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Assignment Questions

Comparative Religions

This paper is supposed to be of individual religious preference but I do not have one so choose your own or write as if you interviewed someone. Here are the details for this essay. The book for this class is Experiencing the World’s Religions
5th Edition
by Michael Molloy
? 2010 McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Chapter 1: Understanding Religion

Homework: Reflection Essay

This assignment is due in Week 2 of the course. Scholars conclude that what we ordinarily call religion manifests to some degree the following eight elements: 1) a belief system; 2) community; 3) central myths; 4) rituals; 5) an ethical system; 6) emotional experiences; 7) material expressions of religion; and 8) sacredness. This paper will have two parts:

1. Examine to what extent your religious beliefs fall into this pattern. Do some elements have more weight than others? If you do not have a belief system, interview someone who does and examine their belief system. Provide enough details to support your answer.

2. Then examine one of the “new religions” or alternative paths that are seen in today’s world and apply the same analysis to their beliefs. Do some elements have more weight than others? Are some totally absent? Provide enough details to support your answer.

For the purposes of this paper we will consider the following to be New Religious Movements: Scientology, Falun Gong, Cao Dai, Wicca and Druidism, the Yoruba Tradition (Santer?a, Voodoo, and Candombl?), Rastafarianism, etc. Feel free to choose among one of these alternatives or another approved by your instructor.

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