Unit 6 Essay: State and Religion
The Prophet Muhammad did not just found a religion. He and his successors also turned the Arabs from a collection of tribes to a state. Muhammad’s successors ruled an empire.
In the Byzantine Empire and in the kingdoms of Western Europe, kings and emperors embraced Christianity and indeed sought to make laws in line with Christian doctrine, but the Church nevertheless occupied a distinct sphere.
In around 1000 words (about four pages), compare and contrast how state and religion functioned in the Christian world and in the Muslim world. You might want to consider the following questions, although you can consider other elements as well:
- What role did religion play in establishing legitimacy?
- What role did religion play in armed violence?
- To what extent did Christian and Muslim leaders believe that their power flowed from God?
- In the end, did monotheistic religions make states more or less stable?
Sources for the Essay
The textbook and all eCore information can be used to help complete the essay. Beyond the sources available in the course, at least three additional reliable sources must be used to complete the essay. Evaluate the sources critically and use only legitimate sources. Encyclopedias and Wikipedia are not legitimate sources – using them will detract from your grade significantly. For additional help evaluating sources, please refer to “Tips for Writing Essays,” which is posted with the syllabus. Don’t hesitate to contact your professor with specific questions about sources.
Guidelines for Writing your Essay
Please use the following guidelines for writing your essay:
- The essay should be typed in 12-point font. Please use a simple, clean font such as Times New Roman or Palatino. Use 1″ inch margins on all sides. The completed essay must be around 1000 words in length.
- The essay is to be written following the rules of correct grammar and spelling, both of which will be taken into consideration in the evaluation of the essay. Be sure to edit and revise your essay as grammar and spell checks typically do not catch words used in incorrect contexts.
- The essay must be original and analytical and must be careful to include well-thought-out responses to the questions posed in the assignment. Make sure to address ALL parts of the question.
- Introduction which does ALL of the following: states the purpose of the essay; frames the era by providing pertinent dates for the subject; provides a solid historical background moving from general statements about the subject to increasingly more specific ones; introduces the author of the document by providing some specific information important for better understanding why the author wrote what he or she did.
- A thesis which specifically explains how the primary and/or secondary sources (as directed by the instructor) reflects the issues and developments of the historical period when it was produced.
- A body of evidence, this is the main part of your essay and it is where you defend your thesis by referring to several major aspects of the primary and/or secondary sources, explaining how they reflect the concerns and issues of author in the context of the period when it was written. You rely on direct analysis of the primary and/or secondary source material to back up your assertions.
- A conclusive summary that briefly reiterates your main points, but more important, suggests how the primary and/or secondary source points to later historical developments. How might it be a bridge to a later time in Greek history–do not just jump to the present and make a superficial remark about how everyone was better.
- You must cite your sources in text and provide a complete bibliography at the end. REMEMBER: Any information or idea that is not your own MUST BE CITED.
- You must give specific examples from the secondary and/or primary sources used in the development of the paper and must cite these sources following the MLA style, the University of Chicago Press’s Chicago Manual of Style or Kate L. Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. Refer to the online resources Guide to the MLA Style or Turabian and Chicago Styles Citations. You can use any style that you select, but be consistent. You should use footnotes or endnotes and provide a full bibliography at the end of your paper.
- If you use direct quotations, you must not only cite your source, but must also use quotation marks. Example: Columbus explains that the weapons of the natives he encountered in the islands of the Caribbean were unsophisticated, and that their javelin, a much-used weapon, was “no more than sticks” joined together.
- Failure to cite and/or quote your sources is plagiarism and will severely hurt your grade on the essay. This is meant to be an original essay that you write yourself for this course. All essays will be run through plagiarism detection software to check for plagiarism. For further discussion of plagiarism and how to avoid it, please see the syllabus and “Tips for Avoiding Plagiarism,” which is posted with the syllabus. Contact your professor with any questions you may have about plagiarism.