Your Mission

Complete the Comparative Religions Grid

Due Date

Thursday, April 1 (18% of Final Grade)


1)  Pick three religions from those listed below

2)  Engage in comparative research, combining material from the LIB 131 web-site with your own extensive internet research.  Fill in substantial portions of the Comparative Religions Grid.

The Religions

Pick at least one Eastern Religion:  Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Jainism, Shinto, Sikhism, Taoism

You may want to pick one of the Abrahamic religions:  Judaism, Christianity, Islam

I recommend that you pick at most one religion from the following:  Baha'i Faith, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormonism, Rastafari, Scientology, Vodun, Wicca, Zoroastrianism

Specifications And Recommendations

Begin the assignment with the goal of filling in all sections of the grid.  Do not immediately eliminate categories that seem challenging or problematic.  It is fine to eliminate several of the categories later on in the exercise if either the subject matter or time constraints dictate.  It is fine to leave individual squares blank if you cannot think of material to include for one specific religion.

Be as focused and as analytical as possible.  I recommend having one sentence or two sentences or even a phrase in several of the grid squares.   Try to keep even the more developed squares to one paragraph.  Include short descriptions for each term or individual introduced.  Be as simple and as concise as possible, though not too brief or cryptic.

This is an assignment designed to encourage your own thinking rather than a simple scavenger hunt in which you Google answers and fill in the blanks.  Everything must be in your own words but, beyond that, I hope you will very actively engage in the process of interpretation yourself.  This exercise is set up to encourage you to analyze material rather than merely to search for it.  The Comparison Box at the bottom of each sub-section asks you to assess the similarities and differences between the three religions for that particular category.

The assignment is designed as a substantial exercise rather than as a major research project.  But it will take you several hours to complete.  There is no one suggested length, though strong assignments may well be 15+ pages once all is done.  One of the advantages of the assignment is that you can break it down into individual components.

Those students who are doing an Option 2 Combo Journal are encouraged to take significant notes in preparing the Comparison Project (it's ok if this is a copy of the grid).  These notes then can become one component of your Note-Taking/Journal Combo Assignment.

Please include a bibliography with your assignment.  This need not be formal in style and can instead be the URLs of the major sources you have consulted.  Although formal footnotes are not required, you should list the source at the end of any sentence in which there are direct quotations or information that you judge to be potentially questionable.  Any individual box that is heavily dependent upon one or two particular sources should include the URL or URLs at the end of that particular box.

Push yourself with your Comparisons in each of the individual categories and with your Concluding Thoughts.  The latter should be a minimum of a double-spaced page.  I hope you find the project to be an enjoyable and worthwhile one.

Comparative Religions Grid


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