Choose a topic from the list below. You should respond to only ONE question. The essay should
logy include a solid bibliography that exhibits thoughtful engagement with existing literature.
conduct further library research and independently locate other relevant texts. Include a full
bibliography of all material cited. Have 10+ references. l have included some case studies that 5
you can use, you can use others you may fine.

lO) . Questions (Choose only ONE)
William James has defined religion as ‘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 2014 [1902], 41). Does this definition
provide an adequate basis for the study of religious experience? Present at least one
case study as part of your argument.

Is it possible for a student of religious studies to fully understand the religious
experiences of adherents? If so, what are the conditions that best facilitate
understanding? lf not, why not? Present at least one case study as part of your argument.
How are religious experiences shaped by participation in particular communities and traditions? Present at least one case study as part of your argument.

Is there a common essence to religious experiences that cut across different traditions?
lf so, what constitutes the main features of this essence? lf not, what does this indicate
about the nature of religion? Present at least two case studies as part of your argument.

Assessment: 5

Assessment of this essay will focus on the quality of your argument. Your essay should
provide clear evidence that you have a nuanced and thoughtful understanding of
academic debates about religious experience. Your essay should also make effective
use of a case study (or case studies) as part of your argument.
Assessment will also be based on:
Proper referencing (using the Chicago Manual Style as required in all Religious Studies
courses) and
complete bibliography
Evidence of careful reading of academic literature
Clear and coherent structure with proper paragraphing, an incisive introduction, and an
Clarity of presentation and expression (i.e. few spelling and grammar mistakes)

Last Updated on March 9, 2020

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