A study of cultures often extends into the underlying religions of the world, since many of the beliefs of the people are embedded in their art work and cultural icons. Below is a brief survey of some of today’s religions. This is not an exhaustive list.
Choose two very different religions or philosophies from the selection below, that are NOT your religion. Avoid 2 of the same types, like two Christian or Islamic sects.
Anglicanism 20. Mormon
Aztec 21. Native North American – Shamanism
Baha’i Faith 22. Protestantism
Buddhism 23. Russian Orthodox
Catholicism 24. Safavid
Celtic 25. Scientology
Confucianism 26. Shi-ite / Shi-a Muslim
Coptic 27. Shintoism
Druidism 28. Sikhism
Ancient Egypt Polytheism 29. Sunni Muslim
Episcopalian 30. Taoism / Daoism
Fatimide 31. Toltec
Greco-Roman Polytheism 32. Unitarianism
Greek Orthodox 33. Viking / Norse Mythology
Hinduism 34. Voudou
Jainism 35. Wicca
Judaism 36. Yoruba mythology
Lutheranism 37. Zoroastrianism
Research your religions and provide a contrasting summary in bullet point format. Use relevant books; go beyond internet sites.
You could include:
Creation stories Symbols / icons
Time periods Location, region
Central deity or deities, (prophets) General belief system
# of followers today What happens after this life?
Major holidays, celebrations, festivals
-Explain and expand on these – purpose, traditions, when, why, how?
(not all holidays – one or two of the most important)
Sins or prohibited activities
Icons and their uses, meanings or significance
Avoid simple lists – expand and explain significant holidays or festivals. How and when are they celebrated? What rituals are associated with them?
A good paper includes editing down to relevant facts, not simply a restatement of everything found in your research.
Incorporate at least 3 pertinent images of iconography for each religion; more if necessary. Identify the significance and common use of each. What do they symbolize? (Churches and photographs of people are not motifs or icons.) Images should be incorporated into your text, not stand-alone images at the end. Images should be icons, not merely artifacts.
Your paper must conclude with an insightful page that is devoted to a relevant and revealing comparison and contrast of both religions. Include a personal statement that reveals a reflection or connection.
Include a comment on inclusivity, diversity and / or gender equality.
Cite several points for comparison.
This should ultimately include your own reasoned and rational point of view.
Add a personal statement or opinion. Perhaps compare them to your own religion
Be prepared to briefly discuss the most interesting part of your research in class!
Plagiarism includes the use of sentence fragments. Avoid the possibility of plagiarism. Synthesize and summarize your research in your own words.
3 – 5 images of motifs or icons associated with each religion – minimum of 6 iconic images
Images are large enough to be recognizable and identifiable
All images should be cited
Name and use of each icon
Meaning or significance of each icon
Images should be incorporated into and identified in your paper
Body of Paper – Content
Central deity or deities, (prophets)
Major holidays, celebrations, festivals
General belief system
# of followers today _____/15
Compare and contrast paragraph
Proper compare and contrast of customs
Relevant, well thought out, rational conclusion (not just opinion)
Add a personal comment / perspective ______/10
Quality of Research (at least 50% books)
Explain uncommon terms, deities, practices
Bibliography – at least 3 references _____/5
Bullet points for comparison, narrative for conclusion
Readability / style
Spell check, grammar, punctuation
Well organized, Rubric included _____/5
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