RELI448 Week 1 Discussion
Close Encounters of the Religious Kind (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.
RELI448 Week 2 Discussion
Dialogue with Hinduism (graded)
This week we begin our study of the great religions of the world with Hinduism. We will examine its history, conceptions of world and deity, religious practice, and way of salvation. I encourage you to engage in a creative dialogue with Hinduism, broaden your understanding, examine similarities and differences with your religious tradition, participate in a respectful discussion with your classmates, and make practical applications to your faith, life and career.
RELI448 Week 3 Discussion
Dialogue with Buddhism (graded)
This week we will be exploring Buddhism. Let us begin our study by examining the life of Siddhartha Gautama, Buddha. What key events shaped his life? What are the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path? Why is Buddhism appealing to the Western Mind?
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 Webliographyfor an online Bible). Is there one rule that you live by?
RELI448 Week 5 Discussion
Prolegomenon-Things That Must be Said Before (graded)
Prolegomenon-Things That Must be Said Before
This week we begin our study of the Western Religions of Judaism and Christianity. For many members of this class, this will involve an examination of your religious tradition. Before embarking on this journey, it is good to look at what we are bringing with us. As noted in week 1, religions are lived and dynamic realities. If you are part of any religious tradition, you have inherited beliefs and values from it. Your understanding of its origins and practices have been molded by it. You see the divine through the lenses it has created. Understanding your “lenses” is essential when studying a religious tradition. You will read and interpret scared texts through these lenses and your experience of the divine will be shaped by them.
A prolegomenon, or prefatory remarks, is one way to understand how you are approaching the study of your religious tradition. These remarks are “Things That Must be Said Before”, a critical introduction to your study. They will identify the “presuppositions” underlying the study. Presuppositions are things assumed beforehand or taken for granted.
For your first post, I would like you to write your “Prolegomenon”. What are your underlying presuppositions guiding your study of Judaism and Christianity? Here are some presuppositions you can address:
1.Revelation-Has God been revealed to humankind in the Jewish and Christian Traditions? Is this revelation confined to the historical periods of the Bible or is it continuing? Is there a revelation of God outside of the Jewish and Christian traditions?
2.Holy Scripture-Is the Bible an authoritative record of the revelation of God?
3. Divine Nature-What is God like?
4.Salvation-What is the way of salvation?
5. The People of God-Who are the people of God?
6. Religious Experience-How is God experienced?
7. Human Nature-Is human nature good or evil?
8. Creation-How was the world created? Does it have an end?
9. Life-How is humankind to live?
10. Death-What happens after death?
You do not have to address all presuppositions in one post! I look forward to your insights!
RELI448 Week 6 Discussion
Faith Seeking Understanding (graded)
This past week several members of class mentioned how their study of the world’s religions has caused them to reflect upon the uniqueness of their faith and the understandings (beliefs) on which it is built and they have been taught. After all, our journey through the world religions has confronted us with profound similarities in origins, rituals, ethics, communities, scriptures, and belief systems. These similarities challenge the exclusivity often found in a religious tradition, and passed down from generation to generation without critical examination. For those of the Christian Faith, this week provides an opportunity to examine Christianity, and integrate knowledge received during this course into your faith.
“Cognitive dissonance” happens when our existing beliefs do not align with our current knowledge. This dissonance motivates us to change. Think of your belief system as a beautiful symphony you enjoy and appreciate. Suddenly, during the symphony, you hear a chord that is not in harmony. It is not in its place. It has never been there before. Its presence is disturbing. It must be resolved.
You have several options:
1) Ignore the chord. Although you know it is there, the rest of the symphony is still beautiful. Ignoring the chord allows you to continue to enjoy your symphony.
2) Find a new symphony. You can search and find another symphony with harmony. As a new symphony, you will not know if any of the chords are out of harmony, at least not for a while.
3) Change your symphony. This involves seeking the source of the errant chord, understanding it, and creating a new chord to replace it.
Applying this analogy to religion is done at our own peril. It is very simplistic, but it can be heuristic and guide us to new understandings.
