Week 6: Thursday, September 29, Buddhism (cont.) Read in NAWR 1. Read as much as

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Dec 19, 2022


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Week 6: Thursday, September 29, Buddhism (cont.)
Read in NAWR 1.
Read as much as you can of these. Be sure to read the second item (“The Pure Land,” etc.) and last item, the Dali Lamma’s Nobel Speech.
Mahayana Sutras
“White Lotus of the True Dharma,” pp. 1,003 – 1028.
“The Pure Land,” The Diamond Sutra,” “The Buddha Nature Lies Hidden Within,” “The Heart Sutra,” “On the Meaning of Emptiness,” pp. 1,041 – 1099.
“How to Be a Bodhisattva,” pp. 1,120 – 1,165
“Buddhist Tantra,” pp. 1,189 – 1,215
“A Chinese Pilgrim Visits the Bodhi Tree,” pp. 1,236 – 1,242
“The Bodhisattva Who Bestows Children,” pp. 1296 – 1,305
“On the Power of Amiotabha’s Vow,” pp. 1,226 – 1,348.
“The Path and the Result,” pp. 1,426 – 1,435.
“San Francisco Zen,” “An American Sutra” “Buddhist Monk Wins Nobel Peace Prize,”
pp. 1495 – 1,512.
If you choose to do one of the eight academic essays called for in the syllabus, submit it here.
Required Textbooks:
The Norton Anthology of World Religions (NAWR), Jack Miles, ed. 2 vols. WW Norton, 2015. ISBN 978-0-393-06253-3.
Confucianism: A Very Short Introduction. Daniel K. Gardner. Oxford University Press. 2014. ISBN: 978-0-19539891-5
Course Descriiption: A survey of the sacred scriiptures of seven of the world’s great living religious traditions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Special emphases is given to how these scriiptures reflect the belief systems, moral teachings, rituals and institutional structures of these traditions as they touch upon and reflect the universal human quest for ultimate meaning.
A basic understanding of the beliefs and practices of several of the Worlds’ many religions and of the significant roles these religions have played and continue to exercise in shaping human history and social interactions can significantly contribute to an individual’s ability to succeed in today’s increasingly intra-dependent world. Some familiarity with and appreciation of various examples of religion and of religious expression and practice is essential no matter what one’s own religious persuasion. Throughout this course, the following general curricular goals will be emphasized: the quest for ultimate meaning, a liberal arts foundation, appreciation for diversity, ethical insight, and a focus on gender.
Course Learning Objectives:
At the completion of this course:
1.) Students will be able to articulate orally and in writing the concept of “ultimate questions” and to discuss the alternative responses to these questions as they found in the wisdom of the world’s major living religions.
2.) Students will have read and explored significant portions from the scriiptures of the world’s major living religious traditions, in light of the historical times, geographical places, and distinctive cultures in which the texts were produced.
3.) In short academic essays students will have reflected upon the concept of “revelation” and of the influence of culture and language in communicating revelation.
4.) Students will be able to articulate the difference between exegesis of a sacred text on the basis of historical critical analysis and eisegesis, the reading into a particular text a meaning that one is seeking.
5.) Students will gain skill in the ability to identify and distinguish different kinds of literary genre within sacred texts and, be able to explain the importance of making such distinctions when seeking to interpret and apply any text in today’s world.
6.) In keeping with the goals and themes of the Liberal Studies program, students will be able to address how the sacred texts of different religions have contributed to and shaped the interpretations of relationships between the human and the divine, the individual and society, and identity and difference.
7.) Students will achieve a sensitivity for abusive use of sacred texts and an awareness of the potential constructive use of such texts in current debate related to gender roles, the construing, exercise, and challenge of authority, and ethics, especially as ethics relates to justice.
8.) Students will be able to discuss and articulate the relationship between this course’s goals, those of the Liberal Studies program, and their own individual goals and ambitions.
Course Writing Assignments
1.) Eight academic essays: As a part of your preparation to engage in class discussion, you will prepare and submit a minimum of eight academic essays that reflectson the assigned readings for a particular week, to be completed and submitted on-line on Canvas prior to the class for which the readings were assigned. The entries are to be two to three pages [625 – 950 words]. In your essays you will properly reference the reading materials using proper APA citations [see below]. More specifics on Canvas.
2.) Four assigned Papers [Prompts and specific instructions on Canvas]:
• A three page [900 – 1000 words] paper that answers the question “What Constitutes a Religion?” due on Canvas Saturday, September 10 at midnight.
• A five page [1500 – 1650 words] paper discussing theories about the origins of religion, due on Canvas Saturday, October 8 at midnight.
• A five page [1500 – 1650 words] paper discussing religions as sources for moral decisions due on Canvas Saturday, November 12 at midnight.
• A ten page [3000 – 3300 words] paper that reflects upon and compares how each of the religions we have considered over the semester answers the question, “What does it mean to be human?” due on Canvas Saturday, December 17 at midnight.
Appropriate topics that can be included in the eight academic essays are:
1.) How do the readings assigned for this week fit in with the course overall? How do they relate to material already covered?
2.) Did something confirm what you already knew, believed, or suspected? What was the source of the information you brought to the material? How do the readings relate to your own life experience and background?
3.) Was anything surprising to you? Why?
4.) Was anything completely new to you? Does this build on what you already knew, or does it challenge strongly held beliefs? Does it make a difference? Why?
5.) What questions did the readings raise for you that you would like to see discussed in class? Can you propose some possible answers to your questions based on what you already know.
6.) The focus of each essay however is to be on the current reading assignment. Do not merely turn in your notes from the previous class lecture.
Citation Style: This course uses APA style for all writing and research assignments. Resources for this citation style are available through the Library Citation Guide and APA Style Guidebook.


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