The aim of this final paper is to give you the opportunity to bring the course readings and
discussions into creative conversation with your own religious/spiritual/philosophical
stance. This is not simply a journal entry, but an academic exercise in which you
intertwine the personal and the intellectual.
The aim of the paper: To academically and personally engage THREE different themes –
choose one theme from three different world religions of your choice (Please choose
from Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Islam, and Judaism). By "theme" I
mean something specific: for example, reincarnation, four noble truths, the middle
way, the 5 relationships, Te, etc.
In your discussion of each theme, be sure to provide some context – however brief. For
example, where is the theme from and how does it fit into the specific world
religion? How did its understanding affect you? No outside research is required. Please
refer especially to the Huston Smith world religions text, but you can also refer to
notes, video clips, etc. from the class.
The following questions may help get you started:
*What topics stimulated you the most?
*What confirmed and enriched your present thinking, beliefs, experience?
*What challenged you?
*What did you disagree with? What theme clearly conflicted with your own belief or the
belief of your religious tradition?
*What topic did you find meaningful and inspiring, and how do you plan on integrating it
into your belief system moving forward?
This personal-academic engagement with three themes from this course should be
approximately 3-4 pages, double-spaced, and 12 point font. You should include an
introduction and conclusion. You will be penalized if you are under 3 full
pages. Worth 100 points.
**This assignment does not ask you to set aside your present beliefs. Do not be afraid to
show the tension between some of the