Our study of the world’s religions has shown us that dynamic religious experience is the fountain head of new religions. They come into existence as beautiful symphonies answering the eternal questions asked by humankind, teaching the way of salvation, and facilitating an encounter with the divine. However, overtime, the religious experiences of the founders are forgotten or reinterpreted. Orthodoxy arises which seeks to teach religious truth which was once experienced. Cultures change and new questions arise that are difficult if not impossible for the religious tradition to answer. The once beautiful symphony of belief now has disharmonious chords that create cognitive dissonance in the faithful.
The faithful have 3 options:
1) They can ignore the lack of harmony and continue in their faith. It is familiar and change is difficult.
2) They can find a new symphony. The faithful can change denominations, religions, create new religions, or abandon religion altogether.
3) They can change their belief system. New knowledge is incorporated into the faith without changing its substance. They embrace the reality of their faith and seek new understandings.
The third option is what happened during Vatican Council II. In 1962 Pope John XXIII convened the council to “update” the church’s faith, to give it a new expression in the modern world. After 3 years of deliberations the Catholic Church had a “new face”. There was a dramatic shift from condemning other religions, to an understanding that all religions shared a common belief in God (Pope, 2012, para. 13).
Throughout this week, I hope everyone reaffirms their faith while seeking understanding. I will be posting several times on “Faith Seeking Understanding”. I look forward to our discussion!
Pope,John. 2012. Vatican II changed the Catholic Church and the world. Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/11/vatican-ii-catholic-church-changes_n_1956641.html
RELI448 Week 7 Discussion
Final Exam Preparation and Class Reflections (graded)
Welcome to the week 7 discussion board! This week we will be preparing for the Final Exam and reflecting on the Comparative Religion class experience.
Remember to make all 6 of your discussion posts to earn full credit.
Also, write your class reflection in Word, save it, and post it to your course evaluation.
This class has been an awesome experience for your Professor. I enjoyed sharing a journey through the World's Religions with you, sharing experiences, and learning about your beliefs and traditions. I hope you have enjoyed this course and trust it will benefit you personally and professionally.
RELI448 Week 2 Reflection Essay
Homework: Expository 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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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 Virtual Field Trip
Field Trip Report
For this class you are required to visit a religious site not your own. This could be a synagogue, a Christian church, a mosque, or a temple. The purpose of this trip is to report on what you saw -normally a religious service—and how it compares to your own religious upbringing and/or current practice.
The report should give a description of the site and a detailed summary of thereligious service.Describe what you observed. What were the material expressions of the service (statues, paintings, music, etc). Was there anything special going on that day (e.g., baptisms)? If there was asermon, analyze it. In brief, make it "up close and personal." Conclude with your personal reaction to this experience.
This paper should be at least three (3) pages in length (1050 words) with proper APA formatting. This includes proper documentation. This is a formal academic paper so pay careful attention to the basics of writing a good English composition.
RELI448 Week 2 Quiz
1. Question :
(TCO 1) Among many reasons, religions exist to help people:
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. Question :
(TCO 1) The Way of Action is characterized by:
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. Question :
(TCO 2) This author believed that religion arises from psychological needs:
: Ludwig Feuerbach
Question 4. Question :
(TCO 4) The early anthropologist who saw religion as rooted in a belief in spirits and worship of them was:
E. B. Taylor.
Carl G. Jung.
Question 5. Question :
(TCO 8) The word "maya" means:
the moral law of cause and effect.
Question 6. Question :
(TCO 9) The Upanishads are:
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. Question :
(TCO 8) Bhakti yoga is:
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. Question :
(TCO 8) A Puja is:
an object held in the hand during worship.
a devotional ritual.
a sacred dance.
a special powder placed on the images of deities.
Question 9. Question :
(TCO 10) Ahimsa is the policy of:
RELI448 Week 4 Midterm Exam
Question 1. Question : What are the origins of religion? Inquiring minds want to know! Our textbook presents the theories of prominent psychologists and sociologists such as Gustav Jung and William James. You have also reflected on the views presented within your religious tradition. What are your conclusions? Do you agree or disagree with the theories of psychologists and sociologists? (Choose at least two). Do you agree or disagree with views of your religious tradition? Is religion the human quest for the divine? Is religion the result of divine activity in the world?
