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Open the file (Instructions for Writing Reflection Papers) for instructions, then open the file (Question #1) to answer the questions after reading (Religion and Spirituality) Also take a look at the file (PaperRubric) 

I need 3 copies for this assignment for 3 students with the same teacher. 3 full pages each

In keeping with the requirements of CMU’s Writing Intensive courses, a significant portion of the work in this class is focused on the production of short papers that critically engage various topics related to the study and practice of religion. The goals of WI work include:

· Use writing to learn course content

· Properly incorporate elements necessary to an academic paper

· Engage in the process of drafting, revising, and editing

· Select, analyze, and evaluate information

· Draw valid conclusions

Toward these ends, each student will carefully craft five two-to-three page papers. These papers correspond to each of the major modules of the course (the introductory material and the five religions covered) and are based on a question provided by the instructor and a special reading meant to prompt thinking. Papers will be graded based on the degree to which they meet the five goals stated above (see grading rubric below).

It is important to make a distinction between the acts of “learning to write” and “writing to learn.” Ultimately, this is not a composition class; rather, it focuses on the act of writing as a significant way to reflect more deeply about the subject matter of the course. The primary goal of these papers is to foster critical thinking about big religious themes that directly impact personal and social life.

However, because developing basic writing skills is a part of the WI program, these papers must fulfill a set of specific requirements. The topics for the papers were selected, in part, to help you succeed. In addition to the goals stated above, each paper must conform to a specific five-part structure:

· Introduction — Begin the paper with an opening paragraph that introduces the subject of the paper in an interesting way.

· Thesis Sentence — The introductory paragraph must end with a sentence that explicitly states the main point/goal of the paper. Each paper should try to make only one central point. Pick one position you want to defend and make that the sole focus of the paper. The thesis should clearly define this position. The thesis sentence should read something like: “This paper argues that . . .”, or, “This paper intends to show that . . .”

· Body — The body of the paper, the next five or six paragraphs, should be used to describe, support, and defend your thesis. Typically, each paragraph of the body raises a different argument and presents evidence to support it. It is important to also address counterarguments that a reader might use to challenge your thesis.

· Conclusion — End the paper with a closing paragraph that restates the thesis sentence, summarizes the arguments used throughout the body, and finishes in an interesting way.

· Sources/Citation/Bibliography — Students are also required to research at least two outside sources to gain a broader perspective on the topic of each paper. References to these sources should appear in the body of the paper, be offset with proper citation, and be listed in a bibliography at the end of the paper.

Additionally, each paper must be double-spaced, written in 12pt. type, be at least between two and three pages in length (though longer papers are acceptable), and begin with a title page that lists name, paper title, class, and date. (Do not repeat these on subsequent pages.) You will be expected to draw on material used during the module, including readings, lectures, and discussion, as well as any outside sources deemed useful to your argument. Proper citation (MLA, CMS, APA, etc.) of all sources of information and ideas is required.

If writing academic papers is new to you, here is a short list of tips for success:

· Be a “planner” not a “plunger” — Writers can often be divided into two types: plungers and planners. Plungers are those who start writing before they know what they are writing. Planners start writing only when they know what to write. Writing takes time, in preparation and in actually writing. Take the time necessary to do the research, organize thoughts, and outline the order of the paper before you start writing.

· Editing is part of the writing process — Good writing does not just happen in the first attempt. Too often students let their brain spill onto the page and then submit their masterpiece. However, the writing process is not linear. All work needs to be drafted, revised, and edited. One helpful strategy is to print out what you have written, wait or few hours or even a day, and then read it again with fresh eyes. Pay renewed attention to everything from the flow of the arguments and sentence structure to grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

· Writing is meant to be shared — Written work is obviously destined for a final audience, but it should also be read while in process. While self-editing is important, it is also true that “every editor needs an editor.” If you don’t know that something is weak or wrong, then obviously you can’t improve or fix it. Feedback shouldn’t just come from teachers but from peers, preferable before a grade is assigned. Let someone else see your work before turning it in. Inevitably they will identify errors that, once corrected, will improve the final product.

