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Kublai Khan and Religion: Assignment

Assignment

Final Project

Political History of Buddhism in Asia

 

In 1270 CE, Kublai Khan gave the Tibetan Buddhist lama Phagpa the title of “Imperial Teacher” after previously granting Phagpa the position of highest Buddhist authority in the Mongol Empire. As one of Kublai Khan’s top advisors, you see this moment in 1270 as an opportunity to move Kublai Khan away from the previous Mongol policy of religious toleration. You will be assigned to one of two sides: a group of ministers who seek to institute Buddhism as the official religion of Yuan Dynasty China in support of Phagpa’s prominence OR a group of ministers who wish to convince Kublai Khan to choose Christianity or Islam (your group’s choice) as the official religion of the Yuan Dynasty while rejecting Phagpa’s position.
 

You, along with your group members, will make your case to Kublai Khan in two parts:
 

PowerPoint Presentation (25 min + 5 min questions) on Wednesday, Feb 7

Your group will collectively introduce your proposal to Kublai Khan and describe how your proposal will be effective in the Yuan Dynasty. You will share a complex thesis and three main points for your argument, including quotes (with parenthetical citation) for each main point, and will argue a position about Phagpa’s primary source, including a quote (with proper citation).  After the presentation you will be asked 5 minutes of questions by the opposing side, and they may use this opportunity to reveal holes in your argument.

 

Graded Discussion (50 min) on Friday, Feb 9

We will have a graded discussion where each person in the class will be expected to speak twice. Throughout the course of the graded discussion your group must prove your thesis and main points, back up your positions with textual evidence, AND disprove the other side’s position.
 

Christianity Required Reading

Facts on File “Christianity in the Mongol Empire”

MacCullouch’s Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years “The Mongols: New Hope and Catastrophe

 

---OR---
 

 

Islam Required Reading

Facts on File “Islam in the Mongol Empire”

Ed. Esposito Oxford History of Islam “The Mongols and the end of the Caliphate in the East”

 

Buddhism Required Reading

Facts on File “Buddhism in the Mongol Empire”

Facts on File “Shamanism in the Mongol Empire”

 

Everyone will also find, annotate, and submit one piece of related research to your group. You should use Ms. Bogas’ website to help you locate your piece of related research. Your group will use your piece of related research during your PowerPoint presentation and the graded discussion, and your group will submit their piece of research to Ms. Baird before the PowerPoint presentation so she can share it with the other side.

 

Rubric

 

Group

Collective participation grade from me, yourself, and your group members   /5

Found and annotated relevant research to support your group         /5

 

PowerPoint Presentation

All group members presented equally                         /5

Slide 1:                                          /5

Introduce your proposal to Kublai Khan

Describe how your proposal will be effective in the Yuan Dynasty    

Slide 2:                                         /5

Complex thesis

Slide 3:                                         /5

    First main point

    Quote with proper citation

Slide 4:                                         /5

    Second main point

    Quote with proper citation

Slide 5:                                         /5

    Third main point

    Quote with proper citation

Slide 6:                                        /5

    Takes a position on Phagpa

    Reference a quote from Phagpa with proper citation

Slide 7:                                        /5

    Bibliography of all sources used in the PowerPoint


 

Graded Discussion

Spoke persuasively twice                                /10

Included textual support for comment 1                        /10

Included textual support for comment 2                        /10

Supported thesis and main points     of your group                /10

Persuasively and respectfully proved your argument                /5

Related your comments to those of other students                /5

 

Total Points                                        /100