"Elements of Religion"

Team Activities

Writing Assignments

Extra Credit


Sac State Logo

Schedule - Conclusion

All readings in this schedule should ideally be completed by the day under which they are listed, although this requirement is only assessed during TRAs and team application exercises. All numbers in the schedule are page numbers unless otherwise noted.

CAUTION: I reserve the right to make revisions to these on-line materials prior to their discussion in class at the relevant point in the semester. Therefore WAIT until that time to print out materials you wish to have on hand, such as terms, excerpts and assignment guidelines.

Conclusing Sessions & Final Assignments

Dates Tasks Readings
Tue, May 14

final Application Exercise

IMPORTANT: in contrast to previous application exercises, the *REQUIRED PREPARATION*

  • must be typed in 12 pt font w/1" margins, single spaced)
  • must fill 2-3 pages
  • will be scored out of 50 points and ADDED to the team ApEx points (50 points).

in Assignments tab of SacCT)
for Unit 4 **Source Analysis**
(PDF | MS Word)
OR **Observation Report**
(PDF/MS Word)
by **FRIDAY 5/17, midnight**

REVIEW PRIMARY SOURCES (including **OBSERVATION REPORTS**) for the final Application Exercise:

  1. sutras & legends of the Buddha's ascetic practice (Unit 1)
  2. vinaya stories of settled monks, Mahayana sutras & practices (Unit 2)
  3. East Asian practices, women's roles & monks' relations w/ laypeople (Unit 3)
  4. SE Asian & Tibetan practices, relationships w/laypeople & women's roles (Unit 4)

NOTE: you may find it helpful to consult related sections of scholarly introductions & EGBT, but stick to PRIMARY SOURCES (RDR & Observation Reports) in selecting examples for your notes.

PREPARE *FORMAL* NOTES (see left column) addressing the following focus:

THE SCENARIO: After spending the semester talking to Juan, Francine, Lia & Dennis about the Buddhist ideas & practices you've read about and observed, you have successfully completed, passed and recuperated from all your final exams and papers. As you enjoy the break from your school schedule, you are suddenly struck with an idea. Why not start a religions study group aimed at promoting clearer communication between people of different religious traditions--including atheists? Part of what you would like to do is develop a culture of using neutral language to describe empathically and objectively what goes on in different religious traditions. You could start with Buddhism, and then consider other traditions that are of interest to group members.

Juan likes the idea, and thinks his wife would be interested too. Francine wants to bring her girlfriend who has heard about all the conversations you have had. Lia says her mom is interested; Dennis has a housemate who would like to attend; and you can think of several other friends and acquaintances to invite. You find a location and set a date for the first meeting.

Now you have to figure out how to focus the group. Although the professor of your Buddhism class drove you a bit crazy at times with his incessant focus on practice and reflection, in the end you did find it helpful to distinguish objectively between practices that people do and the thoughts & feelings that are inspired by, that motivate and focus those practices. You still have your course reader and the observation reports you printed out, so you sit down and make notes about a few examples that you think would be interesting and useful for everyone to discuss at the first meeting.

FORMAL NOTES: Gather evidence of practice and reflection from the readings that you might use to spark discussion at your first study group meeting. Using the above boldfaced terms, your **formal notes** (12 point, 1" margins, single spaced) should clearly label and identify FOR **EACH** SET OF PRIMARY SOURCES LISTED ABOVE from Units 1-4:

(a) people, actions, objects, words and a locale involved in ONE Buddhist practice and explanation of the way that practice inspires thoughts & feelings about invisible beings & forces; and

(b) some evidence of the way thoughts & feelings of those who participate in practice motivate and focus ONE Buddhist practice (may be the same or different than the one in (a)).

SO, your notes should include a total of EIGHT sections.

SPECIFICS: as always, include page number references whether or not you quote directly from the readings. If you quote a passsage, be sure to specify its broader context within the source, and also specify which details in the passage you wish to highlight; but note that you may be better off paraphrasing details from different parts of the source and citing several pages numbers.

Thu, May 16

final iTRA (in SacCT) *DUE by 11:30 am*
final gTRA in class


  • TRA #1-4 (10 questions will reappear on the final TRA)
  • selected student Observation Reports
    (view in SacCT if not printed before)
Tue, May 21
(view finals week schedule)

in Assignments tab of SacCT) & BRING PRINTED COPY of
Unit 4 *Source Analysis* OR
*Observation Report*
to MND 2016, 10-12, 1-5 PM
(w/envelope if desired - see below)


Worksheet for final assignment
Student comments
(made sure to include your analysis of comments)

**IMPORTANT: if you don't plan to keep your course reader, rather than recycling it you can donate it to me and I'll raffle it off to a student the next time I teach the course.**

WARNING: Barring submission of a petition for an incomplete and in contrast to my late policy during the semester, no assignments will be accepted after Tuesday, May 21.

Also, if you wish to retrieve your final observation analysis, please attach to your paper a self-addressed stamped envelope (4" x 9" is usually OK if unless your paper is unusally thick) with sufficient postage for 3 ounces (currently $0.76 or two first-class stamps). Papers submitted without an envelope will receive only minimal comments and eventually be recycled without shredding.

**IMPORTANT: if you don't plan to keep your course reader, rather than recycling it you can donate it to me and I'll raffle it off to a student the next time I teach the course.**

<--BACK | NEXT-->