120 Exploring World Religions
REL 125 Religions of the East
Guidelines for Visitation Paper
IMPORTANT !!! PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING RESTRICTIONS:
For REL 120 EXPLORING WORLD RELIGIONS: As this is intended to be a learning experience, all students must write about a visit to a religious site that is outside the realm of his/her cultural experience. Furthermore, if you are a native-born American, you may NOT write about a visit to a Protestant or Roman Catholic Christian church. Via media and popular religiosity, these religious traditions are a part of the overall cultural landscape with which native-born Americans are already familiar to one degree or another, regardless of whether or not one has been brought up within or is formally connected to them. You MAY, however, visit an Orthodox Christian church, as the various Orthodox traditions (Greek, Russian, etc.) tend to retain their respective traditional cultural and ethnic identities, thereby giving the opportunity for a meaningful experience. If you have any questions about these basic guidelines, please talk to me BEFORE you plan a visit or begin writing anything.
For REL 125 RELIGIONS OF THE EAST: As this is intended to be a learning experience, all students must write about a visit to a religious site that is outside the realm of the student's cultural experience. Secondly, in accordance with the nature of the course, you may write ONLY about visits to sites associated with Eastern religious traditions (South, East, and Southeast Asian), i.e., Hindu, Sikh, or Buddhist (and the latter's various sub-sects), as these are the only traditions with formal groups in the Kansas City / Johnson County / Lawrence area. Furthermore, if you are of non-Western descent (i.e., South, East, or Southeast Asian), you may write ONLY about a visit to a religious site that is outside the realm of your cultural experience. If you have any questions about these basic guidelines, please talk to me BEFORE you plan a visit or begin writing anything.
In approaching this paper, think of yourself as a journalist or researcher; this paper is to be an objective and academic analysis of a religious tradition in the context of its practice in a human community. While your observation, interpretation, and assessment of what is taking place is important, do not use this paper as an opportunity to judge, belittle, and/or condemn the practices of those whose faith and/or belief system is different from your own. "Critical thinking" is not the same as simply "criticizing."
Format: Typed, double-spaced, at least three fully-written pages in length (one inch header, one inch footer; do not "double-double-space" your paragraphs). Use a conventional font such as Times New Roman or Arial, no larger than 12 point. All quotes, textual excerpts, etc. must be cited, either by endnotes or parenthetically within the body of the paper. All interviews, sources, etc. should be included in a "Works and/or Sources Cited" page. Title page and/or works cited page are not included in the minimum page requirement stated above. Do not create a "cover page" whose empty-space header takes up a significant length of the page, as this will not be counted as a full page; the best way is to place all title, course, or ID information on a separate title page, and then simply begin your text at the top of page one.
Elements of the Paper (maximum value: 50 points).
1. Adherence to format, as outlined above
a. Who began this tradition, i.e., this particular group/community? What were the circumstances surrounding the creation of this community? In other words, write about the history of this particular location, not the entire religious tradition.
b. How long ago did this community begin? Did they start at a different location than where they gather now?
c. In what way(s) is this group different today than it was when it began?
d. Who do people revere or lift up as significant personalities or "heroes" of this particular group/community? How do people talk about them? What did they do that made them notable?
a. Describe the physical space(s) in which the worship and/or assembly take place.
b. Is the space set up to control and/or guide what takes place and/or what you see?
c. What elements or objects in the space seem to be central or most important?
d. Does the space express (or impose) certain kinds of relationships between persons, objects, sub-spaces within the overall space?
a. Describe what happens within the space before, during and after worship.
b. What types of symbol or ritual are employed? What are they expressing?
c. What particular event or events seem to stand out as important or central? Why?
a. Whatever the world religion is that you are researching/visiting, it is taking place in the United States. How does the American culture "shape" the actions or rituals of this group? For example, is Buddhism in America going to be the same as Buddhism in Thailand or Japan" Why or why not?
b. How does this group interact with the local community in which it is situated? For example, does it hold any public events through which it connects with the community at-large?
c. How does this religious community see itself in relation to other religions or belief systems? Is it inclusive? Exclusive?
You should be able to address various dimensions of all four of the elements listed above (i.e., #s 2-5). Depending on where you choose to go, some elements will apply better than others. You may discover some elements of your own. But most importantly...
Visitation Sites in the Kansas City Area
These are suggestions and guides only; you are by no means limited to this list.
Call or go to the organization's website for times and schedules of events.
Hinduism (REL 125: Hindu or Buddhist sites only!)
