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7 week class discussions.

250 words initial post and two replies

Weekly Discussion Questions

Each week students are required to answer at least three (3) questions from a list of questions I pose.? In addition, students are required to respond to at least two (2) individual classmates that will be posting to similar questions.? The purpose is to learn from one another as we share together.? You must post your answers before being able to view your classmates posts.? We will be respectful to one another.? If issues arise, they will be dealt with by the professor.? If students have specific questions or issues, please do not use this forum for me to respond – please email or call me.

In order for everyone to be clear on the questions being responded to, please keep the numbers in agreement per each week.



Week 1 Discussion Questions

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1. In an older book on world religion called?The World’s Religions, author Huston Smith said he would describe only “religions at their best,” and not discuss things like violence or sexism that are also part of many religious traditions. Why do you think Smith made this decision? Why did the author of?Religion Matters?think it was important to describe both positive and negative features of religious traditions??

2. What is?essentialism?and why is it a problem if we want to understand how religions work in the world? How can we think about religions differently in order to avoid essentialism??

3. What is?perennialism? Why do many people??including many college students??like the idea of perennialism? Why does this textbook reject the idea of perennialism and focus on the differences between religions instead of their similarities??

4. While most religions have an idea of sacred spaces, Hindu tradition is especially tied to the land of India. In what ways does Hinduism incorporate sacred spaces? How might this become an obstacle as Hinduism spreads to other continents? And how might Hindus in other parts of the world adapt these traditions to new locations??

5. The author calls Hinduism “the least dogmatic and most diverse of the world’s religions.” In what ways is this statement true? What is it about the history and philosophy of Hinduism that makes it so diverse??

6. Numerous gods, goddesses, and heroes from Hindu literature are described in this chapter. Of all these characters, which is most appealing to you, and why??

7. In the United States and Western Europe, one in five adults believes in reincarnation but thinks about this idea “optimistically.” How does this Western “optimistic” idea of reincarnation differ from traditional Hindu attitudes about reincarnation??

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