Writing Assignment Three: The Good Way

Writing Assignment Three: The Good Way


Choose one of the following question/prompts and write a 4-5 page reflective essay on the Good Way and the people of the Himalayas. Include a clear introduction, 3-4 main points and your conclusions at the end.  Choose one topic to write about.

  1. Sacred mountains: According to the book and film clips, and lecture on sacred mountains, Wade Davis’ chapter, Century of the Wind, describe sacred mountain worship in the Himalayas.  Why do people worship mountains? How does this reflect the pre-Buddhist Bon religion?  What is religious syncretism, and how is this played out in the lives of people living in the Himalayas.
  2. Religion & Anthropology: How does the author (me) struggle with Christianity as portrayed in her youth, and becoming an anthropologist?  In what ways does her perspective change and why?  How do you think religious fundamentalism interacts with cultural relativism (as discussed in class)?  How do you respond to religions around the world versus a personal spirituality?
  3. Cultural Change & the role of anthropology: what are some of the themes of cultural change in the book? (Christianity, modernization, technology, etc).  How should anthropologists think about change?  Should we work to preserve cultures and people, or let them change if they want to? What are some of the biggest influences of cultural change today, and are these positive or negative?  Include ideas from Wade Davis’ book on what indigenous culture has to teach us.  What is the wisdom of these isolated cultures, and what can they offer the world?

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