Requirements, Writing Tips, and Grading Rubric for Reflection PapersCMU’s Academic Dishonesty Policy: Written or other work that a student submits must be the product of his/her own efforts. Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty, including dishonesty involving computer technology, are prohibited and will result in a failing grade.1

REL101(WI): World Religions

Reflection Paper #1

Religion and Spiritualty

This course involves the study of “religion,” and we will be studying a number of “religions” during these next three months. Because religion is our focus, it is rather important that we have some idea about what this term actually means. Likewise, it is quite common today to see people use the term “spirituality” rather than the traditional term religion. As we discussed in the first part of this course, and as the special reading for this section more deeply explores, neither “religion” nor “spiritualty” is easy to define, nor is it perfectly clear how these two words are related. Are religion and spirituality separate things or do they overlap? What is meant by the term spirituality that isn’t already meant by the term religion? Though these terms are familiar to everyone, it turns out that both are most difficult words to pin down. For this first Reflection Paper, you are asked to weigh in on this conflicted debate. Before you begin to write, consider what we discussed in class, read carefully the article “Religion and Spirituality” posted under “Course Materials” on Blackboard, and research at least two other articles of your choice that address this topic. Then, in your paper, offer your best insights on what you think about the effort to define religion and spirituality and how they relate to one another. Remember, take a single position, clearly state it in your thesis sentence, and then defend your position in the body of the paper. In the process, your paper can touch on any of these kinds of themes: Do you have definitions of religion and spiritual that you think work? What do you think about today’s popular trend to replace the word “religion” with “spiritual”? Is this in any way an improvement over the word religion? Is spirituality just a part of religion, is religion just a part of spiritualty, or are they separate domains? In which of the four categories—religious and spiritual, religious but not spiritual, spiritual but not religious, neither religious nor spiritual—do you place yourself and why? Is it still possible to study the phenomenon traditionally called “religion” given all of these new ways of talking about it?

Religion and Spirituality

Most people, whether or not they are personally religious, have an opinion about what religion is. It has also become quite popular in recent years to distinguish between religion and spirituality. But as is often the case in academic inquiry, things we think we understand are fuzzy when we try to define them precisely. How might you define “being in love,” for example? We kind of know it when we experience it, but it is hard to pin down a definition.

So it is with the terms “religion” and “spirituality.” Both are complex phenomena, multidimensional in nature, and any single definition is likely to reflect a limited perspective or interest. What exactly is the difference, if there is one, between being religious versus spiritual? In the attempt to define the two, it might help to first take a quick trip through history and see how things have changed since the academic study of religion began in the nineteenth century.

A History of Terminology

Religion is the more traditional term of things studied in this discipline. The word “religion” comes from the Latin root religio, signifying a bond or tie, specifically between a person and a higher power of some sort. The term has carried notions of a supernatural power to which people are committed, the feelings present in individuals who conceive of this power, and the ritual acts carried out with regard to that power. Still, there has been ongoing debate about how best to define religion. For the greater part of the past century, scholars viewed religion as a broad, multifaceted category that encompasses both individual and institutional levels of analysis. Here are a few examples of the ways, past and present, that influential scholars have attempted to defined religion:

The feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may consider the divine. (James, 1902)

A unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things . . . which unites into one single moral community called a Church, all those who adhere to them. (Durkheim, 1912)

The serious and social attitude of individuals or communities toward the power or powers which they conceive as having ultimate control over their interests and destinies. (Pratt, 1920)

A set of symbolic forms and acts that relate man to the ultimate conditions of his existence. (Bellah, 1970)

A system of beliefs in a divine or superhuman power, and practices of worship or other rituals directed towards such a power. (Argyle and Beit Hallahmi 1975)

Systems of belief in and response to the divine, including the sacred books, cultic rituals, and ethical practices of the adherents. (O’Collins and Farrugia 1991)

A system of beliefs and practices observed by a community, supported by rituals that acknowledge, worship, communicate with, or approach the Sacred, the Divine, God, or Ultimate Truth, or Reality. (Koenig 2008)

The concept of religion has changed massively over the centuries, and it is really only since the latter part of the nineteenth century that having a religion has come to refer to the extent to which someone adheres to a faith tradition, and to be contrasted with non-religion. Before that, someone’s religion might have been his or her pattern or rule of life. The meaning of religion has slowly changed from a conceptualization of religion as an interior virtue to an external function that consists of an accumulation of propositional states and beliefs that represent particular doctrinal content.

