RELI 448 ENTIRE COURSE LATEST
RELI 448 Week 1 Discussion
Religious Experience (graded)
Have you ever had an experience that you could properly describe as religious? I have in mind not only dramatic experiences like visions and conversions, but also more commonplace, socially-embedded experiences such as receiving communion, becoming bar mitzvah, serving as a godparent for a young relative, or even simply attending religious services. Think about that experience and ask yourself: Did it put you in touch with the infinite? How would you describe the experience? Was it transcendent? Monotheistic? Elaborate.
The Origins of Religion (graded)
Imagine that you are in a comparative religions class and your professor argues that all religious experience is false. It is nothing more than a projection of childhood fears (sic Freud). How would you answer your professor? Use one of the authors studied this week to counter this claim. Use specific details to support your answer.
RELI448 Week 2 Discussion
The Paths to God (graded)
The Bhagavad Gita states: “Whatever man give me / In true devotion: / Fruit or water, / A leaf, a flower: / I will accept it. / That gift is love, / His heart’s dedication. / whatever your action, / Food or worship; / what the gift / That you give to another; / Whatever you vow / To the work of the spirit: / Lay these also / As offerings before me.” What do these verses say about Hindu ethics? Do you see any parallels between these and Jesus’s sayings in the Gospels? Elaborate.
Jainism and Ahimsa (graded)
Jainism has five ethical principles, the first of which is ahimsa, or, nonviolence towards all living creatures. Some Jains sweep the ground in front of them to avoid killing small insects. Jains are also strict vegetarians, and some reject the use of any animal products such as leather and jewelry. Do you think this kind of ethic is reasonable for all people or only a minority? Argue the case for or against such strict principles.
RELI448 Week 3 Discussion
The Four Noble Truths (graded)
The most important of the Four Noble Truths is the fourth, the Noble Eightfold Path. Did anything in particular strike you about these “paths” (e.g., the idea of “right thoughts,” that we should always try to act with pure motives)? Do you see any similarities between the Noble Eightfold Path and Christianity? Did Jesus say anything similar to Buddha in this regard? Elaborate.
Two Parables: The Prodigal Son (graded)
Read the Buddhist and Christian versions of the prodigal son story: http://www.comparativereligion.com/prodigal.html
What do you see as the main difference between these two stories? You can start by simply taking one element of the parable and discussing how this element differs in the two parables. For example, how is the role of the father different in the Buddhist and Christian versions of the story? Elaborate.
RELI448 Week 4 Discussion
Confucius Says… (graded)
Confucius was once asked if there was one rule that could serve as the guide to one’s whole life. He replied: “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.” How does this rule compare with Jesus’ teaching on the Golden Rule? Look at these Biblical verses to see if you can tell the difference: Matthew 7:12; Matthew 5:21-26, 43-48 (see the Webliography for an online Bible). Is there one rule that you live by?
East Meets West (graded)
The ideas of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) have been widely translated into English. Some might recall the delightful children’s version of The Tao of Poo and The Te of Piglet. Consider this saying: “The best man is like water. Water is good; it benefits all things and does not compete with them. It dwells in places that all disdain…The best man in his dwelling loves the earth…” What does this mean to you? Do you agree with this philosophy? Can you see any connection between Taoism and the environmental movement? Elaborate.
RELI448 Week 5 Discussion
Judaism and the Prophetical Tradition (graded)
The prophet Amos spoke out against the injustices of the Northern Kings of Israel. He set the tone for centuries of prophetical figures in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. A central theme of the prophetical tradition is social justice. Read Amos 2:6-16; 5:14-15 in this regard (see the Webliography for an online Bible). Do you think churches have done enough with regard to social inequality, poverty, injustice, and so on? What one issue do you think churches should address today?
Biblical Themes: The Problem of Evil (graded)
Epicurus is generally credited with first expounding the problem of evil, and it is sometimes called “the Epicurean paradox”: “Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; or he can, but does not want to. If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent. If he can, but does not want to, he is wicked. If God can abolish evil, and God really wants to do it, why is there evil in the world?” The problem of evil poses this question: how can a God who is all-powerful, all-wise, and all-good permit so much pain, suffering, and evil in the world? How would you answer this question?
RELI448 Week 6 Discussion
Jesus and the Kingdom of God (graded)
Describe some of the values Jesus had in mind when he used the phrase “Kingdom of God.” One scholar has called Jesus’s message “ethical apocalypticism.” What do you think this means in light of our discussion of apocalypticism in the text? (You might want to relate this to theBeatitudes in Matthew 5:1-12.)
The Proofs for the Existence of God (graded)
Read through the Proofs for the Existence of God carefully (see Webliography). Do any of them convince you? If the answer is yes, then explain one that resonates with you. If the answer is no, then what purpose do you think those proofs serve? Would it make a difference to you if the proofs were somehow made better? How would Jesus have responded to attempts to prove the existence of God?
RELI448 Week 7 Discussion
The Five Pillars of Islam (graded)
In that it recognizes one God who rules the entire world, Islam may be called a universal religion. However, although Islam grew out of a particular seventh-century Arabian context, Muslims claims that its central document, the Qur’an, must be read in Arabic in order to be fully appreciated. How can Islam or any similar religion resolve the tension between the universal and the particular? How can it (or any other faith) be a religion for people of all races and nationalities without giving up its distinctive cultural heritage?
