Religion and Devotion in Europe

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Paper instructions:
Swanson, R. N., Religion and Devotion in Europe, c.1215-c. 1515. Cambridge Medieval textbooks. Cambridge University Press, 1995
Here are the instructions for your final project, the analytical 3-5 page paper.
PROMPT: In Swanson and in the online readings you have read a lot of material about how late medieval Christian religious practices. You also have likely had to balance this information with popular ideas about religion in the Middle Ages. When people who have not read much or anything about the Middle Ages think about religion, they tend to say things like, “It was an age of Faith when the Church ruled,” or “People in the Middle Ages were told what to think by a corrupt and greedy church, and nobody thought for themselves.” Neither of these ideas is completely untrue, but neither is completely or even mostly true. The imposition of beliefs and practices, the repression of deviants — both ideas imply a top-down approach to medieval church institutions that simply could not exist — no matter how much individuals might want them to do so.
Please write a 3-5pp. paper in which you use ALL your class reading to argue for or against the following statement: The medieval Church interacted with religious “market forces,” i.e. changes in what individuals understood, wanted, or needed from their religion, and satisfied the religious needs of Europeans. Use ONE or TWO areas of religious experience / popular devotion to make your case, and provide specific examples. Do not try to make your argument using every example Swanson used! For example, you might use the veneration of saints, or social groups like confraternities, or the burial of the dead, to argue your point. Definitely use material from books of hours, where appropriate!
FORMAT: I expect you to use MLA (Modern Language Association) formatting. You can find how to format online or in Hacker. Although you will cut and paste your submission to this page, you should, if possible, attach your original file. Use 10 or 12 point font, black, with 1″ margins.
NITPICKY STUFF I WANT: Spell out numbers under one hundred, please. Do not use contractions (Don’t) or write in second person in a formal paper (“you”), though it is fine in instructions like these. Make every effort not to end your paragraph with a quotation — always, always tell the reader what you think the quote means / why you have included it — what idea it supports or proves.
PRECISION: Remember that being specific in your argument will get you a better grade. See if you can break down your argument into two, three, or four parts, or “chunks” — you can think of each sub topic as fitting in a shoebox. If you just put three shoeboxes together (They are similar / different, he says x, she says Y, he says Z) and use good evidence, but don’t connect the boxes or put an overall label on them to say what unites everything in the box — that’s a C. If you marginally connect or label the boxes, that’s generally a B. If you connect your boxes well AND label them precisely, that is generally an A (If your writing is awful, your grammar in dialect rather than standard grammar, your evidence poor, or your citations nonexistent …. all of those things can affect your grade.)
CITATION: I expect you to CITE YOUR SOURCES using a parenthetical citation. Mentioning the author in the sentence or adding a “Works Cited” page does NOT count as citation in MLA Format! To cite properly, place the author and page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence or short paragraph you are citing, like these examples:
1. While today we would consider many of the sacramental practices of late medieval Christianity as superstition, without the modern knowledge of science such practices just reflected a common awareness of the unknown and the magical in religion (Swanson, 184).
2. Swanson argued that “[t]he detailed organization of the Christian life was an important element in the totality of the Christian experience” (Swanson, 92).
You don’t need to put your citation in a different color — I just did that to draw your attention to it. Please note, however, that I cited not JUST when I quoted Swanson directly, but when I paraphrased a section of his work.
Also, if you have to change the quotation in any way, show that. In example #2, I changed the capitalization of the original to fi
t the sentence in which I placed the quote. To indicate that I had made a change, I put the new lower case letter in brackets.