Assignment 1: Observation Proposal (450-word minimum, not including reference list)
Your Observation Proposal (Assignment 1) is the preparatory work for your Observation Report (Assignment 2). You can structure it in either essay form or list form. Either way, please use complete sentences.
Background: In this course, you will be conducting an Observation of a religious service(s) or other event sponsored by a religious/spiritual/atheist group of your choice. The purpose of the observation is to experience and analyze a religious event or service of a religion, congregation, or community that you have not experienced before.
Many religious groups are now livestreaming their services/events, and such services/events would be perfect to propose for your observation.
Most such programs are open to all, and thus you do not need to seek permission to observe. However, if you wish you attend an online meeting or program that involves or presumes individual participation (such as a religious chatroom, meet-up, or online interactive webinar), then you will need to have the organization’s permission to participate. If you aren’t sure whether you need permission, please email me, and I’ll be happy to help you.
In light of the on-going pandemic, I expect that most students will do an online Observation this term. Even if a religious group is meeting in person, it may be facing attendance limits due to state guidelines, and if that is the case, it may be disrespectful to go in person at this time (as you would be taking a spot away from a regular attendee). If you would prefer to do an in-person observation and you think it is feasible to do so, please contact me at the beginning of the course and we can discuss it.
Please include the following in your Proposal:
- Identify the specific religious (or atheist) organization you plan to study. You need to choose a religious (or atheist) group that has a substantial internet presence and is conducting live online programs. Alternatively, you can choose an organization that has provided substantial programs on YouTube.
Include: the name/location of the organization, the website of the organization, the names of the primary leaders of the organization and their roles.
- Provide 2-3 links to services/programs provided on video by the organization. (Total video time should be about 2 hours.) If you plan to watch Livestream programs, please provide links to the announcements/descriptions. Your total planned observation time should be about 2 hours.
Requirements: 450 words or more
Zarzour serves as the organization’s President and cofounder of its education forum (ISNA, n.d.). Magda Elkadi Saleh, is ISNA Vice President. She is tasked with overseeing strategic planning, marketing, and fundraising at the organization (ISNA, n.d.).
Like most religious organizations, ISNA has a wide internet presence. ISNA operates a website (https://isna.net/#). The organization uses the internet and other forms of digital technology to facilitate interactions and communication between Muslims themselves and between Muslims and members of other religions. In line with this, my observation will predominantly focus on identifying the leaders of this group, the values, beliefs, and practices held and promoted by the organization, and perceptions of what an ethical and religious life is. To do this, I will observe the various events, services, conferences, and programs operated by the organization and available on the internet.