Your assignment will be penalized 5 marks (out of 100) per day late. You must submit your assignment to URCourses as a Microsoft Word (.doc…

assignment will be penalized 5
marks (out of 100) per day late.You must
submit your assignment to URCourses as
a Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) file Pages, PDF, RTF, or other files will not
be accepted. If you do not have Microsoft Word, please use the library
computers for your final submission. Paper copies will not be accepted. If you
do not wish to submit your work to Turnitin.com, you must consult with the
course instructor.


You and
your group (a total two or three students, including you) must attend and
observe a religious service and then
analyze the data that you collect. Specifically, you are to interpret selected
observations you made during the ritual using your theory from Malory Nye’s Religion: The Basics. While you visited
your site togethers, assignments must we written and uploaded on your own. This is NOT a group project.

your analysis will take two observations you made and analyze them with respect

and Power?Ritual and Society?Ritual
and Memory?

You must also reflect on what you learned by doing this assignment (see
“Reflection” below).

For the
site visit, you must select a religion to which no one in your group (including
you) belongs, and with which no one in your group is familiar. The less you
know about the religion, the better! (Really!)

For the
analysis, imagine you are writing to a friend
or family member who knows nothing about the religion you have observed,
and has not read Nye’s text. This means that you must clearly explain both your
observations and the theories you use to analyze them.

each member of a group must use theories from a DIFFERENT chapter of Nye’s
text. If one person is using Ritual and Power, then no one else in the same
group can write on Power. If
more than one member of the same theory of ritual the assignments of one or
both students may be penalized up to 50 marks.


a group, attend the religious ritual (stay for the entire activity, from
start to end).Make
notes of everything you see,
hear, feel, smell, and taste before, during, and after the ritual.Consult
with the other members of your group to compare observations.Write
your Field Research Analysis and submit it to URCourses


One of
the themes in this class is identifying religious phenomena within the realm of
human behaviour. Related to this is the task of making the strange familiar,
and the familiar strange. What we mean by this is that we often interpret the
differences present in the behaviour of others as (potentially strange) and our
own behaviours as familiar. You will observe religious behaviours unfamiliar to
you and be tasked with using theories of religion from Nye to explain them, or,
“make them familiar.” One aim of this project is for you to gain some insight
into a religious tradition with which you are not familiar. In this respect you
will be attempting to consider aspects of a tradition from the “outside.”
Another goal is to help you acquire a first-hand understanding of the
challenges and rewards faced by scholars of religion. By the time you are done
the assignment, you will have produced an entirely original contribution to this
field of study. Pretty exciting, eh? J


Field Research Analysis must consist of exactly FIVE paragraphs. In the first and third paragraphs you will
identify and describe a ritual that you observed at your field site. Part of
this identification will require you to draw on Nye’s discussion of what
constitutes ritual behaviour. It is not enough to say “I observed a prayer and
that prayer was a ritual.” You need to tell me why it should be seen as a
ritual. In the second and fourth paragraphs you will examine the practice,
artifact, or interaction from the previous paragraph using a specific theory
from one chapter of Nye’s text. Please begin each section by briefly explaining
your theory: “according to Nye, rituals are related to society/memory/power in
the following ways…” In total you will spend two paragraphs describing selected observations, and
two paragraphs analyzing them. The fifth paragraph will consist of
your reflection on what you have learned by doing this analysis. Your
assignment in the end will be structured like this:

1: identify and describe a ritual (D1)Paragraph
2: analyze of D1 using your theoryParagraph
3: identify and describe a second, DIFFERENT ritual (D2)Paragraph
4: analyze of D2 using your theoryParagraph
5: reflect on this assignment

It is fine to include some of the same
observations in each of the two rituals you describe. But you must use them
to identify two different rituals.

sure to consult the following two documents that will be posted on URCourses:

Field Research AdviceField Research Analysis Theories

before, you must do no additional research
on the religious community you are writing about beyond the site visit that you
have already completed. Your analysis must be based entirely on the observations that you and your group members made
during your visit. If you use additional research on the religious tradition
you visited, your assignment grade may be penalized up to 50 marks.


In the final (fifth) paragraph of your
assignment, please reflect on something that you learned about religion, or the
study of religion from doing this
assignment. DO NOT
tell me something you learned about the religion that you visited, I am more
interested in what you learned about the category or study of religion, not any
one religion. Once again, absolutely no additional research is required. The use of additional sources
may be penalized with a deduction of up to 50 marks. Pick something
you learned that matters to you in
some way. Your reflective paragraph should be comprised of three parts:

What did you used to think about religion (or the study of religion)
before this assignment? Present:
After doing this assignment what do you now think about religion (or the
study of religion)? Why/how did the assignment affect your view(s)?Meaning:
Why does what you learned matter
to you? How have you been affected by having done this assignment? Think
of this as the “So what?” question.

When considering what to write your
reflection about, keep in mind that I am interested in more than simply what
new information you might have absorbed about the religion you visited. That is
to say, I am interested in the ways in which what you learned might mean
something to you, how it might impact your understanding of people, religion,
yourself, etc., after this course is done.

Here are some questions that might help you
start your reflection:

does your experience with this assignment tell you about the assumptions
you used to have about religion in general, or about the study of
religion, or about the tradition you visited?Why
did you think what you used to think about religion in general, or about
the tradition you visited, before doing this assignment? Did
your experience with this assignment affect the way you see your own
religious tradition?
If so, how/why?Did
using theories to analyze your observations help you understand what you
experienced at the religious site better? If so, how/why?Did
anything about doing this assignment surprise you?

again the point of reflective writing is not to simply state your opinions or
reactions, but to think about them.
There is no right or wrong “answer” that you are expected to give; what we are
“looking for” is simply a frank and thoughtful appraisal of your experience.

As before, when offering your reflections you
must provide reasons and evidence to
account for your responses. In other words, it’s not enough to tell us what you learned from doing this
assignment – you need to explain how
you learned this and why this matters
to you.


Your assignment must:

no longer than 1500
words in length (not including the title page, bibliography, or citations).
This is a hard cap, if your assignment exceeds the 1500 words limit, by
even 1 word, you will lose 5 marks;Include
a cover page based on the template below (include ALL elements of the
sample cover page, replacing the yellow highlighted portions with your own
information); Be
double-spaced and use Times 12-point font;Show
page numbers in the top right of each page (with page 1 starting after
your title page);Consist
of five paragraphs (as outlined in “Requirements” above);Include
in-text citations to Nye’s text that conform to The Chicago Manual of
Style (author-date format);Include
a bibliography that conforms to The Chicago Manual of Style (author-date format),
and that appears immediately below the final paragraph of your analysis;Include
a copy of the grading rubric (available on BB) after your bibliography.

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