This project is to get us to explore some other religious traditions and report on them for the benefit of yourself, your classmates, and, I must admit, your instructor.
NOTE:Before we get started, I want to note explicitly that Wikipedia.com is completely off-limits for this project.There have been too many poorly written articles and misrepresentations of religious systems that it is not a reliable tool.You are given plenty of resources below (or find your own) that students can go to the academic sites or even the websites of the groups’ themselves.
Students will be providing either a video presentation, audio presentation, PowerPoint, or paper based on the following tasks.
- Scroll through some of the web sites below and select a religion on which to report.The religion cannot be (1) your own; nor (2) one of the religions we have covered in the class.
- I will allow small, sect-like groups of some of the major traditions, such as Christadelphians (Christianity) or Wahhabism (Islam).
- Research the religion using a variety of the sites below or other sites.
- Keep track of the sites you use and make sure they are listed in your presentation somewhere.
- Try to find the “Official website” of the religious group.The “Official Religious Denominational” website linked below from the Hartford Institute is a great resource for this.
- Include the “Official website” in your notes or presentation.[Note – it may be best to pull the information from the groups’ own websites as other sites may not accurately reflect their views.]
I.Part 1: Religious Questions
Students are asked to respond to four of the following questions (or craft your own) that highlight the key ideas, rituals, behaviors, scriptures, etc. of the religious group you have researched.At least one question must be a “belief” question and at least one question must be a “behavior” question.Each question should have a response more than 150 words (which means a minimum total of 600 words for Part 1).
Also, be sure to cite (even if it just the web link) where you are getting the information.More points will be awarded if students are using the official website of the religious group in question.In these cases, be sure to include the link.
- What are the 2-3 key beliefs associated with the religious group?The core beliefs are the ones, in your opinion, represent the religion in its entirety.
- What is the belief as to how the world came into being?
- What is the belief about how evil/suffering/disorder entered into the world?
- What is the belief about the afterlife or what is the end goal of the religion?
- How does one become a member of this particular religion?
- What are the most important two rituals associated with the religion?
- What must one do to achieve salvation/afterlife/heaven/freedom/etc. or the end goal of the religion?
- What are 2 (or more) distinctive behaviors expected of people in this religious group?
Students can also write their own questions and just catalog them into either a “belief” or “behavior” question.Students can also ask a “belonging” question inquiring into how does one join the group or what makes a person a member of that group.
II.Part 2: Why choose that religion?
In 200 words (or more), note why you selected that particular religion and a specific question you would ask a participant of that religion.
Websites to use for the project (let me know if you find others so I can add them to the list)
Hartford Institute for Religion Research
- New Religious Movements: http://hirr.hartsem.edu/denom/new_religious_movements.html
- Official Religious Denominational Websites: http://hirr.hartsem.edu/denom/homepages.html
- Religious Groups Profiles: http://thearda.com/denoms/families/groups.asp
- Compare Members Tool: http://thearda.com/denoms/families/members.asp
BBC Religious Groups Site:
Association of Religious Data Archives Site:
Religion Facts’ The Big Religion Chart: