This exercise is your opportunity to apply your learning. Please relate your observations to the concepts we discuss. Even though the report is due later in the course please begin work on it as soon as possible. The exercise is simple. First focus on two religious groups of interest (this list might be helpful). Second interview a believer from each group highly suggest focusing on the concepts were reading about and discussing in our assignments in your questions and take notes of their answers. Third attend at least one meeting (social or worship worship services are NOT required) sponsored by each group and take notes. Finally write a paper of at least 3 full pages of text that shows what you have learned AND applies your observations to at least three key concepts were discussing in this course. As noted throughout this syllabus you may use your interviews and observations in this exercise to help you answer any of the questions given in the assignments. So your questions could include for instance: What do you believe? How do you become religious or a part of your religion? How did you personally choose to join your religious group? What is the role of women and minorities in your religious group? How do you see the future of your religion in America and the world? IMPORTANT: Please do NOT simply give me a transcript of what your interviewees said to you OR a research paper about one or two religions that doesn’t show you actually talked to anyone. Neither will be given credit! Instead please insight-fully report what you observed and learned from your meetings and interviews in terms of the concepts we’ve been discussing in this class.
Three cautions: 1) Be sensitive and respectful as you conduct your interview and/or attend the meeting(s) and please do NOT do or ask anything that is or could be disturbing or offensive to the individuals or groups of believers. 2) In your report please protect the privacy of the people you interview and do NOT use their real names. 3) Your report must be factual and analytical as well as focused on relevant class concepts; avoid unfounded opinions and especially harsh judgment