Religion, War, and Violence

Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements


Religion, War, and Violence

I. Purpose of the Assignment:
In this second writing assignment, you are asked to summarize a theorist’s argument and to interpret a primary text in light of this theorist’s ideas. Specifically, this assignment requires you to choose one of the theorists (Walter Wink or the Editors of First Things) and then apply that theorist’s ideas to the primary text in the Reader: Matthew 5:38-48.

This assignment includes two steps. 
Step one: Summarize the theorist’s argument as presented by your instructor and in the reading (no outside resources should be used). As in short essay #1, summarize the theorist’s ideas by presenting them in your own words and incorporating at least one direct quotation.

Step two: Using the theorist’s ideas, interpret a primary text. In other words, describe how the theorist would make sense of the religious text given his own assumptions and theories about the nature of religion, culture, and violence. What would the theorist say is the purpose and significance of the text? Make sure you are interpreting the text from the theorist’s perspective, not your own!

II. General Requirements & Deadlines
A. Length: 500-700 words 
B. Proper grammar, spelling, punctuation, syntax, etc., (i.e., well-written).
C. Response paper must include properly cited direct quotations (one each).
*Be sure the quoted material you include contributes to your summary. Ask yourself:
Does the quotation support your summary of the author’s argument or thesis? Does the quotation support or explain one of the author’s main points? 

III. Two Pitfalls to Avoid (same as in Assignment #1)
A. You should NOT include your own evaluation of the theorist’s argument in this assignment. Your job is to summarize his thinking, not to judge it.
Summarize = describe another person’s argument, thoughts in your own words
Evaluate = describe your own response to that argument (not appropriate for this assignment)

B. Do NOT consult any sources beyond the assigned reading as you write this essay.


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