religious studies 9

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

Answer the 5 question provided below:

1) The Problem, Or The Solution?

Since “”religious extremism” mixed with modern technology is the explosive combination Harris so fears, why is “religious moderation” or toleration not the remedy?

2) The Problem With Moderation

According to Harris, how is it that religious moderates supposedly “betray faith and reason equally”?

The Historical Location of Tolerance

According to Harris, why have the Western democracies been the natural home of religious moderation?

3) Escapism?

Every time she gets the chance – which means in just about every chapter – Armstrong emphasizes that mythology is not ‘escapist.’ What does she mean by that, and why is it such an important concern that it keeps re-appearing so frequently?

4) Harris/Freud

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

5) 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?

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