Your religious field research into an “unfamiliar”

Your religious field research into an “unfamiliar”
religious tradition.

You are to pick one (1) of the religions studied
(with which you are not very familiar) and do one of these three (3) things:

  • Attend a religious service, or
  • Visit a religious education center and interview a member of that faith,
    or
  • Attend a “virtual religious service” and complete additional research (for a
    list of services, see Appendix A)

The paper will address the following
points:

  • Discuss any misconceptions you had about the religion you researched.
  • Analyze how your prior understanding about this religion was altered (if at
    all) through your encounter.
  • Discuss whether you believe misconceptions about other people’s religion are
    common and explain why or why not.
  • Recommend at least one (1) step that could be taken to minimize
    misconceptions people have about religions not their own.

Keep the
points to be covered in your paper in mind during your religious field research
to help guide your encounter. The purpose of your field research (whether actual
or virtual) is to test your own assumptions about this religion.

Pay
attention to what is important to people inside the religion, what they do, what
they profess, how they act, what they value, what they talk about, and what they
tell you about their religion. The easiest way to understand what is important
to someone else is let them tell you about their faith, their traditions, and
their religious practices. The most important thing to do is to keep an open
mind and listen. No matter which of the three routes you take for your field
research, you will be looking for the same information.

A note about attending religious services in
person: Please keep in mind that if you choose to attend a religious
service in person, you are a guest and should be as respectful as humanly
possible. While you may be attending the service from the perspective of an
objective (and hopefully inquisitive) observer, most of the other people will be
attending the service as part of their religious practices. Please do the
following before you go:

  • Call the place you wish to attend and ask if it is okay to attend as an
    observer
  • Ask if someone could (or should) act as a host when you attend
  • Ask if anyone would be willing to speak with you after the service to
    explain what happened and to answer a few questions about the basics of the
    religion

The format of the paper is to be as follows:

  • Typed, double-spaced, Times New Roman font (size 12), one-inch margins on
    all sides, APA format.
  • In-text citations and a References page following APA Style, even if the
    only source you are using is the textbook. Any other sources must be documented
    using in-text citations and included on the References page.
  • In addition to the five to seven (5-7) pages required, a title page is to be
    included. The title page is to contain the title of the a

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