Your answer should be in essay form and at least 6 paragraphs in length.
Question 2. Question : (TCO 8) Identify and describe three paths to God (yogas) in Hinduism. Make sure you use enough detail to support your answer.
Question 3. Question : (TCO 9) Identify and analyze the Four Noble Truths, in particular, the Noble Eightfold Path. Identify two concepts from Hinduism that Buddhism eventually kept. Make sure you use enough detail to support your answer.
Question 4. Question : Congratulations! You have completed your RN to BSN program. Because of this accomplishment the hospital where you work has given you a new assignment. You are to develop and teach a program to promote religious accommodation in the workplace. Your community contains large populations of individuals who practice Hinduism and Buddhism. Explain what religious accommodations you will be teaching to your staff. What attitudes toward religious diversity would you expect your staff to embrace? Provide at least one practical example.
RELI448 Week 6 Quiz
Question 1.1. (TCO 6) Judaism traces its origins back to this patriarch in the book of Genesis: (Points : 5)
Question 2.2. (TCO 7) What Jewish festival celebrates the liberation of the Israelites from Egypt (cf. Exodus)? (Points : 5)
Question 3.3. (TCO 6) The first kings of Israel were: (Points : 5)
Saul, David, and Solomon.
Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekial.
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
James, Peter, and Paul.
Question 4.4. (TCO 6) A well-known leader of Reform Judaism in America was: (Points : 5)
Isaac M. Wise.
Question 5.5. (TCO 7) The authoritative list of the twenty-seven books that make up the New Testament (Christian Scriptures) is known as: (Points : 5)
the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Nag Hammadi Writings.
Question 6.6. (TCO 6) Our knowledge of the earliest period of the Church's history comes from this New Testament book: (Points : 5)
Paul's Letter to the Romans
The Gospel of Mark
The Acts of the Apostles
The Book of Revelation
Question 7.7. (TCO 6) The bishop who is considered the leader of the Eastern Orthodox Church is the: (Points : 5)
Archbishop of Canterbury.
Patriarch of Moscow.
Patriarch of Constantinople.
Bishop of Rome.
Question 8.8. (TCO 6) This term refers to those Protestant reformers who taught "rebaptism" (e.g., the Mennonites and Amish): (Points : 5)
Question 9.9. (TCO 6) The most significant movement in religion since World War I is: (Points : 5)
RELI448 final exam Latest 2017 April
Question 1.1. (TCO 1) The word religion literally means: (Points : 4)
Question 2.2. (TCO 1) Theology literally means: (Points : 4)
the love of wisdom.
the study of man.
the study of God.
the study of the soul.
Question 3.3. (TCO 2) Who was the founder of psychoanalysis, who theorized that belief in a God or gods arose from an adult's projection of powerful and long-lasting childhood experiences with his or her parents? (Points : 4)
Question 4.4. (TCO 4) The French thinker who developed the approach of structuralism when he first recognized extraordinary structural similarities in stories told by tribal peoples of the Americas was: (Points : 4)
Question 5.5. (TCO 4) Name the French thinker who moved away from structuralism towards a technique called destructuralism, which rejects the usual interpretation of religious origins. (Points : 4)
Question 6.6. (TCO 8) The second-ranking caste consisted of: (Points : 4)
nobles and warriors.
Question 7.7. (TCO 8) The power of a god is often symbolized by: (Points : 4)
rings of fire.
Question 8.8. (TCO 9) In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna counsels Arjuna to: (Points : 4)
meditate to experience moksha.
work unselfishly for others.
adhere to one's duty (dharma) in this life.
engage in nonviolent resistance.
Question 9.9. (TCO 10) Regular practices of the Jains include: (Points : 4)
almsgiving and animal sacrifice.
fasting and pilgrimage.
deity worship and meditation.
wearing orange or white robes.
Question 10.10. (TCO 8) The Buddha's first disciples were: (Points : 4)
his wife and child.
his five former ascetic companions.
the great king Ashoka.
members of the warrior-noble class.
