John Lennon’s iconic song “Imagine”
John Lennon’s iconic song “Imagine” invites us to what to him would be a perfect world, and he details specific elements of what that world might look like. He includes, “and no religion, too.” Thinking about this idea NOT as a person who holds or declines to hold religious beliefs but thinking about it as a world historian, what would be gained and/or lost in a world with no religion?
You must invite ten people from history to discuss this question—five from the period before 1900 and five from after 1900. You should invited people with different views, to give you as many different perspectives as possible, before you offer your historical perspective on the question.The exam will have two parts: one, the essay, in which you answer the question, drawing on the views and experiences of the ten historical people. This should be 6-8 pages long, and should cite all sources used. You are free to draw on more than the ten specially invited guests or to use sources beyond the ones they contribute. The essay is worth 200 points.
The second section should be an introduction of your ten people: their names, jobs or positions in society (as best you can tell), the historical context in which they lived (both in terms of WHERE they lived—the local, and WHEN they lived—the relevant global context.) Be detailed but concise; no more than 3 pages to introduce all ten individuals. This part is worth 30 points.
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