Questions are Based on the chapters from The World’s regions by Houston Smith. So this book is a reference.
Assignment #9: Read the Judaism chapter in Huston Smith’s ‘The World’s Religions’
1. Machiavelli would today still identify Moses as one of the most powerful men in history; how does Huston Smith’s opening paragraph in the chapter bear out this claim?
2. Concerning the main texts of Judaism, what are the Tanak, the Torah, and the Talmud?
3. Huston Smith identifies a difference between the Hebrews and their Mediterranean neighbors concerning the relation between the divine and the natural world; what is this difference?
4. What is the connection between the Diaspora and the text-centered nature of Judaism, i.e., the Judaism of roughly the last two thousand years?
5. Huston Smith discusses the Ten Commandments in terms of “four principal danger zones of human relationships”; what are these four?
Assignment #10: Aquinas, Summa Theologiae Read Thomas Aquinas’ “Summa Theologiae”, and focus especially on the Third Article: Whether God Exists? This reading is the philosophical supplement to our study of Judaism.
1. Present in premise/conclusion form the First Way (of proving God’s existence).
2. Explain, in your own words and with an example, the First Way.
3. Present in premise/conclusion form the Third Way (of proving God’s existence).
4. Present in premise/conclusion form the Fifth Way (of proving God’s existence).
5. Explain, in your own words and with an example, the Fifth Way.
Assignment #11: Smith, Christianity Read the Christianity chapter in Huston Smith’s ‘The World’s Religions’
1. The notion of the Roman Catholic Church as sacramental agent means that a, if not the, primary role of the church is to _____.
2. What is the customary date for the separation of the Western (Latin) church and the Eastern (Greek) church?
3. What is the famous event, and its date, that is widely taken to have launched the Protestant reformation?
4. Huston Smith discusses The Good News in terms of three intolerable burdens being lifted; what are these burdens?
5. Finish this thought: To say that Christ was man but not God would be to deny that his life was fully _____, and to say that Christ was God but not man would be to deny that his life was fully _____.
Assignment #12: Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
Read Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “The Brothers Karamazov” This reading is the philosophical supplement to our study of Christianity (although, as usual, it can be applied, at least in part, to some other world religions as well). The reading involves a brilliant discussion between two brothers, the brooding Ivan and the saintly Alyosha, who grew up in separate homes and are only now, as young men, cautiously getting to know each other.
1. Why does Ivan Karamazov mention the geometry of Euclid?
2. What does Ivan refuse to accept (with respect to this world and God)?
3. What kind of evil particularly drives Ivan’s argument?
4. What does Ivan demand in any attempt to reconcile a good God with an evil world?
5. What is Alyosha’s response when Ivan observes that his stories of evil are making Alyosha suffer?