Religion has also had slightly different meanings in different cultures and historical periods. In most countries, Christianity is an elective religion; that is, people opt in or out of it. The same is probably true of Western Buddhism. However, other religions are closely intertwined with cultural identity. To be Jewish, for example, is as much a matter of cultural or ethnic identity as of what is now thought of as “religion.”

Attempting to capture the nature of religion, let alone study it, is also complicated by the fact that it is so multifaceted. For most people, religion consists of a set of beliefs, rules, and behaviors established by some kind of institution, though what these beliefs, rules, and behaviors might actually be differs from one religion to another. Even within a particular religion there are variations in how that religion is understood and practiced. This is also true of the individual members of a given religion. A person can be religious in one way but not in another. For example, someone might be a believer but not a religious practitioner. In other words, different people are religious in different ways.

Historically speaking, the term “spirituality” is newer, taking on some of the traditional weight of the idea of religion during the latter decades of the 20th century. Broader concepts of religion narrowed to carve out space for spirituality, which derives from the Latin word spiritus, meaning “breath” or “life.” The core sense of that is being immaterial, coming from a dualistic view of matter versus spirit. This division is longstanding, even represented by Christian Protestant church offices where deacons are charged with attending to the congregation’s material needs while elders tend to the spiritual needs. However, spirituality itself is also a multidimensional construct. Here are a few examples of the ways, past and present, that influential scholars have attempted to defined spirituality:

That basic practical or existential attitude of man which is the consequence and expression of the way in which he understand his religion existence. (von Balthasar 1965)

That vast realm of human potential dealing with ultimate purposes, with higher entities, with God, with love with compassion, with purpose. (Tart 1975)

Those attitudes, beliefs, and practices which animate people’s lives and help them to reach out towards super-sensible realities. (Wakefield 1983)

That which is involved in contacting the divine within the Self. (Fahlberg and Fahlberg 1991)

A subjective experience of the sacred. (Vaughan 1991)

The search for existential meaning. (Doyle 1992)

The feelings, thoughts, experiences, and behaviors that arise from a search for the sacred. (Hill 2000)

The way individuals seek and express meaning and purpose and the way they experience their connectedness to the moment, to self, to others, to nature, and to the significant or sacred. (Puchalski 2009)

The Spiritual Turn

So why the shift in language from “religion” to “spirituality”? Words, of course, have connotations. It is the connotations of the terms “religious” and “spiritual” that led to the shift in language. In general, spirituality has connotations of being more personal and psychological whereas religion connotes more institutional and sociological dimensions.

These nuances mean more in the current culture than they did some years ago. The Western world has seen a rise in secularism and growing disillusionment with institutions in general and religious ones in particular. Secularization models have argued that as the secular progresses and science progresses, religion and mysticism recede. Certainly, this explains much of what has happened in the West in recent decades, egged on by failures of institutionalized religion such as the child abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church. Others have argued that secularization theory should be revised so that religion is transformed, not eliminated. Part of this is the dichotomizing of human experience into public and private spheres, resulting in a privatization of religion. This rings true in our day: personal religion or spirituality is fine, but public expressions or efforts to make one’s religious standards hold for the community meet with opposition.

This shift is famously captured by the idea of “Sheilaism”, a self-named “religion” of a young nurse interviewed about her faith. She believed in God but was not really religious nor did she go to church. Her faith was her own little voice and so her faith took on her own name. Here is something, but not religion. It captures the shift in culture that is trying to carve a cleft between religion and spirituality, as spirituality captures individual experience that is separate from established versions of religion, and thus free to be shaped by individuals.

