1. Write a reflection essay in which you address one or more of the following questions, most of which pertain to the film ShugendoNow. Essays should be approximately 500 words long, and submitted on Blackboard by midnight on Monday, Dec 9.

  1. Based on what you see in the film, what are some of the motivations that inspire these urban pilgrims to participate in Shugendō?
  2. At one point in the film, Shinsei describes Shugendō as “a physical spiritual practice… Shugendō engages body, heart and mind.” Based on what you’ve seen in the film, do you find that to be the case?
  3. What for you was the most memorable scene? What struck you most about it?
  4. In what ways do women occupy an ambiguous place in Shugendō traditions and within the film?
  5. Among the religious traditions of East Asia (China, Japan, Korea), what particular idea or practice do you find the most appealing personally? Why

2. Write an informal short essay reflecting upon your learning experience. This should be approximately 500 words, is worth 4% of your final grade, and is due on December 18 (before midnight).

Think back to what you knew (or thought you knew!) about Asian Religions prior to the course, and to questions you began the course with. Reflect upon the extent to which those questions have been addressed, as well as questions or areas of confusion that remain. What are some significant insights you have gained? Were any of your assumptions challenged or affirmed? How has your learning experience has been academically and/or personally meaningful? The essay will be graded on a pass/fail basis.

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