During this course, you will be tasked with completing a pilot field research project. In this project, you will find a religious institution other than the one you practice (if you practice one at all) and interview a member about their perspectives on the state of religion. Preferably, choose a religious institution you know little about.
You will be asked to submit your selected religious institutions in an ungraded topic selection assignment about half-way through the semester. After you have selected a religious institution, make inquiries about a religious center that you can contact for a possible interviewee. Find out about the beliefs and practices using prior research (such as using Google or a personal website) before your approach the members. You will need to address each of these in the ungraded topic selection assignment. When you are ready, approach the center and explain your project to a responsible member or a leader. Introduce yourself and your project. Explain the questions you would like to ask if you are prompted to explain your project. Ask for interviews: two interviews are expected: one with a leader and another one with a member of the institution (Church, Mosque, temple, monastery, religious cultural center, etc.)
Ask at least three of the following questions in an interview not to exceed 45 minutes:
- How do you see the present state of religiosity?
- What are the main benefits and problems of a religious life?
- How do you see the future of religion?
- How do you perceive the relationship between different religions?
- A question of your own choosing (requires instructor approval).
Ideally, you will want to ask more questions than the three you choose. Never the less, you must select at least three of these options and they must be present in your interview.
After you have conducted the interview, transcribe (create a written record) of the interview to the best of your ability. Do not refer to ANY interviewee by their real name in your transcript or in your paper. Write your paper using a combination of your own work, strategically selected quotations from your interviews, and information you have gathered about the religious center of your research. Then, contextualize your paper using appropriate references to information found within The Sacred Canopy and other assigned course materials.
The paper should 5 – 7 double-spaced pages in length, excluding references. You do not need a title page for this assignment; including one will not count to your page requirement. The paper should generally follow this order:
- An introduction introducing your interviewee (DO NOT USE THEIR REAL NAME) and the religious center you are focusing on
- At least two sections of content
- You’ll want to arrange them thematically around the questions you asked
- You must relate interview material to relevant information from the class, although you can reference outside materials if necessary.
- You will need to include at least2 relevant quotations from the interview.
- A conclusion summarizing the basic points that were made. It should also include a brief, 1 paragraph reflection on your experiences with the project.
- References in ASA or APA style.
- Besides submitting a paper, each student is required to create a Power Point Presentation pertaining to her or his “Pilot Field Project” and post it in the forum devoted to this project on Canvas.
Note: You are welcome to change your topic any time after the topic selection assignment has been submitted so long as you inform – and get the approval of — the instructor of your topic change.
[This is the whole project. I have chosen to do it over Christianity which is why my paper should be based on the interview of a people of Church.]