THERE IS AN MP4 FILE YOU NEED TO DOWNLOAD FROM MY CLASS PORTAL, as well as class readings and lectures from my class portal as well – MANDATORY
Connecting Theory and Practice
Studying a religious tradition in a classroom makes it particularly challenging to convey the complexities and nuances of lived, embodied practice. Therefore, for this last assignment of RELG 252, you will watch the documentary film Buddha’s Lost Children (2006, dir. Mark Verkerk; attached to this assignment).
In the film, the monk Phra Khru Bah (Khru Bah Neua Chai Kositto) and the nun Khun Mae Ead use many Buddhist principles and teachings to help the people around them. Thinking about the ways that their actions relate to the theory we have read in class, identify three such Buddhist themes in the film based on their actions and/or teachings. Explain how the three themes you choose embody Buddhist principles and ideas that we have studied in the second half of the Buddhism section of the course (from Nov. 16 – Sangha – onwards).
Your analysis of the film must be grounded in the course readings and should draw on the lectures as well. You must draw on at least three different chapters in the textbook by Prebish and Keown, and the chapters you use to support your points must be those most relevant to the topics you are discussing.
It is ok if more than one point is taken from material based in a single chapter, provided you are still able to substantially engage with material from three different chapters.
As a reminder, please do not use outside sources. NONE.
Deadline: 3:55pm, Thursday Dec. 3
Submission instructions: The essays must be submitted via MyCourses using the relevant links under the “Assignments” tab. If you have any questions, please contact your TA.
Portion of final course grade: 25%
Word Count: 1200-1500. Please state the word count total as part of your essay heading.
Additional guidelines: Good papers make arguments based on evidence, not opinion, backed up with detailed citations from the course materials (required readings, class lectures). As a reminder, full bibliographic information for relevant course readings can be found in the syllabus to assist you with making formal citations. Bibliographic information for the film is as follows:
Verkerk, Mark, director. Buddha’s Lost Children. Ems Films, 2006.
For the film, you may refer to it as “the film” or to the title. When you refer to a general idea or theme, it is enough to say something like, “In Buddha’s Lost Children the young monks are able to have an experience of family with their ordained sangha…” Or to give another example, “I was very moved by seeing images of the young monks learning to read and write in the film, as that kind of education is not something they have access to in their own villages.”
When you refer to a specific moment or incident or utterance in the film, however, identify the point at which it is located in the film. Since the film is one hour, 37 minutes and 28 seconds long, you will need to be precise. For this, you will use the time code. The time code is filmic equivalent of a page number. For example, “I was impressed by Phra Khru Bah’s statement, “Looking after your horse is as important as looking after yourself” (00:43:24).”
Allow sufficient time to edit and proofread your work. Grammar, spelling, form, and the overall professionalism of your paper will be evaluated. A paper marred by careless editing will not receive a satisfactory grade.
All students – especially those new to McGill – are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the one-on-one sessions at the McGill Writing Centre to improve your writing. Information on making an appointment with a tutor is available here: http://www.mcgill.ca/mwc/tutorial-service. Of course, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all tutoring is currently being conducted remotely.
Gender-Inclusive Language: Gender-inclusive language is gender neutral and is considered part of proper academic style. Avoid the awkwardness of “he or she” by using third-person plural (they) or first- and second-person plural (we, you). While you may cite examples of gender-exclusive language, use gender-neutral language in your own writing, e.g., “the average person”, instead of “the average man;” “humankind” instead of “mankind” and so on.
Pay attention to the spelling of foreign words, but diacritics (e.g., special marks on Sanskrit letters like ā or ṣ) are not necessary. For instance, you may write Mahayana instead of Mahāyāna.
– 1200-1500 words (= approx. 5 pages)
– Double spaced
– Size 12-point font (Times New Roman or something comparable)
– Final word count in heading
– An essay title that alludes to your main argument
– Name, student ID#, course number, and teaching assistant’s name in your heading
– Specific page numbers or line numbers for your citations (both paraphrasing and quotations)
– Chicago or MLA style citations
– Works cited / bibliography
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