Final Exam has two components
The final exam has two components: a written reflection and a class discussion of the written reflection.
The purpose of the final written reflection
To explain what you have learned in this course concerning religious and theological studies.
The purpose of the final discussion
To discuss your understanding of the course material and to learn from the variety of ways in which your classmates understood the course content.
The focus question of the final written reflection and discussion
How does a religious tradition shape an understanding of what it means to be human?
The audience for your final written reflection
Your audience is other students in this class, some of whom will be reading your written reflection.
Organization and content of the essay
The written reflection is to be organized around the following four components and should appear in your essay in the order listed below.
1. Explain some basic ways that scholars study religious traditions. What are some of the key questions and basic concepts they use to study a religious tradition? Prothero, Portier, and Nostra Aetate will be useful to you here.
2. How were these approaches (the key questions and basic concepts) used in our study of Christianity? What are some of the fundamentals (beliefs, practices, teachings, exemplars) that emerge from our study of Christianity, and how do they shape a Christian’s understanding of what it means to be human in relationship to God? Please use two Scripture selections and at least three other sources from across the semester.
3. Choose one of the other religious traditions studied in this course (Buddhism, Judaism, or Islam). NOTE: Choose a different tradition than the one you wrote about in the second reflection. What are some of the fundamentals (beliefs, practices, teachings, exemplars) that emerge from our study of that tradition, and how do they shape that tradition’s understanding of what it means to be human? The Overviews, Ochs, and the “Being Human” selection will be useful to you here.
4. Finally, explain why the study of religious traditions is significant in the 21st century, considering religious understandings of what it means to be human. This is to be your reflection. Please write three or four well-developed paragraphs.
Students are to bring a paper copy of the final paper. The class will be divided into small groups of three to five students. You will read each other’s paper, reflect on the commonalities and differences among the various reflections, and present your findings to the larger group.
Inclusion of material from the class readings and discussions, and an accurate representation of the content of the material. The written reflection must include course material from throughout the course.
1. Written reflection demonstrates critical reflection on course material and class discussion. “Critical” here means being able to make distinctions and provide clear explanations that help you to give an appropriate account of ways in which scholars approach religious and theological studies and how a religious tradition shapes an understanding of what it means to be human.
2. Written reflection demonstrates creative reflection on course material and class discussion. “Creative” here means communicating your understanding of the ways in which scholars approach religious and theological studies and how a religious tradition shapes an understanding of what it means to be human.
3. Proper use of grammar, clarity of writing, correct spelling, citation of sources, and proper format (12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced lines with one-inch margins).
4. Participation in the final discussion including reading other students’ papers, contributing to the discussion of the commonalities and differences among the papers, and participating in the discussion of the entire class.
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