[SOLVED] “rites of passage” or “life-cycle rituals”
Essay Parameters and Standards
Summary: Most religions have “rites of passage” or “life-cycle rituals” associated with the various stages in the human life. These rituals are most associated with birth, adolescence, adulthood, and death (or some variation of these). For this essay, explore one life-cycle ritual as expressed in two (2) different religions studied in this course: Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, Shinto, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, or Sikhism. There is more information about all of this below, so be sure to pay attention to all the details in this document.
Quick View Checklist (all of this is discussed in greater depth in the Parameters section that follows):
□ Select 1 (and only 1) specific religious life-cycle ritual.
□ Select 2 (and only 2) different religions from this course for an analysis of your life-cycle ritual: Hinduism,
Jainism, Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, Shinto, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, or Sikhism.
□ The life-cycle ritual is discussed in terms of activities, events, observances, and beliefs for each religion.
□ MLA formatted bibliography includes at least 3 sources that you consulted.
□ Additional research sources are academic, scholarly, or scriptures and doctrines of the religion.
□ Quotes are limited to religious scriptures or doctrines only and can be no more than 10% of essay content.
□ Demonstrate original writing skills.
LIFE-CYCLE RITUALS – You will discuss one life-cycle ritual. The most prominent examples to choose from include birth rituals, coming-of-age rituals, weddings, and funerals. The choice is yours; just make sure it is a life-cycle ritual and not another type of religious ritual. Remember, life-cycle rituals are associated with the transitional periods in a person’s life.
RELIGIONS – The life-cycle ritual chosen will be discussed in the context of two (and only two) different religions studied in this course: Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, Shinto, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, or Sikhism. For example, you could present the birth rituals of Hinduism and Sikhism, or perhaps the coming-of-age rituals of Judaism and Shinto. The point here is that your selected life-cycle ritual is discussed in the context of two of the religions addressed in this course. The choice of these religions is yours, but make sure the religions you choose participate in that life-cycle ritual. Allow your research to guide you to your choice of religions for this analysis.
CONTENT – For this analysis, you should describe the various activities, events, observances, and beliefs associated with the life-cycle ritual for each of your two chosen religions. For example, are there specific activities, props, and/or dietary aspects associated with the event? Does the person receive anything as a part of the ritual? Is there anything done to the physical body as a sign of the ritual? To what extent does the religious community participate? Have the events become secularized in modern times? Are the celebrations publicly observed or isolated in the religious communities? Are there variations of activities, events, observances, and beliefs based on geographical or divisional/denominational differences? You will find in your research that there are a variety of different practices associated with life-cycle rituals that will be geographically or divisionally specific. In other words, what Zoroastrians do in India is different from what they do in Iran; or the practices of Sunni Muslims differ from that of Shi’a Muslims. In these situations, you should isolate your conversation to one specific group within the religion (identifying in your essay the group and/or location you are focusing on for each religion). Not everything above applies in all situations; these are just some ideas of what to consider
STRUCTURE – This paper should be done in a traditional essay format: an introductory paragraph discussing the religious concept of life-cycle rituals and what you intend to explore (the life-cycle ritual you have chosen and the religions you intend to explore); two to four paragraphs presenting what is outlined in the “Content” category above; a conclusion paragraph summarizing the content and/or noting the primary similarities and differences between the religions explored; followed by a bibliography of sources consulted (see below).
RESEARCH – You are expected to do academic research for this essay. This is a research essay; not an opinion paper. To that end, consult and cite multiple different sources (at least 3) to illustrate depth of research. Be aware that different pages, articles, or parts of the same source count as one source. These resources should be academic or scholarly sources such as peer-reviewed journal articles or books (library resources), primary sources (sacred literature and official religious documents), official websites of a religion, authorized publications of recognized religious organizations, or professional pages (government or educational).
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