attending two religious services at different houses of worship and writing a 1000-word paper about the experience. visiting two different houses of worship and comparing and contrasting the experiences and connections between what was learned in class and what was observed during the visits.

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attending two religious services at different houses of worship and writing a 1000-word paper about the experience. visiting two different houses of worship and comparing and contrasting the experiences and connections between what was learned in class and what was observed during the visits.

Instructions
For this assignment, you will need to attend 2 religious services at 2 different local houses of worship. The houses of worship must correspond with one of the religious traditions that we cover in the course (Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, or Muslim). If you identify with one of these religious traditions or regularly attend one of these houses of worship, it is fine if use your home house of worship or or religious tradition as one of your site visits. *Since this is an online class, you are welcome to “attend” these houses of worship virtually. Most houses of worship now offer a virtual option to watch their services online live. If you are able to attend a house of worship in-person, however, I highly recommend it! It really does give you an experience that you will not forget! But as this is an online, condensed course, I understand that won’t be possible for everyone. Instructions for choosing your 2 houses of worship:
1) Choose which two traditions (of the 5 religions we study in class) you would like to attend a service/house of worship for. 2) Start planning what houses of worship/services you would like to attend. This could be your own house of worship, a friend or family member’s house of worship, or one that you just want to check out! *If you want to research another house of worship for a tradition we are studying, you can consult the “Want to Learn More About…?” pages at the end of the module for each religion we study. On those pages I have additional resources and a brief list of local houses of worship. If you having trouble finding a house of worship to visit for the tradition you want to write about, just talk to me and we can find one together that fits your interests/schedule!
If you are going to visit a house of worship on your own, I suggest that you visit their website, find their contact info and call/email the house of worship explaining that you would like to observe a religious service for a World Religions course. You will probably want to email a few in case some are not as responsive as others. Set up a time that you can observe a religious service (usually the schedule of these services are posted online). You have to go when there is some type of activity going on in the house of worship. This could be a weekly service, ceremony, holiday celebration, book club, meditation class, etc. It is not acceptable to simply go to the house of worship, walk around the building, and leave. Some type of interaction is required!
Also remember that, in general, it is important to wear modest clothing to all houses of worship. No tank tops, shorts/skirts that go above the knee, or clothing with large rips/holes in it. 3) When you go to the houses of worship, be sure to take notes (mental if writing is not permitted in the service) about your experiences there: what occurred, what did the building/space look like, who was involved, who was NOT involved, were any particular objects used during the service, was there singing, prayer, meditation, etc. Instructions for the Written Paper:
Compose a 1000-word paper (12-point font, Times New Roman, double-spaced) answering the following questions:
a. Basic Information about both Religious Sites:
Identify the name of the sites that you visited.
Identify the tradition and sub-tradition (if applicable) of the religious sites that you visited.
Identify the times and dates of your visits.
Identify any people that you spoke to or interviewed.
Any other helpful/interesting data about your site visit locations
b. Why you chose these particular sites – briefly explain why you chose these two traditions and sites for your visit.
c. House of Worship #1
Describe your visit
Describe the sequence of events that took place from the beginning through the end of your visit to this religious site. What happened? What objects were used? What did the religious leader do? What did the participants/congregants do?
Describe any new information learned
What did you learn about this tradition from your visit that you did not learn from the class lectures/readings?
Describe connections between what you read about this tradition in our readings and what you saw in the religious site.
Were there any similarities or overlaps between the reading and the in-person experience?
Were there any differences or contradictions (seeming or real) between the reading and the in – person experience?
Provide one direct quotation from one of the readings that correspond to the religion to demonstrate this similarity/difference
d. House of Worship #2
Describe your visit
Describe the sequence of events that took place from the beginning through the end of your visit to this religious site. What happened? What objects were used? What did the religious leader do? What did the participants/congregants do?
Describe any new information learned
What did you learn about this tradition from your visit that you did not learn from the class lectures/readings?
Describe connections between what you read about this tradition in our readings and what you saw in the religious site.
Were there any similarities or overlaps between the reading and the in-person experience?
Were there any differences or contradictions (seeming or real) between the reading and the in – person experience?
Provide one direct quotation from one of the readings that correspond to the religion to demonstrate this similarity/difference
f. Comparison and Contrast
Draw on your experiences to make general comparisons between the two houses of worship and services – what was similar? What was different? Did they look similar or different? Did people act similar or different? Was the atmosphere similar or different? Was your reaction similar or different
g. Overall Impression of these experiences
What was this experience like for you? Was it enjoyable? Uncomfortable? What did it feel like to be in another religion’s sacred space? h. Please also include a picture from your trip to each site visit. The photo could be a selfie of yourself in front of the house of worship, an image or video taken during the service (if that is appropriate) or a picture of something inside/outside of the house of worship. If you feel that taking any picture would be inappropriate in that space, try to take some sort of informational handout (many houses of worship provide these in the entrance area) and take a picture of that after leaving the house of worship. If you attended the service online, please take a screenshot of your computer while watching the service.

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