Compare the problem, solution, and technique in Buddhism with those of another eastern religion of your choice.
Human Religious Experience
1. Compare the problem, solution, and technique in Buddhism with those of another eastern religion of your choice.
2. Is the presence of an ethical dimension a basic requirement for a system of thought to be considered a religion? Why or why not?
3. How might differing views on the afterlife affect differences in ethics from religion to religion?
4. In what ways does Yoruba Religion challenge both the traditional western and eastern notions of what separates a religion from a philosophy?
5. Choose a ritual performed within one of the religious contexts we have discussed this semester. Describe the symbolism in that ritual and the social function the ritual holds.
6. How does the structuralist theory understand the role myths play in the social dynamics of world religions?
7. What is methodological atheism, and how is it helpful in conducting a study of the social dimension of religious experience?
8. Name 2 similarities and 2 differences between Judaism and one of the other Abrahamic faith traditions. (Note: your examples must include significant points we have discussed in class. An answer such as, “Both Judaism and _____ believe in God and have holy books” is not sufficient).
9. What is the significance of Chi in Daoism?
10. Most people would define the term “atheist” as “a person who believes that God does not exist.” Is this definition appropriate, too broad, too simplistic? Why?
Answer each question in 2-3 paragraphs.
1. Throughout the course of this semester, you have studied eight religions and six dimensions of religious experience. Has your study lead you to any changes in your perception of what makes a religion a religion rather than a philosophy or way of life? What influences your understanding of the term “religion” at present? If you had to argue for your position on what makes a religion to a person holding an opposing viewpoint, what would you say and why?
2. Select one of the following:
a. Refer to Smart, p. 134. Respond to the questions he poses: “To what extent is religion a reflection of what goes on in the structures of society, and to what extent does it bring these structures about?” “What effects does religion have, or is it in itself an effect?”
b. Is there, or should there be, a normative view of ethics for all people in all cultures worldwide? Why or why not? What are the implications of your answer for understanding the reality of religious pluralism in the modern world?
c. In today’s world, it is more common than ever for individuals to reject beliefs entirely, or to hold separate beliefs regarding church and state (i.e. “My religion says that belief or practice A is incorrect, but in civil matters, belief or practice A should be respected”). Why do you think this is happening, and how is it affecting the way modern practitioners of traditional religion understand the role their faith plays in civil society?