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RELI448 (Comparative Religions) Entire Course

RELI448 (Comparative Religions) Entire Course

devry reli448 week 1 discussion dq 1 & dq 2


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.

dq 2

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 (sicFreud). 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.

devry reli448 week 2 discussion dq 1 & dq 2

dq 1

The Faces of God (graded)

Hinduism offers as one explanation for its many gods that humans need concrete representations of the formless
absolute. Also, finite minds can perceive the infinite only in a limited way, according to taste and temperament,
cultural background, and other factors. Religions such as Christianity or Judaism view God in carefully defined ways
that restrict the names and personality that reflect the divine. Yet even here, the way that God is pictured varies.
Reflect on the images you have had of the divine, and interview friends about images they have had. How have these
pictures in your mind changed since you were a child? Is it possible they will continue to change as you age or as you
study religion more deeply? How do you account for this process, and how would you attempt to measure the
correctness of one image over another?

dq 2
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.

devry reli448 week 3 discussion dq 1 & dq 2


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:
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.

devry reli448 week 4 discussion dq 1 & dq 2

dq 1

Confucius Says (graded)

Confucius was once asked if there was one rule that could serve as the guide to ones 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?

dq 2

East Meets West (graded)

The ideas of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing)have been widely translated into English. Some might recall the delightful
childrens version of The Tao of Pooand 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 disdainThe 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.
devry reli448 week 5 discussion dq 1 & dq 2

dq 1

Judaism and the Prophetical Tradition (graded)

The prophet Amosspoke 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?

dq 2

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?

devry reli448 week 6 discussion dq 1 & dq 2

dq 1

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
Jesuss 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 the Beatitudesin Matthew 5:1-12.)

dq 2

The Proofs for the Existence of God (graded)

Read through the Proofs for the Existence of Godcarefully (in the Webliography tab above). Do any of them convince
you? If the answer is no (and it usually is), 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?

devry reli448 week 7 discussion dq 1 & dq 2

dq 1
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 Quran,
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?

devry reli448 week 2 quiz

1. 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) What psychologist saw religion as a way for people to find their fulfillment as unique
individuals, a process he called individuation?
Sigmund Freud
Carl G. Jung
Alfred Adler
Erik Erikson
Question 4. Question : (TCO 4) The German theologian who held that religions originate in human response to the
mysterious side of reality was:
Rudolf Otto.
Carl Jung.
Karl Rahner
Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Question 5. Question : (TCO 8) The word moksha means:
the moral law of cause and effect.
soul/deepest self.
Question 6. Question : (TCO 9) The word Vedas is related to the English word:
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 sannyasin is a:
nature spirit.
wandering holy man.
Question 9. Question : (TCO 10) Ahimsa is the policy of:

devry reli448 week 6 quiz

1. 1. Question : (TCO 6) Judaism traces its origins back to this patriarch in the book of Genesis:
Question 2. Question : (TCO 7) What Jewish festival celebrates the liberation of the Israelites from Egypt (cf.
Rosh Hashanah
Yom Kippur
Question 3. Question : (TCO 6) The first kings of Israel were:
Saul, David, and Solomon.
Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekial.
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
James, Peter, and Paul.
Question 4. Question : (TCO 6) A well-known leader of Reform Judaism in America was:
Isaac Leeser.
Isaac M. Wise.
Abraham Cahan.
Mordecai Kaplan.
Question 5. Question : (TCO 7) The authoritative list of the twenty-seven books that make up the New Testament
(Christian Scriptures) is known as:
the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Nag Hammadi Writings.
the Apocrypha.
the canon.
Question 6. Question : (TCO 6) Our knowledge of the earliest period of the Churchs history comes from this New
Testament book:
Pauls Letter to the Romans
The Gospel of Mark
The Acts of the Apostles
The Book of Revelation
Question 7. Question : (TCO 6) The bishop who is considered the leader of the Eastern Orthodox Church is the:
Archbishop of Canterbury.
Patriarch of Moscow.
Patriarch of Constantinople.
Bishop of Rome.
Question 8. Question : (TCO 6) This term refers to those Protestant reformers who taught rebaptism (e.g., the
Mennonites and Amish):
Question 9. Question : (TCO 6) The most significant movement in religion since World War I is:

RELI 448 Week 4 midterm exam

1. 1. Question : (TCO 4) Compare and contrast Sigmund Freuds theory as to the origin of religions with William James
theory. How does each of these psychologists view religion (positively or negatively)? Then analyze how the insights
of Freud or James might illuminate your religious tradition or the tradition with which you are most familiar. How would
Freud or James understand that tradition? Use specific examples to support your answer (e.g., a specific belief or
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 Three Marks of Realityin Buddhism. How do these differ from
the Hindu concept of reality? Make sure you use enough detail to support your answer.
Question 4. Question : (TCO 10) Identify and describe three ethical mandatesof Jainism. Then evaluate the case for
or against complete vegetarianismeating no fish or animals. Is this reasonable for all people or only a small
minority? Make sure you use enough detail to support your answer.

RELI448 Week 2 assignment

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 todays 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 (Santera,
Voodoo, and Candombl), 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.]
Submit your assignment to the Dropbox, located at the top of this page. For instructions on how to use the Dropbox,
read these step-by-step instructions.
See the Syllabus section Due Dates for Assignments & Exams for due date information

RELI448 Week 6 assignment latest 2016

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 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.
Submit your assignment to the Dropbox, located at the top of this page. For instructions on how to use the Dropbox,
read these step-by-step instructions.
See the Syllabus section Due Dates for Assignments & Exams for due date information.

