In what ways are these differences similar across traditions? In what was are they different? Do difference or similarities suggest anything greater about the human experience of religion?

Choose two of the following short essay questions. Answer in at least 600 words each Festivals, Holidays, or Rituals Choose a festival, holiday, or ritual from one of the major world religions that we have studied in class. Using the course textbook, explain the significance of the festival, holiday or ritual of your choice to the religious tradition which commemorates it. Find one contemporary news article, podcast, or other form of mass media that addresses an aspect of the holiday, ritual, or festival in the contemporary world. Summarize the article and describe, then analyze your second source with information you have acquired from class. Does the article describe the activity in the same way as our book? How does it challenge the narrative (or not) presented by our book or in class? Essential Teachings Choose an aspect of an essential teaching in two religious traditions that we have studied in this class. For example, you might choose life after death, monotheism, polytheism, atheism, reincarnation, etc. Using your textbook, summarize the aspects that are unique to each tradition you chose, then explain which aspects of each teaching both traditions share in common. Modernization, Urbanization, and Religious Change Choose one example of the confrontation with modernity that faces most religious traditions. This can be an example from class (Native American, African or Hindu Traditions ) or it can be an example we have yet to study, such as the confrontation between modernity and Christianity/Islam/Judaism.

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Using your textbooks approach the religion and the modern world, outline and describe the challenges facing the tradition you chose vis-à-vis modernity. Then find one example of the confrontation you chose from a contemporary source (news article, academic article, blog, podcast) wherein the author takes a position on the problem. Summarize that position and then present your own thoughts. Pluralism and Tolerance / Intolerance and Religious Conflict Throughout history, there has often been conflict between people of different religious traditions living in close proximity to each other. Summarize and describe how our textbook defines pluralism, tolerance, intolerance, and conflict. Find and summarize two contemporary examples of both pluralism and conflict among practitioners of two religious traditions. Describe the source of the conflict and the attempts at pluralism as described by practitioners on both sides Judaism and Islam. Christianity and Islam Hinduism and Islam Judaism and Christianity Indigenous traditions and Islam Indigenous traditions and Christianity Diversity of Religious Practice Svetambara and Digambar Jains practice their religion in different ways, as do Mahayana and Theravada Buddhists. Choose two traditions that we have studied throughout this class and discuss the diversity of ritual practices that occur within each tradition. For example, might choose the differences between Digambar and Svetambara monks in Jainism or Shivaic and Vishnaic devotional practices in Hinduism. Or you might choose the ritual difference between the Greek orthodox and Roman Catholics or Confucian vs Traditional approaches to the Dao. Compare and contrast the way diversity of practices manifests in the ritual performances of each tradition. Then compare the difference in each tradition. In what ways are these differences similar across traditions? In what was are they different? Do difference or similarities suggest anything greater about the human experience of religion?

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