essay on ritual that employs methods from the academic interdisciplinary study of religions social science homework help

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essay on ritual that employs methods from the academic interdisciplinary study of religions social science homework help

  • Write a five- to six-page (1,250- to 1,500-word) essay on ritual that employs methods from the academic, interdisciplinary study of religions. Present a total of three rituals that come from religions of the East: one from India, one from China, and one from Japan. This means that each ritual will occupy around two pages, including a description of the ritual, and two analyses: one treats the Religionist perspective, and one treats the Reductionist perspective. The paper should begin with a short introductory paragraph, and end with a short conclusion. (See below for guidelines on the final paragraph.)
  • 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.
  • Describe the rituals, providing hard data on each. Include the religion to which the ritual belongs, the place where the ritual occurs, and other basic facts, such as the number of participants, the leader(s) of the ritual, and so forth.

For data on the rituals, you can rely on firsthand observations, videos from the Internet, and written discussions. If you are not writing about a ritual from firsthand observation, you can check YouTube or Google Images. Type in the wordritual, or the name of your ritual, along with the name of the religious tradition you want to explore. You can also add the word YouTube to your search terms to find some video accounts of rituals. Beyond that, you can check websites developed by various religious organizations and study sections of books and articles. Provide complete bibliographic citations.

  • Discuss each ritual separately from the two methodological perspectives introduced in this course: Religionist and Reductionist.
  • Your analysis of each ritual from the Religionist perspective might include questions such as, (a) What religious symbols are used in this ritual, and what is their meaning to the participants?, (b) What ritual actions performed by the people (or religious specialist) are supposed to prolong a hierophany or kratophany?, and (c) What are some of the religious experiences had by participants in the ritual? How might these reflect the mysterium tremendumand the mysterium fascinans?
  • Your analysis from the Reductionist perspective might include questions such as, (a) Was the ritual performed by a certain social class, or for a particular political end? (b) What else was happening in the culture at the time the ritual was created or performed? and (c) Did this ritual serve to bolster the political interest of the status quo?
  • At the end of your essay, reflect on your reaction to these rituals. Base your reflections on questions such as, (a) What biases do I bring to these rituals? (b) Have I viewed the rituals as an insider or as an outsider? and (c) How might someone viewing the rituals from the opposite perspective (e.g., inside instead of outside) react to them?
    •  Use at least three terms specific to each tradition you discuss, and 10 terms from the chart below, using at least two from each category. (Paired terms separated by a “/” count as a single term, whether you use one or both.) Render all of these terms in boldface or all caps.

    General Terms

    Religionist Terms

    Reductionist Terms


    religious subject/religious object

    authority of religious specialists

    family resemblances

    homo religiosus

    cultural construction of meaning


    mysterium tremendum/ mysterium fascinans

    cultural imperialism


    sacred time

    European colonialism


    sacred space

    moral exhaustion


    homo symbolicus

    naturalistic experience



    postcolonial discourse



    rationalization of symbols

    religious discourse


    religion of resistance


    religious impression/religious expression

    religion of revolution

    culture zone

    sui generis

    religion of the status quo



    subtle erasures

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