Weekly Writing Assignment #3

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PLEASE DO NOT USE OUTSIDE SOURCES BESIDES THE REQUIRED TEXT! IF YOU ARE NOT FAMILAR WITH THE SUBJECT THEN DO NOT TAKE ON THE ASSIGNMENT, THANK YOU!


Required Texts:

Nine Theories of Religion by Daniel L. Pals (earlier edition is “Eight Theories” also acceptable.)

The World’s Religions: Our Great Wisdom Traditions by Huston Smith

The End of Faith by Sam Harris

A Short History of Myth by Karen Armstrong

This week you have three options. Choose one only. If you have an interest in writing about another issue as well, why not take that over to the regular discussion forum?

Option #1

HARRIS/FREUD

How close to Freud’s answer to the question of the peculiar power of religious faith is Harris’ answer to that question?

Option #2

EAST/WEST

Lao Tzu’s biography is encased in legend – much like the life of Gautama Siddhartha, the Buddha. Why is it that the details of the lives of the great founders of Taoism and Buddhism are not the stuff of historical interest in anything like the way the details of the lives of Moses, of Jesus, and of Mohammad are?

Option #3

GODS AND GODDESSES

How do you account for the fact that the myths of both the Paleolithic and the Neolithic all come ‘gendered’ i.e. that there is nothing like ‘the Force’ of Star Wars but only gods and goddesses?

Since your writing assignment submissions will be used as the primary indicator of your understanding of the course material, as well as the sophistication of your own thought, it is very important that you offer the fullest and best representation of your thought in responding to the questions. As the issues raised here are subtle and complex, give them the time and the thought they deserve. Your submission should be thoughtful: 400-600 words.

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