What are the most important factors in evaluating a religion and comparing it to others? Identify at least three important parts of any religion that are essential to understanding their belief system; describe what those factors (examples could include community, rituals, prayer, worshiping, etc.) are and then select from Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Shinto to focus on.

  1. The ancient scriptures from India that form the basis for Hinduism (and Buddhism) are the ___________.
  2. Mohandas Gandhi preached about the importance of _______________, which included marches, hunger strikes, demonstrations, and publicity; this was borrowed by Martin Luther King, Jr.
  3. Buddhists believe reality exists in three characteristics: constant change; lack of permanent identity, and _________.
  4. For Buddhists, liberation from decay and pain is called _______________.
  5. Jainists believe in ____________, who are seen as “crossing-makers” or spiritual guides.
  6. Sikhism is widely viewed as a blend of parts of Hinduism and ___________.
  7. The primary book of Sikh scripture is the _________, which they venerate, believing it contains the living spirits of ten gurus.
  8. For Daoists and Confucianists, _____________ is the representation of two opposite but complementary characteristics.
  9. Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism are collectively known as the ____________.
  10. Shinto began to separate from Buddhism following ______________.

 

Part II. Short Answer—Identify each term and describe how it is important to understanding the religion it is related to (who or what the term is, which religion it is related to, and why it is important to the class). Each answer should be at least three sentences long!

  1. wu wei
  2. reincarnation
  3. kamikaze
  4. The Five Classics
  5. hylozoism
  6. samadi
  7. samsara
  8. karma
  9. ahisma
  10. shaman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part III. Essay—Select one essay and respond to the directions in ESSAY FORM. Your answer should have an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. You should make direct reference to your textbook and lectures, and include those in your response. Your answer should be at least three pages (double-spaced).

  1. What are the most important factors in evaluating a religion and comparing it to others? Identify at least three important parts of any religion that are essential to understanding their belief system; describe what those factors (examples could include community, rituals, prayer, worshiping, etc.) are and then select from Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Shinto to focus on. Describe those factors (how you define them) and how it relates to the religion you selected. What are the most challenging part of trying to understand this particular religion? What are the most unique features? What are the features that it shares with other religions?
  2. The religions we focus on are all unique, but they have some shared characteristics. Some things that all of the religions we have discussed have in common is that they all believe in the spiritual world and the human world, some idea of a creator, an afterlife (or afterlives), and have an idea about how humans are supposed to interact with each other and with their god or gods. Identify three shared characteristics and describe how each of the religions we have discussed approach the topic. How does each approach reflect the religion’s overall idea of practicing faith? How important is the community to the practice? Which of these features is confusing? Why?
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