The Final Exam totals 20 course points
The Final Exam is to be completed, saved, and submitted to Blackboard under the “FINAL EXAM” tab on the left navigation menu of Bb. Your completed exam must be submitted by Sunday, December 18, by 11:59 pm.
This means that you have 1 week to complete the Final Exam. You are expected to freely consult all course readings, media, and class notes in order to complete the exam. Be sure to include your name at the beginning of the exam (or insert your name into the Header).
You may submit your exam at any time between December 12 and December 18 (by 11:59 pm). Again: the due date is SUNDAY, December 18 (11:59 pm). THIS DEADLINE IS FIRM, NO EXCEPTIONS.
The exam has four Sections. Complete all four sections in one document, labelling the Sections, and in Section 1, including the prompt questions or numbers for the essay responses that you choose.
Save your file and submit your saved file to Bb.
Your completed exam should total 6-10 pages, double-spaced in 11 or 12 pt font, saved and submitted as a PDF or .doc/.docx file.
Follow instructions closely. This Final Exam is for you to demonstrate what you have learned in this course, using the materials of THIS COURSE (not materials from outside this course).
Complete all tasks as completely and with attention to detail as well as spelling, grammar, flow of writing, good vocabulary, etc.
Evaluation criteria will be measured according to the following:
- Use of textual evidence from our course, appropriately cited (use simple in-text citations: following your quotation or reference, include the Author’s name/page number or Title/page number in parentheses)
- Employment of the vocabulary we have explored in our
- Understanding of the concepts involved in the Christian mystical texts of our
- Clear, coherent, fluid writing – with a good beginning, middle, and end for essay responses — and proofread for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and citation errors.
- Use of multiple sources for your responses to represent the range of the course (in other words, not repeating the same texts/authors/videos for all your responses on the exam)
- Quality, depth, and thoughtfulness of your reflection and analysis, as well as the care taken to write convincingly and competently.
Section 1: Essay Responses – 8 points (2 Essay Responses Required)
CHOOSE TWO (2) OF THE TEN (10) ESSAY QUESTION OPTIONS (listed on the next page) TO WRITE AN ESSAY RESPONSE FOR EACH OF THE TWO (2) QUESTIONS YOU CHOOSE.
LENGTH: This section should total 3-4 pages, which means that each response can be 1.5 pages, or one response can be one (1) page, and another response 2 pages, etc. The minimum for this Section I is three (3) pages total; if you need to go longer than 4 pages that is fine, there is no penalty for going over if this is what you need to do your best work.
IMPORTANT: The essay responses are intended for you to gather “everything you know” on the topic, displaying your competence in understanding the concepts covered in our course, and to put this knowledge into a logical and readable synthesis in your response.
These essays should reflect a close reading of the primary source texts and demonstrate your grasp of course concepts, vocabulary, issues, topics, and concerns.
Refer to specific points in the texts you are writing about by using direct quotations or paraphrasing the mystical author’s ideas in your own words. In both cases, make sure that you provide an appropriate citation (author/page # or title/page #) when you are referring to a text, just as we practiced in the Journal entries.
The Final Exam totals 20 course points
It is important that you do not answer these questions just relying on your own opinion, or on knowledge you have from outside this course. Answer these questions BASED ON THE TEXTS AND LEARNING we have done in THIS COURSE.
So, for instance, you may have strong opinions on the significance of the Bible in the relationship between God and the human being (#2). But if you do not refer to the texts and concepts we have explored in this course as the basis of your response, your response will not count, because you have not followed the Final Exam rubric.
This is not the opportunity to express your opinion generally. It is an opportunity for you to argue your response based on the texts/figures/concepts we have covered in this course.
Essay Questions for Section 1:
* Note: the word “Christian” is a stand-in for the various Christian authors we have studied this semester, not “all-Christians-everywhere-at-all-times.” You should be able to substitute your chosen author/s for each utterance of “Christian.”
You may also include Navid Kermani, who is not Christian but writes about Christians. Each essay question is pointed at the content of our course. Compare and contrast at least two authors for each question, except for #1.
Type the prompt question at the top of each essay response.
Remember: choose two (2) only:
- What does (choose 1 mystical author) tell us about the human being, God, and/or the relationship between God and the human being that you find important? Explain why you find what this mystical author has to say to be important.
- In the Christian mystical authors that we studied (choose 1 or more of the mystical thinkers in our course), what is the significance of Scripture/Bible in their mystical thought and/or in their spiritual lives?
- We studied two Christian approaches to God: through the heart and through the Which approach do you think is the most important, and why?
- What is the role of contemplation and action in the mystical literature we studied in our course?
- What do “friendship” and/or “community” offer in terms of Christian spirituality?
- Is Christian mysticism possible today? What would it be like?
- Are we all mystics?
- What is the relationship between crisis and Christian mysticism?
- How might Christian mysticism intersect with contemporary political issues such as climate change, race relations, gender equity, and/or economic justice?
- Is it possible to define mysticism? What would be your best definition, and why?
Section 1 should be 3-4 pages long.
Section 2: Making Contemporary Connections – 4 points
WRITE A 1-2 PAGE RESPONSE TO THE FOLLOWING PROMPT:
Is Mary Oliver a mystic? Why/why not?
In order to respond to the Prompt, you must first listen to a 50-minute podcast of an interview with host Krista Tippett and American poet Mary Oliver, On Being with Krista Tippett – Mary Oliver: Listening to the World that was recorded on February 5, 2015. A link to this podcast that includes a written interview transcript are under “FINAL EXAM” on Blackboard.
The late Mary Oliver was not a member of the Christian Church. She was a prize-winning American poet whose poetry reflects deep engagement with spirituality. Consider in your response whether any of our authors, ideas, vocabulary, etc. resonate or conflict or do not apply (and why) with the content of Oliver’s poetry and thought disclosed in the interview (for instance, as you listened to the interview, did any “bells” go off that reminded you of something in our course?). Put Oliver into conversation with the mystical literature/content you consider appropriate from this semester.
Section 3 should be 1-2 pages long.
Section 3: Critical Assessment – 4 points
WRITE 1-2 PARAGRAPH RESPONSES TO THE FOLLOWING TWO (2) QUESTIONS (1-2 pages):
(Note: the “why” is the most important part of each question)
- Which author/text/concept did you find the most difficult or challenging in our course, and why?
- Which author/text/concept did you find most enlarged your understanding, and why?
This is not a “trick” section, where I am looking for flattery, praise, etc. Rather, I am looking for your thoughtful and critical engagement with the course material, demonstrated by your elaboration of the “why,” as it intersects with your own learning and life.
Section 3 should be 1 – 2 pages long.
Section 4: Final Task – 4 points
SELECT FOUR (4) OF THE ASSIGNED READINGS, LECTURES, VIDEOS, IMAGES, SOUNDS, VOICETHREAD DISCUSSIONS, JOURNALS, QUIZZES, REFLECTION ESSAYS, AND/OR THE BOOK OF ILLUMINATED CHAPTERS CUMULATIVE PROJECT THAT MOST DEEPENED AND PROVOKED YOUR THINKING
(this can be positively or negatively), AND BRIEFLY EXPLAIN HOW EACH ONE DID. (1-2 pages).
This is not a “trick” section, where I am looking for flattery, praise, etc. Rather, I am looking for your thoughtful and critical engagement with the course material, demonstrated by your elaboration of the “how,” as it intersects with your own learning and life.
Section 4 should be 1 – 2 pages long.CLICK HERE TO PLACE YOUR ORDER