General Guidelines for the Paper
Religious Ritual Observation Assignment
Your paper should be 1.5 spaced, 12-point font, with 1-inch margins.
Save your file as either a word document (.doc or docx) or a PDF file for submission.
Include your name, class and semester on the title page.
Explain everything in your own words using complete sentences.
Make sure you cite your sources. (LAVC library resource on citations (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.)
Make a heading for each analysis section as indicated below.
Include a separate heading for each section below. With the exception of the ritual description, the questions for each section can be answered in a paragraph or two.
I. Ritual Observed
What religious ritual did you observe? Include religion (be specific), ritual, specific location, and the date. Include a picture of you that shows that you did the observation (e.g., in front of the ritual location). Do not take pictures during the ritual without getting permission! If you have problems meeting this requirement, please contact me as soon as possible.
II. Ritual Description
Describe the ritual that you observed. This should be an approximately three to four page description of what you observed, including a description of the setting, participants and religious specialists. Describe step by step what happened during the ritual.
III. Ritual Classification
How would you classify this ritual? Was it prescriptive or situational? Was it periodic or occasional? How would Wallace classify the ritual (e.g., therapy, social rite of intensification, rite of passage, etc.)? Make sure to include all three classifications. Explain why you classified the ritual the way you did.
Describe the symbols you observed, making sure to include the meaning of each. Include symbolic elements of time and space if appropriate.
V. Ritual Specialist
How would you classify the ritual specialist (i.e., priest or shaman)? What characteristics led you to that decision?
VI. Altered States of Consciousness
Was there any evidence of altered states of consciousness? If yes, what characterized the altered state? How was the altered state achieved? If there was absolutely no evidence of altered states, contact me for further instructions.
What is the worldview of this religion? How was this worldview reflected in the ritual?
Write a paragraph or two on your own thoughts and responses to what you observed