For any/all of the prompts you can choose to write about a separate idea instead, as long as it relates to the religion we covered that week.
WR 1: Reflect on an element from the Hinduism chapter in Huston Smith’s “The Worlds’ Religions”. Suggestions include writing about notions of karma and reincarnation, the four main yogas of Hinduism, and notions of divinity.
WR2: Reflect further on notions of enlightenment and ideas of perception found in the article we read and discussed in class: http://www.uncoveringlife.com/awakening-story/
WR3: Reflect on the Buddhism chapter in the textbook. Suggestions include exploring the distinctions between different schools of Buddhism, or themes from the life of the Buddha that we learned about in the documentary shown in class.
WR4: After reading the chapter on Confucianism, explain some of the concepts from the chapter and from our discussion in class, specifically around the reason why Confucius’s ideas were a ‘middle way’ between the extremes of what Smith describes as the “Realist” school of politics and the “Mohist” way. Themes you could include are notions of what makes a good leader, what is needed for a society to function effectively, views of human nature, and why Confucianism as a religion focuses so much more on ideas of politics than most religions.
WR5: Discuss one of the concepts from the chapter on Taoism in Huston Smith’s book. Ideas to include could be notions of Yin and Yang, the origination of martial arts and Taoism, the distinctions Smith makes between different forms of Taoism, and Taoism and the healing arts.
WR6: Reflect on the ideas of fundamentalism that we discussed in class, especially in regards to the following Ted Talk about radical Islam and radical white power movements. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZwxKPv1CwA
WR7: Reflect on ideas around the importance of historicity in Judaism, and how the focus on historical events unique to Judaism changed notions of what the divine might be, in contrast to previous Greek and Eastern mythologies. You can reference this slideshow for ideas:
WR8: Reflect on a theme from Christianity that we have covered during class. Suggested topics include the relation between Logos and the historical/mystical Christ, the story of Jesus' crucifixion and debates over its meaning, and the antagonism between Jesus and the Pharisees.
WR9: Look back over the semester. What new perspectives, topics, or ideas have you enjoyed learning about? How has (or hasn't) your perspective on religion changed, and why? Explain using specific evidence. Tell me what your current mindset on the purpose and meaning of religion is in human history and experience, using specific examples from topics and religions we have discussed this year.