Week 3: POWER or AUTHORITY (20 points – due SUN 10/29 – minimum word count 350). Based on all assigned reading in Week 3.
For full credit, this assignment requires:
- A basic heading including your full name, the assignment title, and the date, in an Microsoft Word document.
- Category heading–no other title or subheading (e.g. for CA 1: IDENTITY).
- A thesis (FIRST) sentence that contains some permutation of the category you are analyzing. For instance, if you are writing about IDENTITY and I don’t see those words or some permutation of them in the first sentence, you will not make above a B on this paper. Make sure this sentence makes sense and that it introduces the main examples you want to write about. Avoid general statements about the category you are analyzing.
- Use the assigned category throughout your analysis and use bold text to highlight those words.
- Specificity. For full credit, locate yourself in time and place somewhere in the first two sentences. Beyond that, you must avoid all vague statements. Be specific and give examples.
- Focus on religion in America. I don’t want to read any general, vague statements about identity or authority or human bodies (etc.) in general. We are studying religion in a particular context, so everything you write should have to do with religion in America.
- Precisely ONE quote from Morone–no more–is required. You may also quote precisely once from Pasquier, if you wish. Other than that, paraphrase and cite with the author’s last name and the page number on which the quote is found. (Example: (Morone, p. 107). As another example, if you use the Kindle edition of a textbook, cite both quotes and paraphrases like this: (Morone, Kindle Location 2351). NOTE: That parenthetical citation belongs INSIDE the period that closes your sentence.
- Omit reflections about your reading process. (Example: I do NOT want to read things like, “While I was reading the chapters in Morone this week, I thought…”
- Omit personal opinions.
- College-level writing. (See for one guide to the definition of “college-level writing.”)
- Substance. Shallow and or vague will get you a D. Give specific substantive examples.
- Focus on the assigned category as the main framework for your analysis. (Those words must occur multiple times in your analysis.)
- Thoughtful analysis, clarity of argument, depth of insight.
- No rhetorical questions or obvious questions that you should know the answers to if you have read the textbook/s.
- Essay format. Absolutely NO bullet points.
- Complete, coherent sentences.
- No run-on sentences.
- Proper spelling and grammar.
- No personal opinions. You may use I, but not to express an opinion.
- No theological statements.
- Submission as an MS Word attachment in Blackboard in the relevant SUBMIT folders. I will not accept any other format. If you submit this assignment in an OpenOffice, Google Docs, Pages, or any other format, you will get no credit. You do not have to purchase MS Word. You simply have to use a word processor that allows you to save your files as MS Word docs.
Examples(this is not the topic of this assignment, just an example of the format)
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Our identity or identifying with a certain religion or not is influenced by our surroundings. In much of precolonial America and the old world religious identity was very much determined by the region in which people lived. As noted in the introduction and precolonial era section of chapter 11, the religious identities and beliefs of many native American tribes were largely influenced by their surrounding regions and what those regions provided to them. If farming was central to their geological location, then a belief grounded in nature and mother earth dominated their overall religious beliefs. The Hopi tribe of the Southwest are great example of this sort of belief system. Because they lived in predominately in Arizona’s dry climate and depended largely on their harvest of corn and other plants for their survival, instead of hunting. This focused most of their religious rituals on the much needed rain for their various planting seasons throughout the year. “The region’s harvest marked the ritual calendar that characterized their lives.” (Goff & Harvey, pg.332) is yet another example of their surroundings influencing their religious identity.
The Oglala Sioux tribe provides another great example of religious identity being largely determined by the group’s surroundings. The tribe’s main source of food in their region of the Great Plains was hunting buffalo. Therefor, their beliefs center around the buffalo itself and what it provides to them. They also viewed this animal as scared as it was “life-giving” to them. Even their creation story that they identify with has mention of a white buffalo calf. Their rituals center around hunting and killing the buffalo.
In Europe at this same time religious identity is also shaped by region, though maybe not in the same way as with Indian tribes in America. In Europe it was shaped by how far the Roman Catholic Church could reach and control lands. According to our text in chapter 11, because of this limited reach much of Northern Europe – Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and England were largely Protestant and had broken from the Catholic Church. The further away from the Catholic Church a region was in Europe, the more diverse its form of Christianity and therefore religious identity seemed to be.
Identity or what we identify with can also be influenced by the technology of the time. For example, in Martin Luther’s time his ideas and writing grew and spread into large movements against the Catholic Church by one of the newest technologies of the time – the printing press. Without it it would have been hard, if not impossible, for his words and ideas to reach as big an audience as they did. Today, television, phones, and the internet have done much the same thing for others in spreading their religious identities and ideas, but of course with much more speed and scale.
Lastly, I must mention that identity does not only include those with religious beliefs, but also those that do not identifying with any form of organized religion. Atheists and others that simply do not have any religious beliefs also have their identity influenced by either their surrounding, education, science, or upbringing. In other words, they identify with not believing in a greater power, or their identity is being Atheists. Simply put, we all identify with either believing in something or not.