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UFM American Religious Landscape Question

For your second research assignment, please choose a recent addition to the American

religious landscape.  This group may be a cult, sect, or recent denomination, and you

should designate whether it is a “natural” or “voluntary” community of believers.  Some

of the groups immigrated here; others were home-grown, emerging here in America. 

Does your group emerge from one of the major world religions?  Did it have a charismatic

founder?  How does it relate to the rest of American society?  What rituals, beliefs,

scriptures, practices, etc. set this group apart from traditional American denominations? 

How was your group treated by mainstream society?  And does your group have any

staying power into the future?

To avoid writing the encyclopedia or Wikipedia article on your topic, please focus your

essay around a particular insight or interpretation (your argument and thesis).  You will

need to summarize the group’s origin and background, but you will need a particular

insight or angle to analyze.  Essays should offer interpretation and analysis rather than

just repeating the information from sources.

      Since this is a SOURCE DEPENDENT essay, please keep track of your sources. 

Your essay should have 2-3 print media sources (which can include our textbooks) and

2-3 online sources (which can include films).  You will need to DOCUMENT


IBLIOGRAPHY / WORKS CITED. An APA or MLA handbook can help you with

documentation.  The Writing Center also has resources.  Essays without CITATIONS

will be returned for further work.

     The purpose of this assignment is to give you practice researching an emergent religion

so that you can put into practice the terms and interpretative tools we have learned this

semester.  Our text WORLD RELIGIONS IN AMERICA presents materials on all of the

groups listed below.  Our questions on how to analyze an unfamiliar group come from



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