Religious Myth and Ritual Essay: Overview
For this assignment you will compose a well-organized Religious Myth and Ritual Essay. Your paper must contain a relevant thesis statement which is subsequently argued and supported in the body of the paper. While there are no definitive answers in this type of paper, your writing must reflect knowledge about the course themes and motifs and include information gained from both lecture and course readings.
Each paper must be between 4 and 6 pages in length, not including headings (name, date, class etc.) Each must be in a 12-point font, double spaced, and with 1” margins.
Religious Myth and Ritual Essay: Prompt
In many ways, this course has been about the contested nature of what we can call, “the American religious experience” and how various religious and ethnic communities encounter and perform myth and ritual. This term paper requires you to engage critically with this idea by answering the following prompt.
Choose one or two of the four communities we’ve studied. Describe the intersections of their ethnic and religious identities in answering the question, “What is the “American Religious Experience?” In answering this question, you might consider how the American religious experience might be mythological or ritualistic. In other words, what do American myths say about American identity? How are they universal and how might they be experienced differently by different communities and traditions in America? Additionally, how might the myths and rituals of a given community reflect a cultural response to the dominant American culture.
Religious Myth and Ritual Essay: Description
Religious Myth and Ritual Essay will introduce students to the academic, non-sectarian study of religion and the way religion functions in American society and consciousness. This course grapples with conceptions of myth as narratives which shape cultural experience and identity as well as the prevalence of ordered ritual behavior within sacred contexts. Additionally, RLST12 will examine theoretical concepts critical to the academic study of religion including but not limited to: religious formation, sacrifice, identity constriction, purity and sacredness.
RLST12 is a cross listed ethnic studies course and ethnic expressions of religious culture form a key component of this course’s curriculum. Religion in America is inexorably interwoven with conceptions of race and ethnicity. As such RLST12 critically examines the many intersections between religion, race and gender by approaching religious culture through the experiences of Indigenous, Latin, Asian and Black Americans. In so doing it also critically addresses systemic oppression and discrimination aimed at religious minority communities and their religious practices.
Religious Myth and Ritual Essay: Course Overview
Course Learning Objectives:
- Students will demonstrate an ability to systematically explore and analyze the course materials and apply their conclusions to course themes of American religion, society and ethnicity.
- Students will develop and demonstrate an understanding of the multivariate religious and cultural landscape in America and their application of everyday life.
- Students will interrogate the ways in which American society itself can be considered religious, and to explore how ethnic and religious minority communities use myth and ritual to navigate their place within the larger society.
- Students will display strong written communication techniques in performance of written assignments and assessments.
- Introduction to Religious Studies
- Indigenous Religion in America
- Latin American Religion
- Asian American Religion
- Black American Religion
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