Possible Paper 1 Topics

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I’d like you to write a two-to-three page paper regarding topics discussed in this documentary.  Your paper should be double-spaced, demonstrate proper grammar, and have citations from at least three separate sources.  Please include a references/works cited page at the end.  I don’t care what type of citation style you use (APA, MLA, ASA, Chicago-style).  Just be consistent.

Here are some questions to consider while writing your paper.  You’re free to choose any, all, or none of the questions.  Just be sure to write a paper about a topic related to the issues discussed in the documentary.  Also be sure to utilize credible outside sources in your paper. 

  1. Importance of Rituals: According to Social Construction of Reality, religion is a social construct.  How do rituals – either those viewed in the documentary or rituals in general – contribute to constructing this “reality” known as religion?

  2. Understanding of God: The rituals shown in the documentary help individuals connect with God.  How do different rituals lend themselves to different definitions of God?  What does the existence of these rituals suggest God wants from us?
  3. Dramaturgy: Consider the importance of those four aspects of dramaturgy – costume, props, set, and demeanor.  How do those components add to the experience of the ritual and symbolic connection to God?
  4. Socialization: How do rituals change as an individual ages?  Do you see similarities or differences based on the stage of life for the individual?  Consider rituals across various cultures.  Do you see any similarities or differences across those rituals?

Note: You have complete freedom in choosing how you discuss the topic.  Having said that, be sure to maintain an academic tone with regards to the issue.  In other words, don’t tell me why a certain religious ritual is right or wrong.  I’m interested in a discussion of how socialization and our understanding of rituals can bring meaning to our lives.    

You can absolutely use the videos/references found on Blackboard as sources, although I’m expecting you to find three separate academic sources.  I don’t want you to simply cite my lectures three times.  If you struggle with this, please let me know as quickly as possible.   

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Possible Paper 1 Topics

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