RELi 448 Week 8 final exam

1. 1. Question : (TCO 1) The word religion literally means:

: to bind.
meditate on.
rise above.
2. 2. Question : (TCO 1) The position that argues that we cannot know whether there is a god or not is known as:
: monotheism.
3. 3. Question : (TCO 2) Who was the German theologian who argued in The Idea of the Holy that religions emerge
when people experience that aspect of reality which is essentially mysterious?
: William James
Carl Gustav Jung
Rudolf Otto
& Page 1 of 6
Student Gradebook Exam
4. 4. Question : (TCO 4) Who was the Scottish anthropologist and author of The
Golden Bough who saw the origins of religion in early attempts by
human beings to influence nature and who identified religion as
an intermediate stage between magic and science?
: James Frazer
Rudolf Otto
William James
Wilhelm Schmidt
5. 5. Question : (TCO 4) What is the name of the Austrian ethnographer and
philologist who argued that all humankind once believed in a
single High God and that to this simple monotheism later beliefs
in lesser gods and spirits were added?
: James Frazer
William James
Wilhelm Schmidt
Carl Gustav Jung
6. 6. Question : (TCO 8) Vedic religion was:
: patriarchal and polytheistic.
matriarchal and polytheistic.
7. 7. Question : (TCO 8) The power of a god is often symbolized by:
: lightening bolts.
rings of fire.
many arms.
8. 8. Question : (TCO 9) Hinduism, as formulated in the Upanishads,
: encourages meditation to understand the essence of reality.
says we must honor our social obligations and roles.
rejected the authority of the Vedas in formulating new
religious insights.
advocates devotion to any of the many gods.
Page 2 of 6
Student Gradebook Exam
9. 9. Question : (TCO 10) Both Jainism and Sikhism:
: practice vegetarianism.
advocate ahimsa.
are monotheistic.
view the human being as composite of spirit and matter.
10. 10. Question : (TCO 8) According to the Buddha, his teachings must be:
: accepted on faith.
experienced by oneself.
memorized and chanted.
spread by missionaries.
11. 11. Question : (TCO 8) Once a person reaches nirvana:
: suffering continues only for this life.
samsara is attained.
rebirth is finished.
the Pure Land is entered.
12. 12. Question : (TCO 8 ) The Chinese word for righteousness, benevolence,
humanity-at-its-best is:
: Ren (jen).
Hsiao (xiao).
13. 13. Question : (TCO 8) Confucius thought the most important relationship was:
: ruler-subject.
Page 3 of 6
Student Gradebook Exam
14. 14. Question : (TCO 9) Which is not a Daoist value?
: Simplicity
Sensing movements of nature
Formal education
15. 15. Question : (TCO 9) In Zhuangzis (Chuang Tzus) famous dream, he was not
certain that he was not:
: Confucius.
an ox.
a butterfly.
a Daoist.
16. 16. Question : (TCO 5) All of the following ancient world religions are minor
religions except:
: Shinto.
17. 17. Question : (TCO 11) Sikhism is charaterized by:
: special clothing and religious militarism.
special clothing but not religious militarism.
religious militarism but not special clothing.
special clothing only.
18. 18. Question : (TCO 6) A contract between the Hebrews and their God was
called a:
: mitzvah.
Page 4 of 6
Student Gradebook Exam
19. 19. Question : (TCO 6) The sacred core of the Hebrew Bible is called the:
: Torah.
20. 20. Question : (TCO 6) A joyful spring festival that recalls the Hebrews exodus
from Egypt and freedom from oppression is:
: Yom Kippur.
Passover (Seder).
21. 21. Question : (TCO 7) Jesus sometimes summed up his teachings in:
: ten commandments.
one commandment.
two commandments.
five commandments.
22. 22. Question : (TCO 7) The most Jewish of the Gospels is:
: Matthew.
23. 23. Question : (TCO 6) Muhammads job before he became a prophet was as a:
: merchant.
date grower.
caravan driver.
camel breeder.
Student Gradebook Exam
24. 24. Question : (TCO 6) The month of fasting, the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, is known as:
: Id al-Adha.
25. 25. Question : (TCO 12) The youngest alternative path studied in this chapter is:
: Santera.
Falun Gong.
1. 1. Question : (TCO 4) Compare and contrast Sigmund Freuds theory about the
origin of religions with William Jamess theory. How does each of
these psychologists view religion (positively or negatively)? Now
analyze how the insights of Freud or James might illuminate your
religious tradition or the tradition with which you are the most
familiar. How would Freud or James understand that tradition?
Use specific examples to support your answer (e.g., a specific
belief or ritual).
2. 2. Question : (TCO 9) Identify and analyze the Four Noble Truths, in particular,
the Noble Eightfold Path. What ideas from Hinduism did Buddhism
essentially keep? Describe them. Include enough details to
Page 1 of 4
3. 3. Question : (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
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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 nothingand this all men know as God.
Briefly explain and then evaluate this proof for the existence of
4. 4. Question : (TCO 11) Identify and analyze three basic patterns in indigeneous
religions. Use examples from traditional Hawaiian religion to
support your answer.