Phil 1304 Introduction to World Religions


Total points for the midterm examination: 100. Answer all of the following questions. This is an essay examination. You can use outlines if you want, but you must also show that you can write your answers in paragraph form using good grammar and sentence structure. Combine general themes with specific examples when you answer the questions. Underline the major concepts or ideas for which you give follow up examples. Put your name on each answer sheet in the upper righthand corner. Hand in this list of questions along with your answers when you have finished the examination. Good luck.

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  1. Total point for this question: 40. Describe the common conceptsof the South Asian religions. Then choose 2 of the following 3 religions and indicate how they apply these common concepts. Choose 2 religions fromthe following 3:Hinduism, Mahayana Buddhism (be sure it is Mahayana and not Hinayana/Theravada), or Jainism. If you wrote a paper on one of these three, then choose the other two for this question. If you wrote on two, then choose one of them and the one on which you did not write a paper. If you wrote papers on all three, then choose two of them.


  1. Total points for this question: 20. Describe the common concepts that characterize the Chinese religions. Then choose either Daoism or Confucianism and indicate how the followers apply these common concepts. If you wrote a paper on Daoism, then you must choose Confucianism. If you wrote on Confucianism, then you must choose Daoism. If you did not write a paper on either Daoism or Confucianism, then you can choose either Daoism or Confucianism.


  1. Total points for this question: 20. Define the concept of kami and indicate why this is the most important concept within Shinto. Then describe the Shinto creation myth and the role of Izanagi, Izanami, Amaturasu, and the impact of State Shinto during World War 2, as discussed in class. Lastly, describe Shrine Shinto as a current form of Japanese Shinto worship. Also describe the role that ritual and purification play in Shintoism.


  1. Total points for this question: 20. Choose 1 of the following 3 questions from God Is Here to Stay. Do not choose more than 1.


  1. In chapter 2, Humanity Is Structured for Knowledge, describe briefly 3 out of the 4 areas that are examples of where modern science has led humanity to overcome the restrictions of nature.
  2. In chapter 3, The Universe Is Structured for Conscious, Self-Aware Life, describe briefly what is meant by the Anthropic Principle and what evidence there is to support it.
  3. In chapter 4, From Non-Life to Life, describe 3 of the 4 theories on how carbon life on Earth emerged from non-life elements 3.85 billion years ago.


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