Religious Studies. Lectures, control works for students


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What is the Sabbath? When (specifically) does it begin and end? What are two biblical reasons (from the Torah) given for observing the Sabbath?

What happened to the Jewish community in Spain in 1492 CE?

How did most Reform and Orthodox Jews feel about Zionism (at least prior to 1948)?

What was the basic message of the Hebrew Prophets in the Bible?

What happens in the Jewish Bible story of "The Binding of Isaac" (or the "Akedah")? Identify at least two ways that Judaism has interpreted this story.

Briefly contrast the three major modern Jewish religious denominations in terms of their attitude toward the Talmud and its interpretation. List two or three changes introduced by Reform Judaism.

Who is the founder of Hinduism?

Why does Hinduism have so many Gods?

How does a Hindu worship?

What is the caste system, and what does it have to do with Hinduism?

Why do Hindus wear a dot in the middle of their forehead?

Do Hindus believe in heaven or hell?

Do Hindus believe in reincarnation?

Why do Hindus worship cows?

What is the difference between studying religion as a believer and studying religion for academics?

What is the difference between intrinsic value and instrumental value?

What is the difference between physical pleasure and attitudinal pleasure? Which kind of pleasure do hedonist claim is always intrinsically valuable? Why do you think that hedonists make this distinction, rather than claiming that all pleasure is intrinsi¬cally valuable?

In what sense does hedonism “give us a say” in what the good life looks like? Do you think that this is an attractive feature of hedonism? If so, why? If not, why not?

Can you think of any case in which experiencing pleasure fails to contribute to a person's well-being? If so, consider what a hedonist might say in order to undermine such a case.

What is the point of Foot's comment about lobotomies? How do you think hedonist might respond to Foot's challenge?

Given the arguments of this chapter, do you think hedonism is correct? Why or why not?

If you had a chance to get into the “experience machine” for the rest of your life, would you do it? Why might the idea of the experience machine pose a challenge for hedonism?

What is autonomy? Can hedonism account for the value of autonomy? Defend your answer.

What is false happiness? Construct a case of your own that provides an example of such happiness, and then assess its impact on the plausibility of hedonism?

What does it mean to talk about the “shape of life”? Are some lives better than other simply in virtue of their “shape”?

Describe some of the religious ritual still present in our society such as baptism, bar mitzvahs, or-dinations, weddings, and funerals.

What are some of the purposes or functions of ritual sacrifice?

What is ethnocentrism? Using course material, explain why it is problematic for the social scientific study of religion. How does cultural relativism alleviate these concerns?

Using examples from course material, fully explain the following concepts and their relationships to each other: secularity, secularization, and the secularization thesis.