Background Information:

As we have journeyed throughout the semester we have focused our studies on identifying major themes and different teachings of the religions of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. We have either directly or indirectly focused on developing a deeper understanding of each religions’ theology, sacred scriptures, code of ethics, prayer and worship rituals, and a brief history of the religion. For the most part, we have looked at each of these religions independently, but now as we begin to wrap up our course we will revisit these religions and begin to examine them critically and ask the intriguing question: What similarities (and differences) do these religions share amongst each other regarding their teachings of a specific topic?

For your final thematic report, you will select a theme, from the list below, and recapitulate each religion’s teaching on that particular theme. You will then complete a comparative analysis on the significant similarities that each religion has with Catholicism specifically – not just Christianity in light of the topic as well as delineate their distinct differences. Once you have completed the comparative analysis, you will reflect on the following question: 

  1. How can (or how has) the knowledge gleaned in this report and in this course change(d) your perspective/outlook on dialogue with people of other faiths?
    • You can share a personal experience that you have had with someone of a different faith background or how you think having a better understanding of these different teachings will help shape your future interactions with people of different faiths.

List of Selected Themes:

  • Religion’s Understanding of God
    • The Divine
    • Metaphysical and Supernatural Beings
  • Soteriology
    • How is salvation achieved?
  • Eschatology – End Times
    • Death and the Afterlife
    • Final Judgement
  • Creation
    • Of the Universe
    • Humanity
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Freedom and Free Will
  • Virtues
  • Sin and Forgiveness
  • Treatment of Women or the Marginalized People in Society
  • Prayer and Worship Practices
  • Celebrations of Life Events or Rites of Passage
    • Birth
    • Adulthood
    • Marriage
    • Funerals
  • Initiations into the Religion 

Instructions: Adhere to the outline and page length requirements below.

  1. Introduction of the Selected Theme (.25-.5 page)
    1. Identify the selected theme
    2. Describe the theme is in general – not related to a specific religion
    3. Explain why you selected the specific theme
      1. Ex. You find the theme intriguing and you wanted to learn more about it 
  2. Explanation of the Theme in Catholicism (.5 page)
  3. Explanation of the Theme in Judaism (.5 page)
  4. Explanation of the Theme in Islam (.5 page)
  5. Explanation of the Theme in Hinduism (.5 page)
  6. Explanation of the Theme in Buddhism (.5 page)
  7. Similarities with Catholicism (1 page)
    1. Identify and describe at least one similarity that each religion (Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism) has to Catholicism in the context of the selected theme.
      1. These similarities can be vague or extremely specific as long as it relates back to the selected theme.
  8. Differences with Catholicism (1 page)
    1. Characterize at least one difference that each religion (Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism) has to Catholicism in the context of the selected theme.
      1. These differences can be vague or extremely specific as long as it relates back to the selected theme 
  9. Concluding Reflection (.5 page)
    1. Answer the following question: How can (or how has) the knowledge gleaned in this report and in this course change(d) your perspective/outlook on dialogue with people of other faiths?
      1. No citations needed for this section 

Submission Instructions:

  • When completing this written report, the following guidelines must be followed. Failure to do so will result in points being deducted from your grade.
  • This report must be typed in any 12 point non-ornamental font.
  • Each section of the report must include a section title on a separate line (ex: Islamic Symbols, Beliefs and Practices, etc.).
  • Each section must incorporate at least 2 direct quotations with appropriate footnotes from our Van Voorst course textbook (World RELG4: Introduction to World Religions) or one of the databases/encyclopedias available through St. Thomas University Library. You may also find it beneficial to refer to the resources posted on Canvas.
  • The report should be formatted per current Chicago-Turabian (CMOS) style and adhere to the page length requirements outlined above.

