First provide some background on the religion to which you belong or with which you are most familiar. How long have you known about or practiced this religion? Why do you know about or practice this religion? How has this course affected what you know about or how you practice this religion?
Then choose two of the world’s major religions other than the one to which you belong or with which you are most familiar, one from the east (Hinduism or Buddhism) and one from the west (Judaism, Christianity, or Islam).
Using information from the textbook and any outside research you care to do, answer the following questions about each of the religions that you selected: What are the origins of each religion? How did they develop over time? What are the major influences from outside each religion? What are the significant divisions within each religion? What are the contemporary issues facing each religion?
Now consider what you learned from the in-class discussions. Use this information to answer the following questions about the religions that you selected. Did each start out as a sect or a church? How does each compare to the Dionysian and Apollonian traditions of the past? Have they ever switched from rejecting the world to accepting it (or vice versa)? What are their Gnostic and literalist components?