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Your assignment is to write an essay in which you trace out your own spiritual development. In other words, this is an opportunity for you to write your “spiritual autobiography,” highlighting the key influences, events, and processes in your own spiritual formation. The word “spiritual” is intentionally open-ended. While not everyone practices a religious faith or believes in God, everyone can reflect on their experiences and beliefs as they relate to the big questions of life and ultimate meaning.
In your paper, you may want to address such questions as: –Which people have been most influential in shaping my beliefs, practices, and attitudes? –How much of my identity (if any) can I trace to being raised in a particular religious tradition?
–How do such categories as race, ethnicity, gender, and/or ability relate to my spiritual life?
–What episodes in my life were particularly significant in developing my understanding of God and the world? –What tensions, if any, have I felt in my own beliefs? –How have I worked toward resolution of those tensions?
Note: you should not organize your paper by simply answering these questions in order. Rather, choose a way of structuring your paper naturally—perhaps chronologically (describing key experiences in the order they happened in your life) or thematically (describing key people, then key experiences, etc.). Then you can include your responses to any of the questions that are relevant within the organizational structure you have chosen for your paper.
Criteria for Assessment:
I will be grading according to two main criteria: 1) How deeply have you reflected on the main influences in your own spiritual formation? How specific have you been in showing your reader how a particular person, material, or experience was formative? 2) How well is the paper organized, written, and proofread? I will look for the following: Is there a clear structure to the paper? Have you said what you intended to say as clearly as possible? Have you checked for spelling and grammatical errors? Note: it is difficult to overstate the importance of organization. Autobiographies have a way of “wandering” and losing focus. Make sure that there is a natural flow to your essay. Details:
The paper should be 5-7 typed pages (double-spaced). There is no need for a report cover or a formal title page. However, make sure that your name, the course number (UFDN 1000), the due date, and the title of the paper are on your first page. Also, be sure that your paper title says something about the story you tell (it should not just be “Spiritual Autobiography”). The paper is due by 12:50 pm on Wednesday, April 13th. You should upload your paper using the Submit Assignment button at the bottom of this page (.doc, .docx, or .pdf file formats are best).