First, this essay should begin with a personal reflection. Revisiting what you wrote for essay 1, describe your original reasons for taking THEO 386, your initial views of spirituality and solidarity, and what the various readings have added to your beliefs and values in this areas – and why this matters for life in the world today (given so much distrust, discord, and division in our social context). Step 1 asks you to explain what you have come to understand as especially credible and meaningful when it comes to beliefs and practices of spirituality and solidarity. This part of the assignment should be considered an invitation to practice reflection and discernment (as part of our core Jesuit valuesLinks to an external site.) about how THEO 386 has helped you think more deeply about the possibilities for finding meaning and purpose in your life, and how spirituality and solidarity can help shape your sense of vocation (the person you most deeply desire to become), as well as be put in service for the broader community. Please note: this does not mean that you have to agree with the authors (or instructor) in THEO 386, but you are expected to unpack what more you have come to ponder, question, and imagine possible in response to the assigned materials.


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Second, discuss the key take-aways from THEO 386 by identifying at least 10 (total) lessons that express beliefs and practices that you believe can enhance spirituality and advance solidarity in your social context. This should read like the main wisdom you’ve gleaned from the course and want to remember as you move forward. Imagine it light a letter to your future self: what I want to remember – and put into practice – from THEO 386. De sure to draw specifically/substantially (using quotes from the assigned texts, properly cited) to unpack what these authors added to your vision of the dimensions of spirituality and solidarity in terms of belief and practice. (In other words, you should address both perspectives and actions that make a difference in the world today.)

This is to be considered the most important part of this assignment, which is to say, the place where most of your grade for this essay will be earned. As such, students should thoughtfully and thoroughly make use of textual evidence (by engaging relevant and meaningful quotes from assigned readings, appropriately cited following MLA format) to demonstrate your mastery of the main ideas, your ability to unpack the meaning/significance of these beliefs and practices, as well as how/why you hope to integrate these ideas in your life. It may be helpful to think of each of the lessons you propose like an “ethical guide” to spiritual wisdom and moral responsibility that pursues solidarity. For example, how/why can these perspectives and faith traditions help us better understand what it means be human? To love in a way that does justice to self and others? To create the kind of community where all can belong, enjoy their inherent dignity and freedom, and flourish? In a time of so much distrust, discord, and division, how do we promote personal well-being, social obligations, and a shared commitment to the global common good?


Third, complete your essay by looking to the future with hope: what are your deepest desires for yourself? Your friends and family? For your church (if applicable), community, and country? Why? How can envision your future as someone who is attentive and responsive to the presence and power of God? How can your vocation help you share this with others? How can you be a source of healing, liberation, and solidarity in the world – and invite others to join you in these efforts? What are your goals and strategies for practicing spirituality and solidarity so it makes a difference in your life and in the lives of others? How can you rely on THEO 386 as a source of hope, support, and accountability in your life after the semester is over?


A final note: this essay should be completely your own, original work. It will be graded on the level of writing clarity and effectiveness as well as comprehension demonstrated by describing, analyzing, and applying the key ideas learned from the assigned texts in THEO 386. Grades will not be earned (or lost) based on your opinions (e.g., whether or not you agree or disagree with the instructor, any author we’ve read, etc.); in other words, your personal views are welcome and encouraged, and should follow after providing ample evidence that you understand what these authors claim about spirituality and solidarity, your critical analysis of its possibilities and limits for putting this into practice to make a difference in the world today, as well as how these materials have enlarged your imagination of what is possible for your own identity, relationships, and the kind of society we’re building (even in the midst of a pandemic).


As a reminder, here are the guidelines for written assignments, as stated in the syllabus:

Essays should be formatted in a Word document in standard MLA style (1 inch margins; size 12 Times New Roman font; double-spaced; use parenthetical citations or footnotes to properly cite any ideas or phrases that are not your own) and like all written assignments, should follow MLA guidelines, be free of spelling and grammar mistakes, and accurately cite all source material (any ideas or phrases that are not your own must be cited appropriately per MLA, parenthetically or with footnotes). If student work contains numerous errors in style or content, it will earn a lower grade and may be returned to be corrected and resubmitted. If you would like help with your writing style, please see the instructor or consult the Writing CenterLinks to an external site. before the assignment is due.


Recall that THEO 386 carries the Writing Flag, which means that in addition to the quality of your engagement with the assigned materials (textual evidence, reflection, interpretation, analysis, and application of ideas), essays will be graded by clarity of writing style, effective organization of ideas and flow of the prose, and technical accuracy (following MLA style and citation requirements, free of spelling and grammar mistakes, etc.). I will also be sending the prior two essays so you can read them and use them in the assignment for the certain task. To finish essay you will need this information from the prior essays!!!

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