A. This week we are thinking about the fact that there are many different religions in the world. Consider this issue: given that there are so many different religions in the world, what kinds of problems and tensions is this responsible for causing in the world today?
B. In our reading from the Dalai Lama he says, “I generally believe that every major religion has the potential for giving any human being good advice; there is no question that this is so” (666). Explain what the Dalai Lama is saying here in your own words. Do you agree with it? Why or why not?
C. In our reading from Hick this week, he quotes Raymond Firth on the point that “religion is universal in human societies” (633). And he quotes Wilfred Cantwell Smith on the point that “In every human community there exists something that we, as sophisticated observers, may terms religion or a religion” (633). Provide at least two concrete examples from either the modern world or from your knowledge of past history that illustrate Firth and Smith’s points.
D. This week we talked about 4 different positions: 1) Strict Exclusivism, 2) Soteriological Inclusivism, 3) Religious Pluralism, and 4) Religious Skepticism. Briefly explain each of these positions in your own words. End by stating which one you think is the most plausible, and be sure to make your reasons for favoring that position clear.