Lacking clear definitions, common parlance leads to more connotations of the two terms. While religion is seen as institutional, spirituality is individual. Religion is external and objective whereas spirituality is internal and subjective. Religion is old and spirituality is new. Religion is structural, fixed, and frozen whereas spirituality is functional, flexible, and dynamic. Religion requires a deity and spirituality does not. Some would take the next step to say religion is good and spirituality is bad, or vice versa. The debate continues, though, as some see carving spirituality out of religion gives one an “easy religion” or sense of “cheap grace” (since religions typically come with moral codes), while the other side sees it merely as teasing out what is valuable from what is superficial or superstitious. Popular thought generally approves the split, whereas many religious thinkers argue one cannot split religion and theology from spirituality.

Categories for Being Religion and/or Spiritual

If we take the vague concepts of religion and spirituality, people may then fall into one of four categories: “religious but not spiritual”, “religious and spiritual,” spiritual but not religious,” and “neither religious nor spiritual.” Most Americans consider themselves to be both religious and spiritual, though the data is ambiguous at times due to differing categories and terms used in surveys. Some 18% of Americans surveyed claim to be spiritual persons but not religious, more than the 15% who claim neither. Thus, most nonreligious persons say they are spiritual, outnumbering atheists and agnostics combined.

A study comparing spiritual but not religious persons to spiritual and religious ones found that compared to the “and” group, the spiritual but not religious group was less likely to see religion in a positive light; less likely to engage in traditional forms of worship, church attendance, and prayer; and less likely to hold to orthodox religious beliefs. They were more likely to be independent from others; to engage in group spiritual growth experiences; to have nontraditional beliefs, to have had mystical experiences; and to see religion and spirituality as nonoverlapping concepts. Nonetheless, religion is the haven for most people where their spirituality is manifested.

While it is somewhat paradoxical to claim to be “religious but not spiritual,” a recent piece on the British Broadcasting Corporation makes the case that this makes sense because of the origins of the term religionAs noted earlier, the word means to bind or connect. Given the individualism and isolation of our day, religion might simply advocate for a shared community, even if only for the human community without focusing on the divine. Some scholars argue for yet another category, suggesting that there is a subgroup of those who are “spiritual but not religion” that might better be described as “spiritual against religion.” Those in this group see religion as a defense against poor spirituality and as a bondage that must be escaped via spirituality. Thus, some statements of spirituality speak pejoratively of religion and of the superiority of spirituality.

Dichotomizing religion and spirituality may have some conceptual usefulness, but the two overlap to a great degree and so polarizing them may be unwise. First, as to the institutional/individual dichotomy, to see religion as institutional only misses the important fact that the institutions of religion exist largely to promote the well being of the individual members. On the other hand, to see spirituality as merely individual neglects the rich ways spirituality is experienced in relationships ranging from marriages to communities.

It is also dangerous to split the two into religion as bad and spirituality as good. Many see this as not squaring with the empirical realities of the two. We see that while religion has undoubtedly resulted in negative behaviors, the impact of religion is largely, if not overwhelmingly, good for people’s health, happiness, and well being. The darker side of spirituality is seen also in the anger some have toward those who express their spirituality through dwelling in religious contexts. In short, defining spirituality as good and religion as bad is poor science.

Defining Religion and Spirituality

Having considered the history of the terms and the context of the spirituality and religion debate, it might be worth trying to actually define these terms. People of faith are likely to have different definitions that are posited from the internal context of faith. Yet our approach is to be academic rather than sectarian, and we need terms that have the most universal applicability so as to facilitate better measurement, research, and communication of results.

As seen above, there have been a number of definitions offered for religion and spiritualty from different disciplines, yet it is apparent to most observers that both these terms entail three core concepts. First, a sense of the sacred is important to both. It is the orientation to the sacred, for example, that separates spiritual experience from simply aesthetic ones. Family may be valued, but to see it in the content of something more than human relationships imbues it with sacredness. Similarly, seeing a sunset is inspiring, but the sense of being one with nature or God in the viewing makes it sacred.

Second, both religion and spirituality involve a search process. The sacred is not known automatically, and there is a process or even struggle to find and know the sacred. Spirituality entails both of these, including the feelings, thoughts, experiences, and behaviors that arise from a search for the sacred.

