Rites of passage

An internet “publication” titled “Rites of Passage in America,” based on a traveling exhibition by the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies, can be found at http://www2.hsp.org/exhibits/Balch%20exhibits/rites/rites.html, on the website of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, hsp.org. This link contains several different studies of rites of passage in contemporary America. Click on any two of them and compare them. What do these ceremonies have in common? How are they different?

Shamans and shamanism

Explore the website http://www.shamanism.org/ 

·      Who are the designer and author of this website?

·      How does the author define “shaman”?

·      Why are there variations in descriptions of shamans?

·      How do these descriptions compare with the descriptions of shamans in Korea in Chapter 10 of Tapestry of Culture?

Religion in cyberspace 

Explore the website http://www.hindunet.org/. Go through as many of its links as are of interest to you. If possible, explore the website with someone who affiliates with the Hindu religion. Discuss the various parts of the website with your companion. Compare your reactions. Then find a website that represents your religious affiliations. See if you can get the impressions of that website from someone who does not share your religious background.

Do you think websites are good way to find out about your own religion? About another religion? What do you think are some of the limitations of using cyberspace as a source of religious information and practice?