RELIGION AND CULTURE

Semester Assignment

November 1st, 2018

One of your four submissions for this course will be a “semester assignment.” (See the Course Syllabus, posted on blackboard, for further details about grading, etc.)

While your semester assignment is not a formal term paper, it should incorporate accepted research techniques and make use of appropriate source materials. It should not merely be a personal essay. (More about this is class.)

It is suggested that you submit an outline of your semester assignment on or before Monday, November 19th, while your assignment itself is due on or before Monday, December 10th.

Here are proposed topics. Students should feel free to adapt and alter these topics to their own interests.

  1. Defend or refute the following proposition: Religion is a totally private matter and must have nothing to do with the workings of the body politic.

  1. Research the first amendment to the United States Constitution and provide some of the reasons why the Framers had such a fear of an “established church.”

  1. In the novel (or movie) “Inherit the Wind,” who do you think was the “winner” of the debate … the Clarence Darrow character or the William Jennings Bryan character?

  1. Critique the notion of “intelligent design.” Is it an intellectually valid position?

  1. Are there issues today where “science” and “religion” are at odds? Identify one or more such issues … if there are any … and advance some ideas as to how such conflicts may be resolved.

  1. Select an artist of your choice … a writer, a painter or a musician … and analyze one or more of his/her works and explain what kind of religious theme you believe he/she is promoting … or opposing.

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