For many, religion is a powerful force in their life and in society. Though there is a misconception that we live in a secular society, we can, in fact, see religion all around us. This may be the practice of religion or many aspects of culture that have been shaped by religion.
Over the course of the semester, we are going to survey religion in the context of power, gender, society, the environment and politics (to name a few topics). I would like you to take this opportunity to see that this is not something far removed, and rather a force that we can see in the worldthat this is not something abstract that can only be studies on the pages of books.
For the final essay I would like you interview someone (18 and over) about the role of religion in his or her life. For the interview prepare a few open-ended questions that will allow your interviewee to discuss their beliefs and how their beliefs shape their worldview and their daily lives. Be sure to ask questions that arent judgmental and are open ended. The interview should last roughly 30-45 minutes (at least), and should be more of a conversation. Interviews, if not someone who is in quarantine with you, may be conducted via FaceTime, Skype, phone, etc. They MAY NOT be conducted via email. In the case it can be made up but make it realistic please.
Areas for consideration: what meaning or feeling does religion and religious community hold for the person? What role does it play in their lives as individuals, a group, and members of society?
How does the religious ideology of the group shape their worldview, moral beliefs, and their identity? How are these beliefs communicated symbolically and literally? How are these beliefs enacted and how does this give them emotional power? Are they part of a community? How is their community organized? What role does the community play in their life? How do their religious community and beliefs relate to society more broadly? ***How do their religion and beliefs support or challenge course material? Explain.
These are just a few questions for consideration.
****Once you have conducted the interview please write a coherent and cohesive essay that explores the role of religion and how religion functions based on the interview. You must have a thesis. And, you must engage course material. You will not be able to include everything that you discussed, but focus on the few points that really stuck out, or shaped the conversation. Be sure that you share what religion the person practices, and some information about the interviewee and their community.
Your essay should be 4-5 double-spaced pages, in Times New Roman, 12-point font, with 1 margins.
Essays will be graded for (1) whether or not the issue/question is addressed; (2) sophistication of response (degree of comparison/contrast; original thinking and drawing of conclusions rather than mere summary and regurgitation); (3) the organization, presentation of your essay, clarity of writing (proof read!), and carefulness of presentation (proof read!). Again, you must have a thesis.