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I need help with topics for a research paper for a Comparative Religion course.

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The 1-semester course will cover World Religions, Christian Denomonations, and Cults. I need several research paper topics (maybe 10?) from which the student can choose.


So far, I've come with only these:



  • Comparison of basic beliefs and practices of 'Religion A' & 'Religion B'
  • Biography of a cult leader
  • Concept of 'Messiah' in various belief systems


Got any more ideas I can use?

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(or may be a subtopic thereof) but perhaps something like, "What specific historical event and religious differences led to the split between Religion A and Religion B?" For instance, Luther split from the Catholic Church (although that was not his original intention); the Anabaptists split from Luther. The Anglican Church split from the Catholic Church, etc. This may be more of a subtopic of your first topic, but it's just a suggestion.


Sounds like an interesting paper!


Oh---one more idea, under the topic of "Cults"---what are similar characteristics of cults? What kind of people do they attract?



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Compare/contrast the Brahmin/Vishnu/Shiva trinity within Hinduism to the Christian trinity.


Compare the Eightfold Path in Buddhism to the Ten Commandments, Beatitudes, etc. within Christianity.


Write about the existence of the Golden Rule within all major world religions and talk about this fundamental premise and why you think it came to be included at the core of all religions.


I don't know what ages this is for, so may be going far afield......


Compare/contrast ultra-conservative sects within Judaism and Islam.


Explore some of the Biblical texts included within the Catholic Bible or within Jewish religious teachings which are not included within the Protestant Bible.


Compare/contrast major religious holidays of Judaism and Islam.


Explore some of the texts found at Nag Hammadi and elsewhere which are still under study today and compare them to whatever book within our Bible they appear to most closely relate.


Research some religious mythology, which may be older than written Bible accounts, particularly for the Jewish faith. Ginsberg has a book series that includes a wealth of Jewish biblical mythology. Compare one or more of these accounts with the account we have from the Bible, and perhaps also with similar accounts from other religions of the world (such as the creation account, for instance).


Enough? Wrong level of study? More?



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...a minister, and needs some pretty deep topics to consider. He plans to major in Religion & Philosophy in college, and I've been trying to give him as good a foundation as I can.


Last semester, he did a Cornerstone Curriculum's Starting Points (Worldviews & Apologetics course). He absolutely loved C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity. He says it is very conversational -- written exactly as if the man were sitting there next to you, discussing his ideas. He also really liked Jeff Baldwin's The Deadliest Monster, and says it should be required reading for every Christian.


He has also been doing a study on Biblical Prophecy (Explorer's Bible Study), and has been reading some of Josh McDowell's writings "just for fun".


This semester, he's doing the Comparative Religion course I mentioned in my OP. I've been putting this course together myself, using a hodge-podge of materials. The course will serve a dual purpose: 1) help ER get a "taste" of several belief systems, some of which are very different from his own, and 2) give him research paper experience that will be very valuable to him in college.


So, thank you for your input with research topics, and if you think of any more that might catch ER's attention, please post!

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He might also want to take a look at George Barna's "Revolution". It's a short, easy read that takes a look at how the face (and core) of Christianity is beginning to change. Some churches are already beginning to address this. If he's going into ministry, I think it would be good preparation for him for the world to come.....


I LOVE all C.S. Lewis' stuff, myself! Sometimes I read what appear to be widely divergent books and the info in them just seems to coalesce for me. The year I read "Till We Have Faces", I had just read "The Bronze Bow" along with my older son. I loved the part in BB where someone asks why Jesus can't heal everyone. The answer is basically that some are so invested in their disability that they really don't *want* to be healed. Wow! That was the first time I'd thought of that concept. I've now seen it discussed in medical programming pertaining to the psychology of those with debilitating conditions, but it was new to me then. Next I picked up Lewis' work, which completely confirms this viewpoint from both a psychological as well as a spiritual perspective and I was just blown away by the depth of his writing! Since then, I've read that others consider his writing simplistic, compared, for instance, to Tolkein. But hey, sometimes the most profound things are said in only a few words. I think Lewis was a master of conciseness. He didn't draw out a story ad nauseum. I don't see why he should be faulted for that. He knew what he had to say and he said it clearly. I think a lot of folks don't understand his writings, and so aren't able to fully appreciate them.....



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