Below you will find the topics for your essay for ASR100 World Religions. You will also find a suggested list of readings for each topic.
Choose one topic, and write a 1,500 word essay on this topic and upload it in the CloudDeakin Essay 1 assignment dropbox by Monday 6 January 2020 (11.59pm).
It is important to submit your work on time as late essays will be penalized and under University regulations we cannot accept work after 5 days past the due date.
Please note the suggested readings listed under each topic - it is a good idea to consult these readings as they will help you to frame your approach and give you support for your arguments. There are a few of these readings that are essential or prescribed. These are marked so please make sure you consult them.
All the readings listed below are available for download from the links in the reading list below this document.
Describe the Hindu doctrine of karma and discuss whether or not you think it offers a plausible or rationally defensible explanation and/or justification for human suffering.
John Hick, Death and Eternal Life (Glasgow: Collins, 1976), ch. 16.
John Hick, Philosophy of Religion 4th ed. (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1990), chs 11, 16 and 18.
Whitley Kaufman, “Karma, Rebirth, and the Problem of Evil”, Philosophy East and West 55 (2005): 15-32.(ESSENTIAL/PRESCRIBED)
Nick Trakakis and Monima Chadha, “Karma and the Problem of Evil: A Response to Kaufman”, Philosophy East & West 57 (2007): 533-56.(ESSENTIAL/PRESCRIBED)
Whitley Kaufman, “Karma, Rebirth, and the Problem of Evil: A Reply to Critics,” Philosophy East & West 57 (2007): 556-60.(ESSENTIAL/ PRESCRIBED)
Gary E. Kessler, Studying Religion: An Introduction Through Cases, 3rd edition (Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2008), ch. 8.
Michael Peterson, William Hasker, Bruce Reichenbach, and David Basinger, Reason and Religious Belief: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion, 4th edition (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), ch. 8.
James C. Livingston, Anatomy of the Sacred: An Introduction to Religion 2nd edition (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1993), ch. 10.
Roy Perrett, “Karma and the Problem of Suffering”, Sophia 24 (1985): 4-10. (ESSENTIAL/PRESCRIBED)
Critically compare the ultimate goal of yoga practice according to Patanjali and the ultimate goal in Buddhist practice. How do the steps of yoga practice in terms of the concepts of prakriti and purusha compare to the practice of the Eightfold Noble Path?
Georg Feuerstein, The Philosophy of Classical Yoga (Vermont: Inner Traditions, 1996), chapter IV: The Concept of Emancipation [in Yoga]. (ESSENTIAL/PRESCRIBED)
Ian Kesarcodi-Watson, Approaches to Personhood in Indian Thought (Delhi: Sri Satguru Publications, 1994), chapter 4: Patanjali – The heart of his approach.
Ian Whicher, The Integrity of the Yoga Darsana: A Reconsideration of Classical Yoga (Albany: SUNY, 1998), chapter 6: “Aloneness – Implications for an embodied freedom”. (ESSENTIAL/PRESCRIBED)
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