rlg280 essay instruction - RLG100Y1Y WORLD RELIGIONS...

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RLG100Y1Y W ORLD R ELIGIONS / RLG280Y1Y C OMPARATIVE W ORLD R ELIGIONS S UMMER 2011 U NIVERSITY OF T ORONTO I NSTRUCTOR : A NDRÉ M AINTENAY DUE: Outline & annotated bibliography – week of June 21 st [ in tutorial ] Final submission – July 28 th [ in person , at the beginning of class ] ESSAY INSTRUCTIONS This essay involves a current affairs analysis in religion: looking at a contemporary issue of religion and/in society. You are asked to choose a current topic of interest to you (some suggestions below), and examine how this topic is understood, approached, debated, and/or resolved within one of the religions covered in class: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Daoism, Confucianism, or Shinto. Though it is not explicitly required, you are advised to draw from a religion other than your own, or other than one connected to your own cultural background (if this is applicable); this is to a) broaden your horizons, and b) avoid the temptation to write from personal experience or faith in place of good research. Within your chosen religion, you will provide at least two different takes on the issue from different perspectives, before giving your own opinion. The essay will have four general components – these components should be integrated into one complete essay, even though you may deal with them separately. a. Briefly describe the issue, in general, and as related to your chosen religion. Give an overview and context for the issue, including the parameters of the debate. Where necessary, part of this context will be a brief consideration of the history of the issue/debate, leading to the current state. b. Find at least one source that has taken a specific position or is making a particular argument(s) about the issue from within or relating specifically to your chosen religion , and explain his/her position or argument(s) in a clear and detailed manner. Alternatively, it may be easier for you to identify a particular position on or argument about the issue, then find one or two
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