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System of Beliefs or Practices

Write an essay of approximately (about 6 pages). A good response will begin with a brief summary of relevant basic concepts and/or definition of basic terms, then proceed to respond to the particulars of the prompt. In assessing this work, consideration will be given to the thoroughness with which the topic is addressed, as well as the extent to which the response incorporates conventions of the academic study of religion (especially objectivity and respect for difference).

Systems of Beliefs or Practices Research Paper Instructions Below:

System of Beliefs or PracticesOne of the important distinctions raised during this course has been the distinction between religion as a system of beliefs and religion as a system of practices – the distinction, in other words, between orthodoxy and orthopraxy. Obviously, there are numerous other factors that go into any workable definition of “religion,” but beliefs and practices are arguably the most important. Given all of the information on this issue, then, which do you feel is more significant to your understanding of what religion is: beliefs or practices? There is no “right” answer to this question, but a good essay will offer substantial support for your thesis statement. You should develop your argument by referring to the relative significance of beliefs and practices in at least two religious traditions, one Western and one Asian. For the purposes of this essay, you may define “practices” to include ritual and/or morality (observance of a divine law), and you will probably want to refer to primary sacred texts (as anthologized in Ways of Religion) as your source material for the beliefs of your chosen traditions.

You will be allowed to refer to World Religions Today, Ways of Religion, and any notes you like.

Format for System of Beliefs or Practices Term Paper:

  • The paper must be in 12-point font
  • double-spaced, with 1” margins all around, and no extra spaces between paragraphs.
  • Since sources will be cited ONLY from the text listed above, it isn’t necessary to attach a bibliography.
  • However, there should be citation of all references parenthetically within the paper by giving the author’s or editor’s name and the relevant page number.
  • In other words, the references should look like this: (WRT, 77) or (WoR, 122-5).
  • It is essential that sources are cited not only when quoted directly from a text, but also when paraphrased; failure to do so constitutes plagiarism, and is a serious academic offense.

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