Page 1 of 3

Thematic Written Report Rubric

Introduction of the Selected Theme – 5 points

– Included all of the following elements within the explanation:

o Identification the selected theme

o Description the theme is in general – not related to a specific religion

o Explanation of why the selected theme was chosen

o Explanation was at least ¼ page in length

– Missing 1 – 3

– Missing 2 – 2

– Missing 3 or more – 1

– Insufficient/Missing – 0

Explanation of the Theme in Catholicism – 9 points

– Included all of the following elements within the explanation:

o Comprehensive explanation of the selected theme in Catholicism

o Explanation was at least ½ page in length

o Explanation include at least 2 direct quotations with accompanying footnotes

– Missing 1 – 7

– Missing 2 – 6

– Missing 3 or more – 5

– Insufficient/Missing – 0

Explanation of the Theme in Judaism – 9 points

– Included all of the following elements within the explanation:

o Comprehensive explanation of the selected theme in Judaism

o Explanation was at least ½ page in length

o Explanation include at least 2 direct quotations with accompanying footnotes

– Missing 1 – 7

– Missing 2 – 6

– Missing 3 or more – 5

– Insufficient/Missing – 0

Explanation of the Theme in Islam – 9 points

– Included all of the following elements within the explanation:

o Comprehensive explanation of the selected theme in Islam

o Explanation was at least ½ page in length

o Explanation include at least 2 direct quotations with accompanying footnotes

– Missing 1 – 7

– Missing 2 – 6

– Missing 3 or more – 5

– Insufficient/Missing – 0

Page 2 of 3

Explanation of the Theme in Hinduism – 9 points

– Included all of the following elements within the explanation:

o Comprehensive explanation of the selected theme in Hinduism

o Explanation was at least ½ page in length

o Explanation include at least 2 direct quotations with accompanying footnotes

– Missing 1 – 7

– Missing 2 – 6

– Missing 3 or more – 5

– Insufficient/Missing – 0

Explanation of the Theme in Buddhism – 9 points

– Included all of the following elements within the explanation:

o Comprehensive explanation of the selected theme in Buddhism

o Explanation was at least ½ page in length

o Explanation include at least 2 direct quotations with accompanyin

Page 1 of 2

Thematic Written Report

As we have journeyed throughout the semester we have focused our studies on identifying major themes and
different teachings of the religions of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. We have either
directly or indirectly focused on developing a deeper understanding of each religions’ theology, sacred
scriptures, code of ethics, prayer and worship rituals, and a brief history of the religion. For the most part, we
have looked at each of these religions independently, but now as we begin to wrap up our course we will revisit
these religions and begin to examine them critically and ask the intriguing question: What similarities (and
differences) do these religions share amongst each other regarding their teachings of a specific topic?

For your final written report, you will select a theme, from the list below, and recapitulate each religion’s
teaching on that particular theme. You will then complete a comparative analysis on the significant similarities
that each religion has with Catholicism specifically – not just Christianity in light of the topic as well as
delineate their distinct differences. Once you have completed the comparative analysis, you will reflect on the
following question:

– How can (or how has) the knowledge gleaned in this report and in this course change(d) your
perspective/outlook on dialogue with people of other faiths?

o You can share a personal experience that you have had with someone of a different faith
background or how you think having a better understanding of these different teachings will
help shape your future interactions with people of different faiths.

List of Selected Themes

– Religion’s Understanding of God
o The Divine
o Metaphysical and Supernatural Beings

– Soteriology
o How is salvation achieved?

– Eschatology – End Times
o Death and the Afterlife
o Final Judgement

– Creation
o Of the Universe
o Humanity

– Pain and Suffering
– Freedom and Free Will
– Virtues
– Sin and Forgiveness
– Treatment of Women or the Marginalized in Society
– Prayer and Worship Practices
– Celebrations of Life Events

o Birth
o Adulthood
o Marriage
o Funerals

– Initiations into the Religion

This written report will be divided into different sections and you must follow the specific guidelines listed
below.

Page 2 of 2

Formatting Guidelines
When completing this written report, the following guidelines must be followed. Failure to do so will result in
points being deducted from your grade:

a. This report must be typed in 12pt. font, double-spaced, & Times New Roman
b. Each section of the report must:

a. Include Section Title on a separate line
i. Ex: Islamic Symbols, Beliefs and Practices, etc.

b.