Choose ONE of the following options for this assignment:Option 1:Identify 1-3 co-workers, neighbors, friends, family members with religious or non-religious identities other than your own who are willing to engage in an interfaith dialogue (in person or via Zoom/FaceTime or phone).Set some ground rules (e.g. not to argue about doctrine ).Everyone agree to read the “Dialogue Decalogue” (attached). Perhaps have everyone take the Pew Research Center Religious Literacy Quiz as a starting point for conversation.Choose several topics to discuss; the interfaith dimensions can be of some help here. Get permission to record the conversation and/or take notes (at least).Examples of topics/questions:1) How does your faith/worldview shape your day-to-day life? (daily prayer(s), meditation, attire, food rituals or restrictions)2) How does your faith/worldview inform your response to global crises? (climate change, racial injustice, pandemic)3) Who are your faith heroes and why?Write a 500-600 word (~2 pages, double-spaced) essay describing the exchange. What did you learn about the others’ religious views? What did you unlearn about their tradition (what is something that you thought was the case but turned out not be)? Please feel free to include video or audio clips, if appropriate and if you have permission to do so. Also feel free to protect the identity of your conversation partners, if that makes them feel more comfortable._________________________________________________________________Option 2:Identify 3-6 faith communities near you (from different traditions). Be sure to include different faith traditions, though it is okay to include more than one community from the same faith tradition. (For example, Christianity is a single faith tradition but there are many denominations, and some of those denominational differences are significant. In other words, Lutherans, Catholics, and Baptists are all Christians – the same faith – but have some very different ideas about doctrine, social issues, institutional structure, and so on. The same holds true for almost all religious traditions.)Given COVID (and time) restrictions, visit the websites of these communities. (In other circumstances, I would ask you to visit the communities themselves.) (If possible, visit the grounds of these communities and take photos – respectfully – of the outside of the church, synagogue, mosque, meditation center, or temple.)From the websites, determine as much as you can about the community. Many religious communities now have recordings of worship services archived online (because of the pandemic). Please watch and compare several of these services, too.1) How does it self-identify? What is its mission?2) Who leads the community? (Rabbi, Imam, Priest, Pastor, etc.) Men? Women? LGBTQIA folks?3) Who is welcome? How is that communicated?4) What type of worship services are available? when? what accommodations have been made for COVID?5) What activities, groups, educational experiences are offered?6) What is relationship with the local community? Is it clear/obvious? any social statements?7) What else did you notice?Write a 500-600 word (~2 pages, double-spaced) comparing the communities. What did you learn about the communities you examined? What did you unlearn (what was something you thought was the case but turned out not to be)? Please feel free to include links, video clips, or comparison tables that pertinent to this assignment. If you are able to take photos, please include the pictures as well.
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