Hindu Temple and Cultural Center, 6330 Lackman Rd., Shawnee, KS 66217. 913-631-7519.
Vedanta Society of Kansas City, 8701 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, MO 64114. 816-444-8045.
Buddhism (REL 125: Hindu or Buddhist sites only!)
Temple Buddhist Center, www.templebuddhistcenter.org , Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th St., Kansas City, MO 64112. 816-561-4466.
The American Buddhist Center, www.theamericanbuddhistcenter.org , 3913 N. Main, Kansas City, MO 64116. 816-210-3378
Kansas Zen Center, 1423 New York St., Lawrence, KS. 785-331-2472.
Laotian Buddhist Association, 725 Spruce, Olathe, KS 66061. 913-829-6647.
Rime Buddhist Center (Tibetan Buddhism), 700 West Penway, Kansas City, MO 64108. 816-471-7073.
Congregation BIAV Orthodox (Orthodox), 9900 Antioch Rd., Overland Park, KS 66212 913-341-2444.
B'nai Jehudah Congregation (Reform), 12320 Nall, Overland Park, KS 66209 913-663-4050.
Congregation Beth Shalom (Conservative), 14200 Lamar Avenue, Overland Park, KS 913-647-7279.
Congregation Beth Torah (Reform), 6100 West 127th St., Overland Park, KS 66207. 913-498-2212.
Congregation Ohev Sholom (Conservative), 5311 W. 75th St., Leawood, KS 66208. 913-642-6460.
Kehilath Israel Synagogue (Conservative), 10501 Conser, Overland Park, KS 66212. 913-642-1880.
Islamic Center of Kansas City, 8501 E. 99th St., Kansas City, MO 64134. 816-763-2267. www.icgkc.org
Masjid Omar, 2700 E. 49th St., Kansas City, MO 64130. 816-924-5683.
Az-Zahra Islamic Center, 8350 Leavenworth Road, Kansas City, KS 66109. 913-440-4786. www.az-zahra.org
Islamic Center of Kansas, 14750 West 143rd. St., Olathe, KS. 913-390-5055. www.ickansas.org
Islamic Center of Johnson County, 9001 West 151st St., Overland Park, KS 66221. 913-239-0770.
Islamic Center of Lawrence, 1917 Naismith, Lawrence, KS. 785-749-1638.
Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, 11901 Pflumm Rd., Overland Park, KS. 913-681-6948.
Orthodox Church of St. Dionysios, 8100 W. 95th St., Overland Park, KS 66212. 913-341-7373.
Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, 12001 Wornall Rd., Kansas City, MO 64145. 816-942-9100.
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 416 W. 12th St., Kansas City, MO 64105. 816-842-0416
St. Joseph's Catholic Church, 11311 Johnson Dr., Shawnee, KS 66203. 913-631-5983.
St. Pius X Catholic Church, 5601 Woodson, Mission, KS 66202. 913-432-4808.
St. Thomas Moore Catholic Church, 11822 Holmes, Kansas City, MO 64131 816-942-2492.
Christianity: Protestant, Congregationalist and Independent Denominations
Church of the Resurrection United Methodist Church, 13720 Roe, Leawood, KS 66224. 913-897-0120.
Leawood Presbyterian Church, 2715 W. 83rd St., Leawood, KS 66206. 913-649-1144.
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1100 College Blvd., Overland Park, KS 66210. 913-345-1256.
Valley View United Methodist Church, 8412 W. 95th St., Overland Park, KS 66212. 913-642-4400.
Church of the Nazarene, 7600 Antioch, Overland Park, KS 66204. 913-648-3044.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon), 7100 Hadley, Overland Park, KS 66204. 913-722-6231.
Quaker Meeting Unprogrammed, 4405 Gillham Rd., Kansas City, MO 64110. 816-931-5256.
Full Faith Church of Love, 6824 Lackman, Shawnee, KS 66217. 913-631-1100.
First Church of Christ, Scientist, 6401 W. 87th St., Overland Park, KS 66212. 913-381-1374.
Adat Yeshua Messianic Congregation (Messianic Judaism; "Jews for Jesus"). Check phone book for number..
Interfaith and Ecumenical
Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church, 7725 W. 87th St., Shawnee, KS 66212. 913-381-3336.
Unity Church of Overland Park, 10300 Antioch Rd., Overland Park, KS 66212. 913-649-1750.
Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th St., Kansas City, MO 64112. 816-561-4466.
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