Summary: Most religions have “rites of passage” or “life-cycle rituals” associated with the various stages in the human life. These rituals are most commonly associated with birth, adolescence, adulthood, marriage, and death (or some variation of these). For this essay, explore one religious life-cycle ritual as expressed in three different religions studied in the first half of this course: Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, Shintoism, or a specific Indigenous Religion. There is more information about all of this below, so be sure to pay attention to all of 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 3 (and only 3) different religions from the first half of the course for the analysis of your life-cycle
ritual: Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, Shintoism, or a specific Indigenous Religion.
RELIGIONS – The life-cycle ritual chosen will be discussed in the context of three different religions studied in the first half of the course: Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, Shintoism, or a specific Indigenous Religion. For example, you could present the birth rituals of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Shinto; or perhaps the coming-of-age rituals of the Lakota, Yoruba, and Shinto.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 secularized in modern times? Are the celebrations publically 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 they do in India is different from what they do in Japan; or the practices of Mahayana Buddhists differ from that of Theravada Buddhists. In these situations, you should isolate your conversation to one specific group (identifying in your essay the group you are focusing on for each religion). Not everything above applies in all situations; these are just some ideas of what to consider as you prepare to write this essay. Deductions of up to 30 points will be made for errors related to the Life-Cycle Rituals, Religions, and Content categories (outlined above).
STRUCTURE – This paper should be done in a traditional essay format that includes: an introductory paragraph that discusses 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 or three paragraphs presenting what is outlined in the “Content” category above (I suggest 1 paragraph for each of your religions); a conclusion paragraph summarizing the content and/or noting the primary similarities and difference among the religions explored; and then a bibliography of sources consulted (see below).
RESEARCH – You are expected to do academic research for this assignment. This is not an opinion paper, it is a research paper. To that end, consult and cite multiple sources (at least 3, but you really should have more) to illustrate depth of research. These academic or scholarly sources should be peer-reviewed journal articles or books (library resources), primary sources (sacred literature and official religious documents), or authorized publications of recognized religious organizations. The research sources consulted should be provided in a Bibliography conforming to the MLA (Modern Language Association) format. For more information about the MLA format visit: https://spcollege.libguides.com/MLA_8th. For useful research information, see: spcollege.libguides.com/world_religions. There will be deductions of up to 10 points for errors in this category.
ACADEMIC WRITING – Your submission is expected to conform to academic writing standards