While the discussion question for this week asked you to restrict your interpretations to Eliade, Weber, Zoroastrianism and Baha’i, this paper is a bit broader of an assignment.
Write a paper, 2-3 pages (500-750 words) long, in which you describe and analyze religious symbols (used in rituals, folk art, or daily life, etc.) from the Expressive, Zoroastrian, and/or Baha�i traditions, or from a religion you already know well, such as Christianity or Judaism, or from a religion you want to know more about, such as Wicca (this will require outside research) to interpret their religious and cultural significance.
Give your paper a creative title and post an accurate word count after the title. Minimize or eliminate errors of grammar and spelling. Write logically, with topic sentences. Use at least three written sources, and provide full and accurate bibliographical citations for all books, articles, and websites.You can use whatever citation style you are most comfortable with (MLA, APA, Chicago).
Describe the religious symbols, providing a picture of each. Include the religion to which the religious symbol belongs, and state the context in which it is used or displayed, such as, in a ritual, worn by members of a certain social class, displayed only in certain places, and so forth. Treat each religious symbol separately, using both Religionist and Reductionist concepts in your discussion of each. Apply some Religionist concepts of Rudolf Otto, Gerardus van der Leeuw, Mircea Eliade, and others; and also some Reductionist concepts of Max Weber, Bruce Lincoln, and others.
From the Religionist perspective, you might ask: (a) What is the meaning of this religious symbol to the people who use it in the context of rituals, body decoration, and so forth? (b) Is there any hierophany or kratophany associated with the religious symbol? and (c) What are some religious experiences associated with the religious symbol, and how might these reflect the mysterium tremendum and the mysterium fascinans?
Your analysis from the Reductionist perspective might include such questions as, (a) Is the religious symbol used by a certain social class, or for a particular political end? (b) Is the religious symbol associated with a particular historical event, (c) In what cultural, political, or psychological context does the religious symbol become meaningful? and (d) Does the religious symbol serve to bolster the political interest of the status quo, or is it associated with a religion of resistance or revolution?
This assignment is due by end of the third week of class on Sunday by 11:30PM ET.
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