Western Religions


Choose one of the following topics to focus on for the Western Religions paper. For your topic you must demonstrate knowledge of the terms and concepts of Chapter 1, include information covered in Chapters 7–13 in your text, and incorporate them into your paper.


Pick one of the following topics and write a 2–3 page paper incorporating the key focus areas of the topic. Make sure to use categories and terms from chapter one in your paper.

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Topic 1 

Compare and contrast two major Western religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam). Begin your project with a clear, focused thesis statement.  Address the origins, region, main leaders, the particular teachings or philosophies, rituals, scriptures, holy days, and impact of the religions.

Topic 2

Write a dialogue between two of the following: Moses, Jesus, Muhammad. Begin your project with a clear, focused thesis statement.  Address these points: birth or origin; their ethical system and its source; and reactions to the introduction of the system. Compare and contrast their teachings and philosophies.

Topic 3

Write a paper in which you present a visual report on two nearby Western religions sites, one of which must be Jewish or Muslim. An alternative is to do an Internet search of two religious locations. Begin your project with a clear, focused thesis statement. Look at architecture, interior space, etc. Include visuals to illustrate your points. How do these reflect the definitions, terms, and what we have learned about these religions? Note: include images in an Appendix to your paper. The appendix and images do not count toward the required paper length.

Topic 4

Conduct an extensive interview with a person who practices a Western religion, Sikhism, or is a part of a new religious movement, and write a paper presenting the results of this interview. Begin your project with a clear, focused thesis statement.

Use these questions in your interview:

  • How did you become associated with this religion?
  • Which aspects of this religion intrigue you?
  • Is it difficult to practice your faith?
  • What readings or scriptures do you use?
  • What are some rituals you perform?
  • What holy days or holidays do you keep?
  • What would you like others to know about your faith?
Topic 5

Write a paper that explores religion in the news. Find an extensive news story on one Western religion or one of the new religious movements. Begin your project with a clear, focused thesis statement. Using five terms and concepts from Chapter 1, interpret the news story for people at a family gathering by explaining how it relates to the basic tenets of that faith tradition.