The signature assignment paper will offer a thesis driven argument about the portrayal of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew and how that portrayal sheds light on your chosen case study. The paper itself should address three related topics:
1. How does the Gospel of Matthew present Jesus?
2. How might Matthew’s presentation of Jesus intersect with your chosen case study?
3. Your own response to how you think Matthew’s gospel might intersect with the case study.
Additional instructions and parameters for the Signature Assignment:
· Addressing question one should constitute the bulk of your paper (approximately 70-80%) and should remain engaged in the Historical and Literary worlds of the text. In addressing question one, offer a thorough and specific argument that engages closely with select pericopes in the Gospel of Matthew. While you should offer a thorough and specific argument that engages closely with a few selected passages, the argument should have the entirety of Matthew’s gospel in view. Arguments that attend to the complexity of Matthew’s overall presentation of Jesus will become stronger and students should be cautious about simply selecting texts that support a simplistic response to how Matthew presents Jesus.
· Addressing the second question related to the contemporary world will constitute approximately 10-20% of the paper. In addressing the second topic, your goal is to describe how Matthew’s presentation of Jesus in terms of its historical and literary context might intersect with the case study. In responding to the case study, you should think through the moral and ethical issues it poses as well as the differences between Matthew’s ancient context and the modern world.
· The third and final step to your signature assignment will be to offer your own evaluative response to how you perceive Matthew’s presentation of Jesus informing your response to the case study. Do you think the direction Matthew’s presentation of Jesus would suggest for addressing the case study be helpful or unhelpful? This portion of the paper should be no more than 10%.
Formatting, Expectations, and Assignment Submission:
· The paper should include a cover page with student name, cohort, location of class, assignment, course number, and faculty name. The paper should follow APA formatting guidelines. It should be between 2000-2500 words. Use formal, academic writing. Papers must cite and engage at least two required class sources (e.g., Carter, Texts@Contexts, etc.). Cite all sources used in a parenthetical format in the body of the essay and provide a list of works cited at the end. Failure to cite sources is an act of plagiarism and will be treated accordingly.
· FPU is committed to preserving academic integrity. Students should presume that all their written work will be checked against international electronic databases of student work and published sources to detect plagiarism. These electronic databases often add the submitted material to their sources to compare against other student work. By submitting assignments, a student agrees to these processes.
Case Study Options:
1. How to Serve?
People are often encouraged to volunteer, and it’s even sometimes required for courses (e.g., BIB 314!). Service project options often include things like distributing food to the homeless in downtown Fresno, afterschool tutoring programs, or building homes. Which avenue of service would Jesus most likely pursue? What evidence from the Gospel of Matthew supports your selection?
2. Where to Work?
Many of us come to this course with significant work experience and are likely already engaged in specific professional careers. How might Matthew’s presentation of Jesus might inform decisions about where to work?
3. Whether to Move?
Your church has the opportunity to relocate to a larger piece of land in a growing part of the city. The relocation will put them in the middle of a region where new homes are being built with new schools and shopping areas. The older part of town where the church is now located is decaying. Few people from the church choose to live there anymore. The church council has called on you and wants your input: in light of how Matthew presents Jesus, what should they consider and do?
Your workplace has the opportunity to purchase a promising piece of new technology that would automate several jobs currently performed by real humans. The tech promises to make needed processes more efficient and less prone to error. Your workplace estimates that this would save 20% of the current company expenses and reduce the human work force by 30%. Is the cost-savings and potential for efficiency worth it? How would Jesus respond?
5. Where to Live
You live in an older neighborhood where you were able to afford your first home and it is close to work, but the house is not as large as you would like. Home prices are rising, but not nearly as quickly as other parts of town. The area is increasingly diverse in racial, economic and social categories. Neighbors voice some concerns about schools and safety, but you also have some close friends in the neighborhood. How might Matthew’s presentation of Jesus raise issues about and inform the considerations about whether to remain in your current house or to move?
6. How to Spend?
Your favorite band is coming to town on a farewell tour. Tickets are $100-$150 and you want to take someone special to dinner and to the concert. Other financial obligations that you are facing include a credit card bill, a tuition payment, Christmas, books for next term, a cell phone bill, etc. How might Matthew’s presentation of Jesus raise issues about and inform the considerations?
7. Which School?
You have been attending a school near home where most of your friends also attend. The school has an excellent reputation, but it is suffering budgetary constraints and is downsizing certain academic and athletic departments. You, however, have been given the option of transferring to a lesser known school with good programs. The school is in a distant town, the costs are higher, and you know no one there. How might Matthew’s presentation of Jesus raise issues about and inform the considerations about which school to attend?
8. How to Respond?
A note has just come from close friends stating that they are expecting a baby. One friend is still in high school and the other is in college. They are not married, and no one knew they were pregnant. The lack of proper prenatal care has contributed to the baby’s serious medical condition; the degree of possible birth defects is not fully known. The couple is from different denominational and ethnic backgrounds. They are asking for support because this has caused serious stress with their families. How might Matthew’s presentation of Jesus raise issues about this situation and suggest a fitting response?
9. How to React?
You are exiting the 99 highway and a woman is standing at the end of the exit ramp, in old, dirty clothing with a somber look on her face. You notice she has a small bottle of vodka and is smoking a cigarette. She holds a sign that reads, “Homeless Widow. No family. No money. Anything helps, God Bless.” How might Matthew’s presentation of Jesus raise issues about this situation and suggest a fitting response?
10. How to Manage?
You are an entrepreneur who owns a restaurant employing 50-100 people. Your wait staff is all part time, but the majority work 28 hours and are sent home prior to broaching 30 hours; for you know you can’t afford to offer benefits or your business would quickly become insolvent. During flu season you notice that Denise, a single mother of three has been ill for over two weeks, but she continues to work. Denise knows she must work or her three children will not eat. How might Matthew’s presentation of Jesus raise issues about this situation and suggest a fitting response?
11. Choose your own
Students may develop and propose their own case drawing on newspaper articles or other real or imagined scenarios but the case must be proposed in writing to the instructor no later than the Week 4 class session, and must be formally approved for use by the instructor.
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