use large quotations that fill the page
Read “Paul Heck, Common Ground: Islam, Christianity, and Religious Pluralismand ” then write about the book . The book can be written from a variety of disciplinary perspectives (history, religious studies, anthropology, sociology, political science, art history, etc.) Read the book carefully and then write a 2000-word book review of the work.
The book review should include:
1. An introduction to introduces the book and offers a brief, but clearly articulated, statement of the book’s particular contribution to the understanding of Islam.
2. A summary of the book’s content, chapter by chapter or section by section (see me if you are confused about how to do this, it might be more complicated for memoirs). It should however, be in prose format. Please do NOT put this summary in outline or bullet point format!
3. A paragraph indicating the particular strengths or shortcomings you see in the book, based on your own assessment of the author’s argument and drawing upon the relevant material you may have learned in this class to make an informed assessment of the author’s work.
4. A final conclusion offering your overall assessment of the book.
It is often that the busyness and noise around us and in our lives get in the way of time spent in self-reflection, prayer, and meditation on the things of God. This exercise (worth up to 50 points) is an opportunity for you to step away from life’s distractions and into God’s presence. Sometime before the last module, please set aside a block of time (minimum 4 hours) to experience your own personal, spiritual retreat.
The purpose of this exercise is for you to spend time thinking about your foundational spiritual presuppositions and reflecting upon how they shape and inform your life. During your personal, spiritual retreat, you may choose to spend time doing all or some of the following activities:
Prayer, Lectio Divina (reading Scripture aloud), meditation, Journaling, Bible study, time in silence, worship, fasting, etc.
For your retreat, I encourage you to find a place where you will be able to spend uninterrupted time in thought and reflection. It is actually really easy to cheat yourself with this kind of an assignment. Retreating while cleaning house, washing the car, or walking the dog is not really what I have in mind here. Take the opportunity to escape the noise and busyness. This will likely be difficult because we are often self-programmed to always be doing or accomplishing something. And, I am sensitive to the reality that all of you are very busy people. The only way this will work is if you intentionally create time and space to do this for you and God. Come away to a quiet place, a park, a walking trail, a garden, an empty church pew, prayer chapel, etc. and enjoy your retreat.
For this exercise, you will create a PowerPoint presentation (minimum 10 slides include text explanation and pictures) to share with the class the where, when, what, of the main things (2-3 minimum) that you learned/experienced during your worldview retreat.
Choose one person outside of your immediate family or household to ask about creation issues. This can be a co-worker, neighbor, friend, etc. If possible, try to ask these questions of someone who you think holds different views than you do, and ask them if it is ok for you to write up their answers (without naming who they are) for this assignment.
The questions are:
Do you think that the creation account in Genesis records history?
When the Bible talks about God creating in six days, what do you think that means?
How old is the earth?
Do you think that Adam was a historical person?
What are some of the reasons why you answered the way you did on these questions?
Talk with them about their answers, and provide a 250-word (minimum) summary of their reply, along with your thoughts on this experience. A reference is not required for this discussion board.