Due date: January 12, 2018
Essay Assignment: For this assignment you are to compare and
contrast the five religious traditions you are learning about this
semester in regards to a particular theme that you select. These five
religious traditions are: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity,
and Islam. In each chapter of your text there are comparative boxes.
Each comparative box has a particular theme. Choose one of these
boxes to discuss for your essay. For each religion, I have provided
you with the corresponding text for each of these comparative
boxes. You can find these documents under either the Modules or
Please refer to the Format Example below while reading the
Directions: You must satisfy all of the requirements for this
1. Comparative box:
a. Pick one of the comparative boxes; find the full text of the
references in the box and cut/paste these on the first page(s)
of your assignment.
b. At top of page state theme title and chapter from which it
2. Comparative Essay:
a. Explain the theme of your chosen comparative box. What does
the theme mean? If your theme is about behavior or attitude,
determine how do the religious scriptures instruct people to
act and/or become? For example, for the “healing” theme –
how do each of the religions guide their believers in healing? Is
this an inner healing or an outer? Are we healing our souls,
minds, entire being, our community, the world-at-large, etc? If
your theme is about the nature of reality or some other
metaphysical topic, determine how the religious scriptures
inform people about how is the world.
b. Discuss/explain the similarities and differences among the
religions in regards to your chosen theme. You must use
tenets, doctrines, worshiping practices, etc. that you learned
about in each religions unit in your discussion/explanation.
Using material from each of the religions explain how the
messages are the same and how they differ. I suggest you first
make a draft discussing each of the religions in regards to
your theme. Then look over your discussion of each of the
religions and find commonalities and differences among them
in regards to your theme. Then you will be all set to write your
comparative essay about the five religions.
c. The paper length does not include the scriptural texts from the
d. Since I used the “Healing” theme in these instructions, you are
not permitted to use this theme for your essay.
e. Length: 2 pages
f. This assignment is worth 15% of your final grade. For more
information see grading rubric.
b. Times New Roman 12 point
c. Cover page
d. 1” margins all around
O Mankind! There has come to you an exhortation from your Lord, a balm
for that which is in the breasts, a guidance and mercy for believers.
Islam. Qur’an 10.57
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then shall the lame man leap like a hart,
and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy.
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert.
Judaism and Christianity. Bible, Isaiah 35.5-6
A great crowd followed [Jesus] and thronged about him. And there was a
woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered
much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no
better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus, and
came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said,
“If I touch even his garments, I shall be made well.” And immediately the
hemorrhage ceased; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her
disease. And Jesus, perceiv- ing in himself that power had gone forth
from him, immediately turned about in the crowd, and said, “Who touched my
garments?” And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing
around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?'” And he looked around to
see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had been done to her,
came in fear and trembling and fell down before him, and told him the
whole truth. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well;
go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
Christianity. Bible, Mark 5.24-34
Whatever defect I have of eye, of heart, of mind,
or whatever excess there is,
may Brishaspati remedy it.
Gracious to us be the Lord of the world.
Hinduism. Yajur Veda 36.2
The Buddha, the Truly Enlightened One, the unexcelled master physician…
having developed and perfected the medicines of the Teaching over
countless eons, having cultivated and learned all skills in application of
means, and fully consummated the power of illuminating spells, is able to
quell all sentient beings’ afflictions.
Buddhism. Garland Sutra 37
Paragraph 1: Theme explanation
Generally discuss what healing means to the five religious traditions. Explain how each
of the religions guides their believers in healing. Discuss whether this is an inner healing or an
outer healing. Explain what one is to be healing. Use elements from scripture passages in
defense of your explanation.
Paragraph 2: Similarity 1
Discuss how the religious traditions guide their believers in healing themselves. Use
terms, beliefs, practices and/or elements from the scripture passages to support your claim.
Paragraph 3: Similarity 2
Describe how the religious traditions guide their believers in healing their communities as
a whole and the other individual members. Use terms, beliefs, practices and/or elements from the
scripture passages to support your claim.
Paragraph 4: Difference 1
Explain how for some of the religious traditions you are your own guide to how to heal
yourself and others; whereas, it is from god that one is guided on how to heal. Use terms, beliefs,
practices and/or elements from the scripture passages to support your claim.
Paragraph 5: Difference 2
Discuss how the emphasis on healing is outward healing before inner healing; whereas,
for others it is inward healing before outward healing. Use terms, beliefs, practices and/or
elements from the scripture passages to support your claim.
Paragraph 6: Conclusion
Summarize the main points of your essay and draw any remaining conclusions that help
clarify your explanation of the theme and/or your positions taken.
*** If you discuss more similarities or differences you will have more paragraphs. You must
discuss at least two similarities and two differences.
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