Visit a worship service or ceremony (temple, mosque, church, cathedral, or worship facility) outside of your own religious background or current religious practice. Note: Remember that if your religious background or current practice is Christian, you cannot do this Field Visit Essay on any other Christian Churches (Roman Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Pentecostal, etc.). If you do, the paper will not be accepted. Then, write about your experience in a 1,000-word essay: what you observed, what you learned, how you felt (personal reflection), and anyone you interviewed. As an ethnographic exercise, detail is essential.
Your essay must address the following points.
- Conduct an interview with a priest, minister, rabbi, imam, monk, lay leader or church official with all questions and responses integrated into the body of the paper. Provide an appendix at the end of the paper listing the questions you asked.
- Describe the service, building structure, art and cultic objects, clothing, rituals, ancillary practices (such as serving special foods), “the feel of the place,” demographics of the participants, and anything else relating to the religion and the service. Specify the religion and the branch or sect you attended for the site visit
- Demonstrate that you have done some research ahead of time (citations and a Works Cited page) so that you have some basic knowledge of what you are going to experience. When you use outside sources, you must cite according to MLA format and add a Works Cited page. You must provide a minimum of three scholarly, professional research sources (books and professional journals) for this research.
- Identify and discuss your own religious background or current practice in the introduction.
- Respect the church, temple, or mosque. DO NOT TAKE NOTES DURING THE WORSHIP SERVICE, PRAYERS OR MEDITATIONS. Do your research ahead of time and in interviews. Sit quietly and participate appropriately during the worship service, following the other worshippers in what to do. DO NOT MAKE ANY CRITICAL OR DISPARAGING COMMENTS TO ANYONE WHILE ATTENDING SOMEONE ELSE’S SACRED SPACE.
(MLA STYLE!) You must provide a minimum of five (5) references (books, journal articles, interviews, feature news articles, documentaries, etc.) of which only one may come from the Internet (except for full e-books and online academic articles). The Internet source must be a scholarly, professional expert source.
Please DO NOT use any of the following sources as one of your references:
- Hopfe and Woodward textbook or other course textbooks
- Wikipedia, encyclopedias or dictionaries
- Original sources, such as the Bible, the Torah or the Quran