World Religions

Fall 2001 Final Exam Questions

Here is the list of questions for the final exam, You should answer one of them in some depth to be turned in by the beginning of the scheduled final exam time (6:00, Dec. 18). This is a take-home exam and is open book and open notes. Your answer should be compact, but complete. Keep in mind that this exam is optional, but it is not non-risk. If you take it, I will grade it, and that grade will be averaged into your final grade. Paper copies of your exam should be typed and given to the religion department secretary before 4:00 on Dec. 18, or hand delivered to me in the classroom at 6:00, Dec. 18. If you turn it in to the secretary, sure to clearly indicate that it is for me (Alan Humm), since there is another World Religions course being taught by another instructor. You may also e-mail your exam to me. Although I can read most word processor formats, text format is least likely to create problems at my end.
Theodicy, or the 'problem of evil', refers to the tension created by the claim, made by most religions, that a) God is good, b) God is all powerful, and c) evil continues to exist. How is this problem addressed in Christianity? In Hinduism? Why is it not really a problem in Buddhism?

We have had several opportunities to examine various functions of, and attitudes toward, sex within several of the religions we have looked at. Describe the range of those functions and attitudes, giving examples. In your opinion, do these functions and/or attitudes play into the social importance of gender in their respective traditions? Explain your answer. Do you find any of these positions 'weird' or disturbing? Why (or why not)?

Contrast the view of sin, holiness and salvation in Christianity, Judaism and Islam with that in Hinduism and Buddhism.

How is Buddhism's relationship to Indian religions similar to and different from Christianity's relationship to Judaism? Be sure to cover both historical and theological issues.