religion and ritual

Project Description:

in class, we discussed the elements and outcomes of rituals. in this task, you will apply these ideas to your life and observations of the society around you. general guidelines for the task are below, grading criteria are on the reverse side of this task.

1. identify and describe an event you witnessed or took part in that has ritual qualities to it
a. preferably this would be something you experienced recently, but if necessary you can choose something from the past. i encourage you to explicitly seek something out over the next few days to observe that qualifies as a ritual
b. preferably this will also be an event that you observe(d) first-hand but, again, if necessary you may find something online or on television to observe. be sure to cite websites, television shows, or any other relevant specifics that will allow me to see what you were looking at if you choose this option.
c. note: the event does not have to perfectly qualify as a ritual (see below). moreover, it can be religious and/or civil in character.

2. describe the elements of the event that seem ritualized in character (steps and outcomes). make sure these are clearly related to our discussion of ritual. when unsure, simply indicate where you suspect an element qualifies but cannot be certain.

3. describe what elements of rituals seem to be missing in the event. refer to you lecture notes for examples.

additional guidelines:

do not use examples like the videos we watched in class for your task. this does not have to be written like an essay: vague introductory and concluding paragraphs are not necessary. indeed, i would prefer you number the parts of your task to conform to the grading criteria below.

your answers should be well-written and free of typos. no specific page length is required, but two pages should be sufficient. your task should be typed and double-spaced in 12 pt. times new roman font using standard (1” or smaller) margins. tasks must be turned in by the due date specified in class to receive full credit. emailed tasks will not be accepted. please contact me if any of these directions are unclear or you have any questions regarding the task.

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grading criteria for content:

in addition to general clarity and quality of writing and conforming with the guidelines above, i will look to make sure you accurately include the following in your discussion. please number your answers to clearly indicate where you discuss the following items.

steps and outcomes:
1. briefly describe the event (what did you attend?)
2. is the group assembled? who is the group?
3. what sort (if any) patterned behavior occurs?
4. what is the focus of group attention?
5. does the ritual seem to create zeal and solidarity? how can you tell?
6. is the event itself repeated? (e.g. daily, weekly, etc)
important: when discussing each of the above, be sure to discuss whatever elements of ritual seem to be missing or if you’re not sure of something. do not just assume the event you watched is a perfect fit or you will lose points.
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