History 145 - World Religions                                                                                                   

Fall 2015

Dr. Florence M. Baker

 

Final Exam

 

Take home exam is due in class on Wednesday, December 9.

 

Your exam consists of a short paper of about 4 to 5 typewritten pages (double-spaced) in length. It should be written clearly and concisely, and developed logically with evidence or examples to support your statements. When citing evidence or an example be sure to explain how it supports your point. Do not use direct quotes; paraphrase and cite the source of your information. And be sure to answer all parts of the question.

 

Remember:

-- Review your handout on Guidelines for Writing Exams.

- This is not a research assignment – you are to use only class readings, handouts, videos and lectures which provide sufficient material to answer the questions.

- Cheating and plagiarism (using the words or ideas of others as if they were your own) will not be tolerated.

- You are responsible to keep a copy of all work submitted to the instructor.

 

Questions: Choose question I or II and answer all parts.

 

I. Hindu Religious Traditions and the Impact of Conquest and Colonization
A. Explain and support with evidence/examples each of the following statements.

1. Elements of Monism (the belief that there is only one ultimate reality or substance) can be found in Hinduism in the writings of the Upanishads, the concept of Brahman and the teachings of Shankara.

2. Elements of Polytheism (the belief in more than one god) can be found in Hinduism in the Hindu Trinity and the Way of Devotion (give examples).

3. Elements of monotheism (the belief that there is only one God) can be found in Hinduism in the Hindu concept of dualism, and the teachings of Madhva and Ram Mohan Roy.

B. Answer each of the following questions and support your answers with evidence/examples.

1. What impact did the Mughal Empire and Islam have on the development of Hinduism?

2. What impact did the English and Christianity have on the development of Hinduism?

II. Buddhist Religious Traditions and Religious Acculturation
A. Answer and support with evidence/examples each of the following questions.

1. Atheism (the belief that there is no god) can be attributed to the original teachings of Buddhism because gods play no role in a person’s achievement of moksha. Explain what Buddhists believe causes the cycle of death and rebirth and what one must do to escape it to support this statement.

2. Explain why Buddhism might have appealed to those who were unhappy with the growing power of the Brahmins and the caste system.

B. In discussing World Religions, those religions that have spread across many cultures and societies such as Buddhism, historian Peter N. Stearns wrote that “a world religion must be broad and flexible enough to accommodate the existing culture of potential converts.” Answer each of the following questions.

1. Identify two changes giving examples in beliefs or practices that were introduced into Buddhism as it spread into China and explain how they are examples of cultural accommodation.

2. Identify two changes giving examples in beliefs or practices that were introduced into Buddhism as it spread into Tibet and explain how they are examples of cultural accommodation.

3. Do you think it is possible for a religious belief system to become a World Religion without changing as it moves from one culture to another? If not, why? If yes, explain and give an example of a religion that has.