Evil in World Religions

Reading Response: 

Evil in World Religions: In this response, you will compare and contrast conceptions of evil in two specific traditions found in the Cenkner book: Christianity and Buddhism. Use the various chapters on these traditions to present a comparative overview, pointing out both the similarities and differences. Be sure to comment on the significance of those similarities/differences in your analysis.

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Fall 2021

RLGN 1440 – Evil in World Religions

Reading Response Instructions

Reading Response Instructions:

Students must submit TWO of THREE reading responses throughout this course. Each reading response will address a specific question provided by the instructor. These responses can be considered a personal reflection on a particular topic but should incorporate ONE additional academic source.

Students must submit online to the correct dropbox folder on the UM Learn course page. Responses must be typed (12-point new times Roman font), double-spaced, and a minimum of two pages in length. Each assignment should be submitted as either a PDF or Word document. Late assignments will not be accepted unless there is a case of family or medical emergency.

Due Dates:

#1 – On ‘Evil in World Religions’: October 7

#2 – On ‘Purity & Danger’: November 23

#3 – On ‘Eichmann in Jerusalem’: December 9

Grading: The reading responses will be graded on clarity, engagement with the material, level of analysis, grammar/spelling, organization, and readability. Each response is worth 15% of your final grade (for a total of 30%).

Reading Response Questions:

1. Evil in World Religions: In this response, you will compare and contrast conceptions of evil in two specific traditions found in the Cenkner book: Christianity and Buddhism. Use the various chapters on these traditions to present a comparative overview, pointing out both the similarities and differences. Be sure to comment on the significance of those similarities/differences in your analysis.

2. Purity & Danger: In this response, you will explain the concept of ‘dirt’ or defilement as Mary Douglas describes it in her work Purity and Danger. How can ‘dirt’ be understood as a form of evil? Be sure to comment specifically on one of the ‘religious examples’ that Douglas uses in her work.

3. Eichmann in Jerusalem: In this response, you will address some of the following questions in relation to Hannah Arendt’s main characterization of evil: What is the ‘banality of evil’? Do you agree with Arendt’s argument: why or why not? Is Adolph Eichmann a good example that actually supports her classification of evil?

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