Religion, however, adds a third set of criteria beyond spirituality, that being that the religious may search for nonsacred goals (such as identity, belonging, meaning, or health) in the context of pursuing its primary goal vis-a-vis the sacred. One might seek a sense of vocation, for instance, in the context of following God. Religion also adds the use of means and methods for the search (such as rituals and behavioral standards) while providing the support of an identifiable group of people.

Based on that, a widely used definition for spirituality is simply “the search for the sacred.” “Sacred” is used here in reference to more than God and higher powers, but also to other aspects of life that are considered to be manifestations of the divine or given divine-like qualities. Religion, on the other hand, might be defined as “the search for significance that occurs within the context of established institutions that are designed to facilitate spirituality.” The search in this is the ongoing journey of discovery of the sacred, conserving the sacred, and transforming the sacred as required along the journey. “Significance” incorporates a wide range of possible goals that are psychological, social, and physical in addition to spiritual. Spirituality is central to institutional religious life; it is what makes it distinctive. In this scheme, spirituality is broader in the sense that is can be directed toward a vast array of goals, while religion is more circumscribed by being embedded in the context of established institutions.

In contrast, other scholars make an interesting case that spirituality can be considered as a subset of religion if one maintains broad definitions of the same, harking back to early work where religion was not so tied to institutional forms. In their model, religion is in three forms: (1) the organized, traditional-oriented religion of typical churches, (2) a charismatic and prophecy- or protest-oriented religion of some sects, and (3) a privatized experience-oriented religion. This last one captures their view of spirituality, including those who would say they are spiritual but not religion. This is accomplished by seeing spirituality as a form of mysticism, something subsumed under religion for centuries. In this model, mysticism is akin to spirituality while religion, in its organized, authoritative sense, offers interpretations of the mystical experiences.

The debate will no doubt continue. The attempt to adequately define both religion and spirituality has been a perennial problem, and the question of how to correctly relate the two remains complex.



Grading Rubric for Reflection Papers

CategoryExceeds StandardAt StandardBelow Standard
KnowledgeDemonstrates a clear recognition of the vocabulary, concepts, and themes presented in the readings, lectures, and videos by utilizing concepts presented in various materials throughout the paper.Demonstrates recognition of some of the vocabulary, concepts, and themes presented in the readings, lectures, and videos through incorporating certain of these in the paper.Demonstrates inadequate recognition of the vocabulary, concepts, and themes presented in the readings, lectures, and videos by incorrectly using or omitting the previously mentioned subjects.
ComprehensionThe paper illustrates a thorough response to the assignment questions and instructions by providing appropriate explanations and analysis of the major concepts in the materials; and by providing appropriate supporting evidence from the materials. The paper illustrates an understanding of material presented in the assignment question and instructions by providing one of the following: explanations of the major concepts in the materials, descriptions of the materials, examples from the materials that relate to the assignment instructions.The paper illustrates a clear misunderstanding of the assignment instructions or the materials by failing to provide the major concepts in the materials, descriptions of the materials, or examples from the materials that relate to the assignment instructions.
AnalysisThe paper exemplifies the student’s mastery of the concepts and issues through clearly articulated comparison and critical analysis of the materials in relation to the module emphasis, cultural conditions, and religious beliefs and practices.The paper exhibits the student’s ability to compare and differentiate concepts and issues in the materials in relation to the module emphasis, cultural conditions, and religious beliefs and practices.The paper does not adequately illustrate the student’s ability to make comparisons and distinctions between key concepts and issues in relation to the module emphasis, cultural conditions, and religious beliefs and practices.
MechanicsNo grammar, sentence structure, spelling and punctuation mistakes. Sources are cited properly.Only insignificant grammar, sentence structure, spelling and punctuation mistake that do not detract from argument. Some improper citation of sources or missing citations.Frequent grammar, sentence structure, spelling and punctuation mistake that detract from argument. Numerous improper or missing citations.
Length2-3 pages2 pagesUnder 2 pages

Knowledge: / 5 Comprehension: / 10 Analysis: / 10 Mechanics, Length: / 5 Total Points: / 30