Question 11.11. (TCO 8) Buddha was silent on questions about: (Points : 4)
Question 12.12. (TCO 8 ) The Chinese word for "righteousness," "benevolence," "humanity-at-its-best" is: (Points : 4)
Question 13.13. (TCO 8) For Confucius, a person who follows the way of heaven: (Points : 4)
lives close to nature.
is a great warrior.
lives the Golden Mean and avoids extremes.
is meek and humble.
Question 14.14. (TCO 9) According to the Daoists, if one leaves behind desires for individual things, one will: (Points : 4)
be reborn to a better life.
see things differently.
Question 15.15. (TCO 9) In Zhuangzi's (Chuang Tzu's) famous dream, he was not certain that he was not: (Points : 4)
Question 16.16. (TCO 5) All of the following ancient world religions are minor religions except: (Points : 4)
Question 17.17. (TCO 11) Shinto is characterized by: (Points : 4)
respect for nature and a centralized religious bureaucracy.
love of beauty but little influence on Japanese art.
love of beauty but few religious rituals.
respect for nature and many religious rituals.
Question 18.18. (TCO 6) The Hebrews trace themselves to an ancestor named: (Points : 4)
Question 19.19. (TCO 6) The first King of Israel was: (Points : 4)
Question 20.20. (TCO 6) The Jewish Day of Atonement is: (Points : 4)
Question 21.21. (TCO 7) Jesus sometimes summed up his teachings in: (Points : 4)
Question 22.22. (TCO 7) Letters written in the New Testament to instruct, encourage, and solve problems are called: (Points : 4)
Question 23.23. (TCO 6) Like Judaism, Islam forbids: (Points : 4)
eating unleavened bread.
wearing of veils by women.
wearing gold jewelry.
Question 24.24. (TCO 6) The Sunni and Shiite branches of Islam split over a dispute about: (Points : 4)
whether or not to have a lunar calendar.
how many wives were acceptable.
succession after Muhammad.
when the pilgrimage should be performed.
Question 25.25. (TCO 12) The youngest alternative path studied in this chapter is: (Points : 4)
Question 1. 1. (TCO 4) Compare and contrast Carl Gustav Jung's theory about the origin of religions with William James's theory. How do each of these psychologists view religion (positively or negatively)? Next, analyze how the insights of Jung or James might illuminate your religious tradition or the tradition with which you are the most familiar. How would Jung or James understand that tradition? Use specific examples to support your answer (e.g., a specific belief or ritual).
(Points : 50)
Question 2. 2. (TCO 9) Identify and analyze the Three Marks of Reality; in particular, concept of the no-soul doctrine. How do these differ from the Hindu concept of reality? Include enough details to support your answer.
(Points : 50)
Question 3. 3. (TCO 3) Explain and evaluate Thomas Aquinas' Cosmological Argument for the existence of God: The first and plainest is the method that proceeds from the point of view of motion. It is certain and in accord with experience, that things on earth undergo change. Now, everything that is moved is moved by something; nothing, indeed, is changed, except it is changed to something which it is in potentiality. Moreover, anything moves in accordance with something actually existing; change itself, is nothing else than to bring forth something from potentiality into actuality. Now, nothing can be brought from potentiality to actual existence except through something actually existing: thus heat in action, as fire, makes fire-wood, which is hot in potentiality, to be hot actually, and through this process, changes itself. The same thing cannot at the same time be actually and potentially the same thing, but only in regard to different things. What is actually hot cannot be at the same time potentially hot, but it is possible for it at the same time to be potentially cold.
It is impossible, then, that anything should be both mover and the thing moved, in regard to the same thing and in the same way, or that it should move itself. Everything, therefore, is moved by something else. If, then, that by which it is moved, is also moved, this must be moved by something still different, and this, again, by something else. But this process cannot go on to infinity because there would not be any first mover, nor, because of this fact, anything else in motion, as the succeeding things would not move except because of what is moved by the first mover, just as a stick is not moved except through what is moved from the hand. Therefore it is necessary to go back to some first mover, which is itself moved by nothing--and this all men know as God.
Briefly explain and then evaluate this proof for the existence of God.
(Points : 50)
Question 4. 4. (TCO 11) Identify and analyze three basic patterns in indigeneous religions. Use examples from African religions to support your answer.
(Points : 50)