Indigenous Religions (graded)
Indigenous religions, such as those of Native American traditions, claim a special relationship with nature. Give an example of this relationship. Some have said that urban people in the modern world romanticize the attitude towards nature held by indigenous peoples. Are there any examples of unnecessary damage made to the environment by native groups of the past?
RELI 448 Week 2 Homework: Reflection Essay
This assignment is due in Week 2 of the course. Scholars conclude that what we ordinarily call religion manifests to some degree the following eight elements: 1) a belief system; 2) community; 3) central myths; 4) rituals; 5) an ethical system; 6) emotional experiences; 7) material expressions of religion; and 8) sacredness.
- Examine to what extent your religious beliefs fall into this pattern. Do some elements have more weight than others? If you do not have a belief system, interview someone who does and examine their belief system. Provide enough details to support your answer.
- Then examine one of the “new religions” or alternative paths that are seen in today’s world and apply the same analysis to their beliefs. Do some elements have more weight than others? Are some totally absent? Provide enough details to support your answer. Please limit your analysis to no more than three elements for each section.
- New Religious Movements: Scientology, Falun Gong, Cao Dai, Wicca and Druidism, the Yoruba Tradition (Santería, Voodoo, and Candomblé), Rastafarianism, etc. Feel free to choose among one of these alternatives or another approved by your instructor.
This essay should be 3 pages in length (1050 words). [Note the addition of word count to clarify how long the paper should be if formatted properly in APA.]
RELI448 Week 6 Assignment Field Trip Report
As part of this course in comparative religions, each student is asked to attend a religious service different from their own. Students are free to visit any church, synagogue, mosque, or temple in their locality. Please answer the following questions as thoroughly as possible in your own words. Since this is an informal report, it does not require documentation unless you use direct quotation within the paper. This paper should be 2–3 pages in length. Feel free to add any thoughts and/or feelings you had after the visit.
- Did the exterior of the worship facility add to the overall religious feeling of the visit? Describe your first impression as you pulled up to the building. Did the architecture lend itself to worship? Add specific details to support your answer.
- Describe the nature of the worship facility service you saw. This will probably be the longest section of the report, so be as thorough as possible. For example, what was the overall religious program? What was the theme of the message for that day? Were there any rituals that struck you as different from your own? Elaborate.
- What was your overall reaction to the service? Was it positive or negative? Did any members of the congregation talk to you, and if they did, what was the nature of the conversation?
Please feel free to be personal and honest in this report.
RELI448 All Weeks Quizzes Included
RELI448 Week 2 Quiz 1
Question 1. 1. (TCO 1) Among many reasons, religions exist to help people: (Points: 5)
deal with the certainty of death.
find ways to express themselves in art.
select careers that are socially redeeming.
have valuable texts to study.
Question 2. 2. (TCO 1) The Way of Action is characterized by: (Points: 5)
a strong emphasis on faith.
an intense personal relationship to the deity.
a practical approach that emphasizes traditional prayers and rituals.
some form of meditation practice.
Question 3. 3. (TCO 2) William James makes an important distinction between: (Points: 5)
personal religious experience and institutional religion.
reason and revelation.
faith and science.
None of the above
Question 4. 4. (TCO 4) The German theologian who held that religions originate in human response to the mysterious side of reality was: (Points: 5)
Question 5. 5. (TCO 8) The word “moksha” means: (Points: 5)
the moral law of cause and effect.
Question 6. 6. (TCO 9) The Upanishads are: (Points: 5)
about 100 written works that discuss the nature of spiritual reality.
sacred diagrams used in meditation.
the seven centers of spiritual energy in the body.
poems by Rabindranath Tagore.
Question 7. 7. (TCO 8) Bhakti yoga is: (Points: 5)
the path to God through knowledge.
the path to God through loving devotion.
the path to God through work.
the path to God through meditation.
Question 8. 8. (TCO 8) A sannyasin is a: (Points: 5)
wandering holy man.
Question 9. 9. (TCO 10) Ahimsa is the policy of: (Points: 5)
RELI448 Midterm Exam Latest DeVry
Question 1: (TCO 4) Compare and contrast Carl Gustav Jung’s theory as to the origin of religions with William James’ theory. How does each of these psychologists view religion (positively or negatively)? Now analyze how the insights of Jung or James might illuminate your religious tradition or the tradition with which you are most familiar. How would Jung or James understand that tradition? Use specific examples to support your answer (e.g., a specific belief or ritual).
Question 2: (TCO 8) Identify and describe three paths to God (yogas) in Hinduism. Make sure you use enough detail to support your answer.
Question 3: (TCO 9) Identify and analyze the Theravada and Mahayana forms of Buddhism. Include in this answer: a) specific countries where they are found; b) differing views of the Buddha; and c) differing ideals as to how one should live one’s life. Make sure you use enough detail to support your answer.
Question 4: (TCO 10) Sikhism began as an attempt to unify Hinduism and Islam. Identify and describe religious concepts that Sikhism took from Hinduism and those that it accepted from Islam? What elements from Hinduism did Nanak reject? Then evaluate Sikhism’s attempt to unify Hinduism and Islam. What makes this attempt problematic? Is it more productive or counterproductive to seek unity between religions by inventing a new religion? Make sure you use enough detail to support your answer.