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Religion Discussion Essay Paper Assignment
Your second (and the last) essay is on the three major questions the course explores (a. Who is God? b. Who are we? c. How do we relate?).
We’ll do preparation for this in class, and I have posted suggested prep for this in Modules under the “Assessments” heading, titled “Helpful links for your 2nd essay.” Please take a look at this and make sure you know well in advance which religions and which scriptures you’ll be using for your essay.
The same rubric and guidelines that were used for Essay 1 apply to Essay 3, such as sources, good academic writing, footnotes, formatting, etc. Make sure you’re looking at the rubric as you prepare your essay so you know how you’re graded and what I prioritize when grading.
For this essay, your general theme is two of these questions: a. Who is God? b. Who are we? c. How do we relate? (The “we” refers to practitioners of the faith in question, and the “how do we relate” means how do we relate to other humans, such as those who do not share our faith.) Choose two of these questions, and choose three religions that we have studied so far or will be studying in the coming weeks, at least one “Eastern” religion (among Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, Hinduism) and at least one “Western” religion (Judaism, Christianity, Islam). You must use primary sources (the scriptures of the religions) to answer the two questions, in addition to at leas three secondary scholarly/academic sources that engage those questions and scriptures.
You have only 4 pages to make your point, so use that space wisely and intelligently.
Don’t hesitate to ask me questions or seek clarifications, and please do not wait until the last minute to ask your questions.
Guidelines & Rubric
SOURCES: You must cite at least 3 sources. Your sources must be scholarly and reliable, not random facts or articles from the internet. The people you cite must be experts on, or otherwise have the credentials to talk about, the issues you’re citing them for. You may use only ONE news report (and it does not count towards the 3 required scholarly sources) if you cannot find evidence for a certain statement or claim in any scholarly readings.
CITATIONS: You can use any citation style that you prefer as long as you’re consistent throughout. No in-text citations, however; only footnotes. Your works cited page must be the last page (does not count towards the 3.5-4 pg length requirement). If you’re not familiar with footnoting, here’s an intro: https://politics.ucsc.edu/undergraduate/chicago%20style%20guide.pdf (Links to an external site.) (pg 2 offers guidance). Note that the footnote reference isn’t the same as the bibliography reference.)
LENGTH: 3.5-4 pages maximum, double-spaced. No less than 3.5 pages, no more than 4 full pages. Standard margins (1 in.) and fonts (12pt).
The following should help you write your third essay. Of course, you can cite/discuss any of the passages from the scriptures textbook that you find helpful as well.
Creation & relations with humans:
on origins of the world – basically, don’t waste time thinking about the origins of the world: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.077.than.html#fn-2
Who’s the Buddha? http://www.tipitaka.net/tipitaka/dhp/verseload.php?verse=179
Continue on to verses 180-195 (verse numbers are located on the panel at the right side of the page)
Who are we (i.e., what does it mean to be a Buddhist) & how do we relate to other people:
http://www.tipitaka.net/tipitaka/dhp/index.php (on the right side of the page, you will see verse numbers from different books – click them (e.g., verse number 5 from Yamakavagga) for specific teachings about relating with other humans, or other verses (e.g., verse 26 from Appamadavagga) for more specific teachings on what it means to be a follower of Dhamma/the Buddha/Buddhist teachings
These two verses, about treating others, are called the twin verses: http://www.tipitaka.net/tipitaka/dhp/verseload.php?verse=001 & http://www.tipitaka.net/tipitaka/dhp/verseload.php?verse=002
The “twin verses” in more details: http://www.buddhanet.net/dhammapada/d_twin.htm
Creator/creation: http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rigveda/rv10129.htm & http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rigveda/rv10190.htm (Rig Veda, Book 10, verses 129 & 190)
The creator? Rg. Veda Book 10, verse 190 – on the Purusha (figure out what this means by reading this passage): http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rigveda/rv10090.htm
Other passages in Book 10 may be helpful as well – feel free to look through them: http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rigveda/index.htm
From the Brihadarankya Upanishad, 4.1: https://www.hinduwebsite.com/sacredscripts/hinduism/upanishads/brihad.asp#adh4
The Bhagavad Gita, chs. 1-18: https://www.vedabase.com/bg/ (the titles give away the main theme of the chs – e.g., ch. 7 is about the “Absolute”: https://www.vedabase.com/en/bg/7)
Relations with others: http://www.indiana.edu/~p374/Analects_of_Confucius_(Eno-2015).pdf (The Analects). Book 4 is useful for understanding how one is supposed to behave and relate with others.
The creator/originator & human virtue/relations with others: from the Daodejing: http://www.sacred-texts.com/tao/taote.htm
Judaism & Christianity:
Creation/Creator: Genesis 1 & 2, Job 38-42; Psalm 104 (these are available at: http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/tan/index.htm, or go to https://www.biblegateway.com/ and type in the book name and number in the search bar, and for consistency’s sake, choose the New Revised Standard Version translation
Human relations / laws: Exodus 20:1-17; Deuteronomy 5:6-25 & Exodus 20:22-23:33) (Note: this last passage means the Book of Exodus from chapter 20, verse 22 until chapter 23 verse 33)
Christianity only: John 1.1-18; Romans 8; and Colossians 1.15-20 in the New Testament (https://www.biblegateway.com/); Two sermons of Jesus: Matthew 5-7 & Luke 6: 12-49; Paul and the law: Romans 1:8-23; Romans 12:1-13:14; Galatians 3
Note that Genesis 1 means the book of Genesis, chapter 1 (the whole chapter). Job 38-42 means the Book of Job, chapters 38-42. John 1.1-18 means the Book of John chapter 1, verses 1-18.
Note: There are a lot of websites that you can use to read the Qur’an on, but you want to prioritize those that offer multiple translations. Sometimes the translations make a difference and sometimes they don’t. One such suggestion is: http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp (you have to click next until the chapter finishes or you can scroll from the top where it says “verse” to keep going to the next verse). You can also simply google the chapter and verse number(s) we’re reading, but be careful about what context the verses are being shared in – there are a lot of racist/Islamophobic/anti-Islam websites out there.
A website that’s easy to navigate but the translator isn’t noted (that’s fine) is: https://www.clearquran.com/ (the default page is the first ch. of the Qur’an)
Chapter 1 (al-Fatiha, “the opening”) & chapter 112 (al-ikhlas, literally “sincerity” but also often referred to as the monotheism chapter, the chapter of unity (God’s unity, that is))
Also: chapter 112 of the Qur’an: https://www.clearquran.com/112.html
Chapter 2:1-91 (chapter 2, verses 1-91): https://quran.com/2
Ch. 109: https://www.clearquran.com/109.html
Creation in the Qur’an:
– 21:30-35 (creation of heaven/earth); 22:47 (1 day with God); 32:4-10 (process of human creation)
– 50:38 (heaven and earth created in 6 days; God doesn’t get tired)
– 51:47 (creation of heaven/earth, expansion of universe, living things in pairs)
– 7:11-27 (creation of Adam, dialogue between God & Satan re Adam).
– 38:71-85 (creation of humans, fall from heaven, dialogue between God & Satan).
Ch. 17: https://www.clearquran.com/017.html – God, human relations
Religion Discussion Essay Paper Assignment
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