Religious Studies Essay

  1. Choose an online museum from the following list:

LACMA: (Links to an external site.)

MOMA: (Links to an external site.)

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Then scroll down a bit on the main (of LACM or MOMA) page and head to where it says “In this collection” and click “View All”. It will take you to a page with everything in the museums online collection, broken up by various themes. Feel free to explore.

  1. After you are done exploring, choose two pieces(painting/sculpture/ritual artifact/manuscript/photograph etc.) from two different religions, which you find personally interesting and would like to research more. The best way to do this is either explore/surf around until you find something you like or go back to top of page where it says “Search The Museum” and type in something related to religion (for example, type in “Dao” or “Hindu’ or “Jesus” or “Jewish” etc) or perhaps the region of a specific religion you might be interested in (e.g. “Japan” or “Nigeria” or “Iran” or “India” or “Mexico” etc. etc.). However you decide to find it, then choose two pieces you are drawn to and click on the images to learn more about the piece.
  2. I would then like you do in-depth research about the two pieces and write a paper on them. As stated, you will be able to find some information about the piece through the website, but you will also need to do some research on your own from other academic sources. What I am interested in knowing is the following:
  • Author/creator and Date (if there is one)
  • Describe the piece briefly in one paragraph – what drew you to this piece?
  • What religious symbols/motifs/archetypes are being employed?
  • What does the piece represent and what is its significance and meaning to the religion and its followers? Does the piece have some function? (e.g. philosophical/religious teaching/ritual)
  • What specific religious sect/school/tradition does this piece belong to?
  • What religious beliefs/myths/worldviews are being drawn from in this piece?

Use your book and other academic online sources to help you with your research.

Final Paper Guidelines: 6 pages total; single-spaced, size 12 font, Times New Roman

These pages should be broken into the following:

  • 4 pages of writing total (2 pages of writing for each artistic piece)
  • 1 page including BOTH photographs of the pieces you chose (include the url!)
  • 1 page for bibliographic and online citations

Couple of reminders:

  • Wikipedia is not permitted as a source for a scholarly paper.
  • You must properly cite your sources. You may use the citation style of your choice (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.) For more information, go
  • Although you may use sources you find on the Internet, they must be academically sound sources, and you must cite them explicitly. The general form of a citation from an Internet source is: Author’s name. Title of Document. Title of Website. Sponsor of Website. Date of Document. Date of Access. URL.

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