Sequenced Research Paper in Religious Studies
This set of assignments is designed to help students: (a) grow initial thoughts and questions into carefully scoped and well-reasoned research papers, and (b) develop critical thinking skills through interrogation of familiar images of religion and spirituality in American popular culture.
a) Critically evaluate images of religion in American popular culture (primary sources), using criteria such as date, authorship, context, and rationale for creation and/or dissemination. b) Formulate an appropriately scoped research question based on information gaps or on reexamination of existing information. c) Locate and access pertinent scholarly sources beyond course readings. d) Analyze specific aspects of a religious tradition as historical, social, and cultural phenomena through integration of course content and outside scholarly sources. e) Demonstrate an understanding of the value of information and nature of the scholarly conversation through the consistent and accurate citation of sources in Chicago style. f) Interpret chosen images (primary sources), course material, and other secondary sources in order to draw reasonable conclusions about the transformation of religious concepts through their circulation in American popular culture.