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Assignment 1: Comparative Religious Approaches
The origins of Judaism and Hinduism are almost 4,000 years old. Buddhism arose from the teachings of a single Hindu teacher more than two thousand years ago. All three have changed and developed over the centuries. All three are very much alive today.
Concentrating on their current forms, compare the approaches of the three religions to the basic religious questions:
⦁ How should I think about ultimate reality (Hinduism)? Is there a Supreme Being (Judaism)? Should I even think of god, letting myself be my supreme authority (Buddhism)?
⦁ What is the relationship of human beings to this reality (God)?
⦁ What exactly is the concept of faith to each of these three religions? Is it the same as belief, or not? Consider all three religions and compare.
⦁ How do these concepts of the Ultimate Reality, Supreme Being or self help address the following questions: What is wrong with the world, and how can I help to fix it? What am I supposed to do with my life?
Consider the three religions, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Judaism. In an essay of approximately 700 to 800 words in length, answer the questions listed above. Be sure to use appropriate APA format for citations and to include at least one reference for each religion.
Compares, contrasts, and applies concepts of Ultimate Reality, Supreme Being, and the authority of self to personal philosophical position on religion. 24
Uses critical thinking to describe and explain the relationship of humans and God. 16
Considers and measures the relationship between faith and belief from the three perspectives. 16
Considers and analyzes the application of concept of Ultimate Reality, Supreme Being (monotheism) and Self-actualization in addressing world problems. 20
Wrote in a clear, concise, and organized manner; demonstrated ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources; displayed accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation. 20
Justified ideas and responses by using appropriate examples and references from texts, Web sites, and other references, including correct APA format. 4
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Assignment 2: The Problems of Evil and Suffering
All human beings encounter pain and suffering in life. This can present some difficult questions to organized religions.
On some level, all religions answer fundamental questions of human existence, including, “why are we here?” Pain and suffering complicate these basic questions of human existence, whether the religion is monotheistic, polytheistic, or atheistic.
Some people endure much more pain and suffering than others. Why is this so? What is the origin of suffering? Is evil external or internal? Does it have any meaning? How should we respond to it?
Even more difficult is the problem of moral evil: some people deliberately cause other people to suffer. Why? If there is meaning in the universe, and especially if the universe is ruled by a beneficent deity, how can this be?
Write an essay of 1,000 words that examines the basic positions of each of the five religious traditions considering these human questions
In your essay, address the following questions:
⦁ How does each religion respond to the problems of evil and suffering?
⦁ How are those responses similar?
⦁ In what ways do the responses differ?
⦁ What factors account for these differences?
⦁ Which way of addressing evil is the most similar to your own? What role does reason play in your personal understanding of evil? How does that overlap or contradict with the major religions’ uses of reason in explaining evil?
Use the following file naming convention: LastnameFirstInitial_M5_A1.doc. For example, if your name is John Smith, your document will be named SmithJ_M5_A1.doc.
Introduce how each of the five religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism) responds to or address the problems of evil and suffering. 68
Compare the five religions and identify commonalities or similarities between them in addressing both the problem of evil and the problem of suffering. 40
Compare the five religions and identify differences between the five religions and how they address the problem of evil and the problem of suffering. 40
Discuss the factors that account for these differences in how the five religions address the problem of evil and the problem of suffering. 40
Describe which way of addressing evil is the most similar to the student’s personal belief system. What role does reason play in your personal understanding of evil? How does that overlap or contradict with the major religions’ uses of reason in explaining evil? 48
Style (8 points): Tone, audience, and word choice
Organization (16 points): Introduction, transitions, and conclusion
Usage and Mechanics (16 points): Grammar, spelling, and sentence structure
APA Elements (24 points): In-text citations and references, paraphrasing, and appropriate use of quotations and other elements of style 64
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