Week 1 Discussion Latest 2017 March
Close Encounters of the Religious
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?
Week 2 Discussion Latest 2017 March
Dialogue with Hinduism
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.
Week 3 Discussion Latest 2017 March
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?
Week 4 Discussion Latest 2017 March
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?
Week 5 Discussion Latest 2017 March
Prolegomenon-Things That Must be Said
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
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?
Scripture-Is the Bible an authoritative record of the revelation of God?
Nature-What is God like?
the way of salvation?
People of God-Who are the people of God?
Experience-How is God experienced?
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?
happens after death?
You do not have to address all presuppositions
in one post! I look forward to your insights!
Week 6 Discussion Latest 2017 March
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
Applying this analogy to religion is done at
our own peril. It is very simplistic, but it can be heuristic and guide us to
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
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:
Week 7 Discussion Latest 2017 March
Final Exam Preparation and Class
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
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 Latest 2017 March
Homework: Expository Essay
This assignment is due in Week 2 of the
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.
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.
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.
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
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 Latest 2017 March
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
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.
Week 2 Quiz Latest 2017 March
1. Question :
(TCO 1) Among many reasons, religions exist to
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
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
Question 9. Question :
(TCO 10) Ahimsa is the policy of:
Week 4 Midterm Exam Latest 2017 March
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.
Week 6 Quiz Latest 2017 March
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 :
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)
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
"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
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
love of beauty but little influence on
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 :
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)