Reflection Paper

You must submit at least eight two-page typed reflection papers this semester. You may not submit more than one in the same week, however, and no reflection paper will accepted by email. All of them must be submitted on paper. [If you have an unexcused absence, you will need to submit an additional reflection paper to avoid the 1.5 point penalty for the absence. See the attendance policy in the syllabus for details.]

From the topics which appear in the assigned readings, choose one for each reflection paper. Your reflection paper must begin with a brief but accurate summary of the readings on the topic you have chosen. You should then give your own reflection on what these readings mean for an informed reading of the biblical text in our current context. Here are a few examples of questions you might address:

How might the biblical text about which you read relate to the life experience of people close to you?
Does what you read for this class relate in any way to what you are reading in any of your other classes?
Did you find anything troubling about the readings? If so, why do you think you found them troubling?
Have you discussed the readings with anyone else? If so, what was that person's reaction?
These are only examples. Other questions may occur to you as you seek to integrate the readings for this class into your broader life experiences. Feel free to address these questions in your reflection papers.

Reflection papers will not be returned to you, so please save your work if you think you may need it later.

Each reflection paper must be at least five hundred (500) words, typed and double spaced, with margins of no more than one inch on all four sides. Use a standard book-type font, such as Times or Times Roman.

Your reflection papers must include all of the following:

The first two of these should appear in a section at the top of the first page of your paper as shown below:

Your name: ______________
Page Numbers of the reading assignment you have chosen: ______________

The remainder of your reflection paper should be organized as follows:

Summary (roughly one paragraph):

Type your summary in this section. What topic from the readings have chosen? Give a sentence or two summarizing what Harris had to say about the topic. In this section of the paper you are not trying to say what you think personally about this topic. You are trying to accurately summarize what Harris said about it.

I will require that a reflection paper be redone if I deem that it does not reflect an awareness of the material covered in the assigned readings.

Implications (the rest of your paper):

In this section you are not trying to say whether you agree with Harris. Your objective here is to identify the implications of what Harris said about the topic you have chosen. If he is right, would that impact the way we understand the biblical text or its relevance for some aspect of your own experience? How? It may be that Harris is wrong about some of the things he said, but that is not your focus. Your paper should be an attempt to identify a way in which the course material may be relevant for your broader experience outside class.

In addition to the questions listed above, here are a few more you may use as a rough guide as you write this section.

What is the importance of the issue you have chosen?
What difference would it make if Harris turned out to be right in the way he treats this issue?
Why is this issue important to you? (Why have you chosen to write about it?)

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