Contemporary Moral Issues Ten Commandments

Contemporary Moral Issues Ten Commandments Final Paper Assignment

Research and write about a topic related to the Ten Commandments in roughly 6-8 pages

Contemporary Moral Issues Ten Commandments
Contemporary Moral Issues Ten Commandments

Important Deadlines:

Week 10: One-on-one Final Paper Meeting to provide a status update on your research (10pts)

Suggested topics:

  • Select one commandment and research what one religious tradition has said about that commandment

o E.g. Jews and Christians have various interpretations of the graven image commandment

  • Select one commandment and research other biblical references to the topic

o E.g. If you’re interested in adultery in the Bible, you could research it, and compare other

biblical passages to the prohibition in the Decalogue.

o E.g. If you’re interested in metaphorical interpretations, you could research depictions of God

as father and mother and make connections to the commandment on honoring parents

  • Critique one of the chapters in The Ten Commandments: The Reciprocity of Faithfulness

o There are chapters we will not read, e.g. Ch. 15 on Idolatry; Ch. 19 on Just War and Murder;

Ch. 20 on Adultery. Select a chapter, read, comment, and critique it, and then find another

a scholar who writes about the topic and compare/contrast their treatments

  • Research and write about what one scholar has said about the Decalogue, e.g. Philo, Irenaeus,

Augustine, Aquinas, Luther

  • Compare/contrast any version of the Decalogue with an ancient Near Eastern treaty
  • Research Passover, Shavuot, or Sukkot and describe ancient and modern celebrations.
  • Research the Ten Commandments and their influence on the New Testament. You could write about

how one New Testament book remembers/edits/expands upon the commandments.

  • Research biblical and archaeological evidence about the Exodus or about the development of

religious practices in ancient Israel

  • Research American Blue Laws and how they’re influenced by the Sabbath commandment. “Blue

laws” or “Sunday Laws” are tied to religious (Puritan Christian) standards of proper behavior. For

instance, several states forbid the purchase of alcohol or gambling on Sundays.

  • Research and write about debates over the public display of the Ten Commandments
  • A topic of your choice

The draft should be 4-5 pages and should include:

  • A working thesis that asserts your paper’s objective (10pts)
  • A detailed outline of about 1 page that shows the major sections and content of the paper (25pts)
  • Works Cited formatted in MLA with at least 3 sources beyond the Bible, Coogan, and Brown (10pts)
  • 2-3 pages of your paper that show use of scholarly sources. These pages should show evidence of the early stages of your paper. It can include quotations from sources, but they should not be the bulk of the draft. Avoid grandiose overviews and introductions. Your pages can be excerpts from any section of the paper. (50pts)

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