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Religion and Theology

You have two options for your Final Paper. An extended reflection paper: Much li

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You have two options for your Final Paper.
An extended reflection paper: Much like you did with the Reflection Papers, for the Final Paper you may do a deep-dive into a specific topic/concept from a specific tradition, which we may or may not have touched on in our class discussions/lectures.
Like the other Reflection Papers, you need a concrete topic, a specific thesis, and the body of the paper needs to be a demonstration of your comprehension of the material at hand. This is not just a “longer” version of an RP, but more of a synthesis, taking what you’ve learned from the class as a whole and bringing it to bear on a single concept or connection.
For this option, you aren’t required to use external sources, but you can if you like. If you choose to do this, it isn’t a bad idea to run these by me first, just to make sure they’re legit. You are required, however, to interact in some way with the assigned texts as well as our class discussions where appropriate.
A critical film analysis: Much like we did with our analysis of Life of Pi, you can choose a film with theological, religious, or spiritual themes—explicit or implicit—and reflect on a single concept, a cluster of concepts, or offer an overall analysis of the film in light of what we’ve learned over the course of the term.
This is not a summary of the film, but a critical analysis of something specific from it.
If you choose this option, you must get permission from me beforehand. Email me the film you want to analyze, and a 2-3 sentence synopsis of your thesis and overall analysis.
You are not allowed to consult external sources for this option (e.g., online reviews, comments on a forum, etc.). The analysis must be your own. You are encouraged, however, to develop your analysis in light of the assigned text and discussion forums.
You cannot choose the following films: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Passion of the Christ, Soul Surfer, The Shack.
Regardless of which option you choose:
Your Final Paper must be between 1500 – 2000 words (include word count at end). Quality is just as important as quantity.
In addition to including a word count, tell me what grade you think you deserve. Include a 3-5 sentence explanation as to why. As you consider this part of the assignment, think about the effort you put into the paper as well as your overall level of comprehension and analysis of the material. As with the other papers, taking risks is more likely to be rewarded compared to playing it safe.
The readings that you need to use for this paper are:
Required Texts
• John F. Haught, What is Religion? An Introduction (New York and New Jersey: Paulist Press, 1990)
• Rob Bell, Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005)
• Richard Rohr, Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2013)

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