System of Beliefs Or Practices
For a system of beliefs paper, you may want to write an essay about various beliefs and practices of religious faiths or lifestyles. A good research paper 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 what is written about a belief, consideration should 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:
One of the important distinctions raised during a course on world religions 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 about one belief or compare and contrast
- Define your belief system first and then explain its various elements
- Good research always contains citation of all references parenthetically within the paper by giving the author's or editor's name and the relevant page number.
- It is essential that sources are cited not only when quoted directly from a text, but also when paraphrased; be sure to summarize more than you quote.