UCLA The Role of Religion in Promoting Social Change Analytical Review

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University Of California Los Angeles


First two attachments are thorough instructions, and the other is the reading that the paper is based off of.

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2. Three 2-3-page critical analysis papers (60%). This course is divided into six weeklong subsections; students are asked to write one paper at the conclusion of any three of these subsections and submit them on the Thursday of each selected week. These papers should come with a title and, while it is unnecessary to label them as such, they should be comprised of the following three sections: • Explanation: In this section you are to clearly and succinctly explain an analytical concept or a discrete argument that was introduced in any one (or more) of the assigned readings for the appropriate subsection in the course schedule. Obviously, given the brevity of this assignment, you need to carefully select a topic that is not unduly broad. For example, “religion” is too broad; whereas analytical concepts that would be more appropriate could include “motivations" (Geertz), “collective effervescence” (Durkheim), "sect” (McGuire), “symbolic dilemma” (O'Dea), “marginal situation” (Berger), “investment” (Kanter) and so on. Similarly, writing about Weber's entire Protestant ethic thesis is too broad; whereas such more discrete arguments would include: the contention that people generally overestimate the degree of religiosity in the past (Stark and Finke); the argument that religion functions as a political "opiate” (Marx); the claim that America's “civil religion” creates a sense of national solidarity (Bellah); the thesis that there is a persistent "culture war" in the U.S. (Hunter); the argument that emotions are critical for atheists' identity construction (Baggett), and so on. • Critique: In this section you are to offer your own critical assessment of the analytical concept or argument you introduced in the first section. You may rely on your own critical acumen (of course!) and you're also free to draw upon other scholars addressed in this class (especially those for this same week) to help you think through your assessment. In terms of being critical, I don't simply mean that you come to the conclusion that you agree or disagree with an author's use of a concept or support for an argument. Rather, you might add nuance, contradictory or additional supporting evidence, distinctions pertaining to when or for whom this concept or argument may or may not apply, and so forth. • Application: In this final (perhaps longest) section - and, importantly, in light of the critiques you delineated in the previous section - you are to discuss how, when or to what extent your specified analytical concept or argument helps to illuminate some aspect of contemporary religion. In other words, you have introduced an important concept or argument (i.e., "explanation”), you have offered your assessment of an author's use of that concept or argument (i.e., “critique”), so now tell your reader why doing this was worthwhile - how this concept or argument (again, in light of your critique of it) helps you to see something about religion today that you otherwise would not have seen. To do this, you may reflect analytically on some aspect of religion that: a. you are already aware of (or have already experienced or witnessed); b. you have read or heard about from the news, etc.; or c. you do some modest exploration about, which can include listening to some Christian rock music, speaking with an inter-religious couple, reading some pop spirituality literature, viewing a religion-related documentary (there are lots of these on Netflix or Kanopy), analyzing Zen center websites, watching an atheism-related podcast, exploring an Internet chatroom concerning Ramadan, watching a televised megachurch sermon, analyzing a religious nonprofit organization's mission statement, etc., etc. (45%).
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Explanation & Answer


An introduction of the paper and thesis statement is given.
The body contains three parts namely;
1. Explanation
2. Critiques
3. Application
This part concludes the paper


The Role of Religion in Promoting Social Change
Institutional Affiliation




Religion describes the belief in superior power beyond average human ability. Human
beings either believe in science, faith, or both. Such beliefs impact on the conduct of people such
that some activities are regarded religiously wrong, immoral, and punishable by God or the gods.
Social life describes the rules and norms that influence how people conduct themselves. The
paper analyzes the explanation, critiques, and application of religion ...

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