- Length: 1500-2000 words, in addition to a bibliography/works cited page
- Formatting: Double –spaced, 12-pt font, Arial or Times New Roman Font
- Bibliography: a minimum of 3 academic sources; preferably peer-reviewed publications and books. One of these must be a book reference. These academic sources are in addition to your textbook/weekly readings/lectures. Do not use Wikipedia as an Internet source.
Construct an argument to answer ONE of the following three questions:
- Identify one of the religions covered in this course that emphasizes behavior/deeds over adherence to creeds/beliefs/spiritual experiences in our current era. Then, compare it to another religion that you interpret as emphasizing the opposite, i.e., creeds/beliefs/spiritual experiences over behavior/deeds. Explain the reasons for such possible differences in emphases by exploring underlying sociological and historical themes. What were major world events or cultural developments that may have led each of these religions to emphasize each of these particular aspects over the other?
- Although Buddhism and Hinduism share similar beliefs, their approaches to the self, or the ‘soul’ are very different. Explain the metaphysical and practical distinctions between anatman and atman, and how these concepts tie into each religion’s unique approach to the sacred (god/gods) and the path to salvation. Make sure you specify which branches of Buddhism and Hinduism your analysis is tackling.
- What is the meaning of the word Jihad in Islam? Select two distinct sects of Islam and explain key differences/similarities in the interpretation and practices of this term. What role, if any, does Jihad serve in the sects you have selected, in today’s world? How has this role changed from previous historical time periods and/or how has it remained the same?