What Is Religion

To do excellent work on the essays, you should incorporate what you’ve learned from Huston Smith “The World’s Religions”, supported by scriptures from the Robert E. Van Voorst ‘Anthology of world scriptures” readings, your classmates’ Reflect posts, and your web research (these last two are helpful but less crucial).What is religion? Now that you have encountered three religions- primal, Confucianism and Taoism – I want you to develop a definition of religion based on your empirical study of those three religious traditions. Choose three shared elements or features of these religions that you consider essential to them. Be sure to explore these features across all three religions. Ideally, your defining elements or features will emerge from your study so far (try not to impose your own, preconceived categories on these traditions). If you get stuck, do not consult Webster! Huston Smith offers two very nice discussions of what constitutes religion in his chapters on Confucianism and Buddhism. The best essays will draw not only on the descriptions in Smith, but will provide illustrations from Van Voorst’s collection of scriptures. Remember to advance a claim, make an argument, and support that argument with evidence from our readings.

Prof. Angela


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