Class project

The works of literature that you can choose from are listed below. You must choose one of these books – NO EXCEPTIONS!! Remember that you are writing about the faith life of certain characters. If there is some topic you are interested in but are not sure which book talks about your question is, I am happy to give you some pointers. The assignment is to use the novel you choose to examine some aspects of religion that we study throughout the course. This concerns people struggling with some aspect of their faith and how it is working or not working in their lives. As you work on your project consider what the characters think is a life worth living. Remember that bringing the study of religion to the study of emotions and actions allows us to identify some of the ways that general assumptions or intuitions about the nature of reality, the ultimate order of things, the point of human life, and other matters of profound human concern can affect not only the way the world appears to us but how it feels to us. Reli¬gious curiosity and imagination are likely to condition not only the emotions that humans have about God but also their seemingly ordinary emotions—that is, the ways they feel about themselves and each other and the important events of their lives. Your assignment is to select one of these topics, read about it, and then write a 5-7 page paper that examines and analyzes how religion functions for the characters. Be sure and include citations and a bibliography. Pick a specific book and write about what is happening to the characters in their religious lives. The topics are simply a way to organize the books and give you a guide as to what they are about. Your project is about a certain fictional character or, in some cases, a real person’s faith life. Use this project to work on defining and organizing a project and critical thinking skills. Your paper should be about what you think and reasons for your ideas. Use your text book and other books to support your ideas. If you want to learn more about religion after the course is over, consider reading through these books and reflecting about the religious themes each book presents. Be sure to save and read all of the documents relating to the class project carefully and thoroughly. Begin by choosing one of these works of fiction to write about. One way to do that is to go to a web site like Amazon and read through the summaries of the listed novels. Print out the vocabulary words listed below and keep them with your book. As you read your novel find the words that apply to what is happening in the lives of the characters in your book. Go to the index in Livingston and read about how those words/ideas work in the world of religion and in peoples’ journey’s of faith. Remember that your class project is about how a particular character’s faith journey either went well or badly. Go to the library and look for other text sources. One way to do this is to go to the religion section and look over the books you find. You can look in the index of library books to see if the concepts you found in Livingston are discussed in the books you find in the library. You can also ask the reference librarian for help in locating text sources. Strong academic papers usually have at least three or four text sources. Also, you can find information that will help you on the class social media page. After you have chosen your book and read it, review Why? by Adam Hamilton, The Lucifer Effect by Philip G. Zimbardo, the Milgram experiment, and the Asch conformity experiments. Also look at the work of Christopher Boehm. Review the work of Dr. Andrew Newberg. Consider whether any of these works apply to your project. Here are the books you can choose from: Buddhism 10% Happier, Dan Harris Living Buddha, Living Christ, Thich Nhat Hanh Siddhartha, Herman Hesse Confucius Confucius Lives Next Door: What Living in the East Teaches Us About Living in the West, T.R. Reid Coping With Life – Christianity The Outsider, Ann Gabhart The First Phone Call From Heaven, Mitch Albom Life of Pi, Yann Martel – The book is significantly different from the movie. If you choose this book, part of your paper should focus on Pi’s religious identity as revealed shortly before his father decides to leave their native country. Little to none of this is in the movie. Religion in American History Caleb’s Crossing, Geraldine Brooks The Last Runaway, Tracy Chevalier Religion and Politics/Government Paradise Valley, Dale Cramer The Race, Richard North Patterson – Warning – This book contains sexual content. Its view of religion in politics is quite cynical and may offend some. Choose carefully. Growing Up In The Middle East- Islam Dreams of Trespass, Fatima Mernissi – While doing this project, consider reading the Qur’an, the Sunna, Sira and Hadith – or reviewing their main ideas. Mernissi is a leading Muslim feminist. The Bastard of Istanbul Elif Shafak – One of the characters in this book is from Elizabethtown, KY. Growing Up With Different Values – Judaism The Chosen, Chaim Potok

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