by admin - December 13th, 2012
The final exam of the semester will be Monday, December 17th at 8:30 am (although you can come as late as 9 if you want) in our classroom, Sullivan 121. You should bring the Diana Eck New Religious America book with you.
Here are the terms and questions you should be prepared to write about:
Terms, People and Concepts to define/ discuss
Responses to diversity: exclusion, assimilation, pluralism
Buddhist: 4 Noble Truths + 3 Refuges, Hsi Lai, Zen, Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana, Thich Nhat Hanh
Muslim: 5 Pillars, Night of Power, Qur’an, Nation of Islam, hijab
Hindu: Shiva, Vishnu, Lakshmi, Ganesha, kumbhabhishekha, Bhagavad Gita, T-M, tirtha, Holi, Diwali, Vivekananda, Yogananda
What links the Ganges and the Mississippi for American Hindus?
What accounts for the large numbers of Muslims living in the Midwest?
Essay Questions (choose one)
If you use direct quotations or ideas from Eck’s book, provide the page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence.
1) How has religious pluralism (NOT just “religion”) affected American society and politics? Contrast two different time periods (be specific) or case studies (again, being specific) in your answer.
2) Consider the title of Eck’s book. This nation has had a strong identity as a “Christian Country,” although to a great extent that identity had failed to acknowledge religious pluralism present from the beginning of the country’s history. Nevertheless, that conception of America as a Christian nation has undeniably changed. How, when, and why? Provide at least three specific examples to support your argument.
4) Eck’s book discusses numerous examples of overlapping or richly complicated immigrant identities, and at the ways that newcomers both adopt aspects of “American” culture and persist in expressing their cultural and religious identities. Many of these examples involve ongoing or unresolved conflict over what is permissible, legal, or acceptable. Assess the current legal and/or cultural climate for religiously-observant immigrants, using at least two of her examples to support your essay.
5) Is the bridge-building that Eck discusses in Chapter 7 still needed? Why or why not? That chapter discusses some of the “tasks” before us in American society today. Discuss some of the ones Eck outlines and what else would you add to her list?
6) Diana Eck’s book was first published in 2001 and revised in 2002 (just after the attacks on 9/11). How has the American religious landscape changed since then? Does her textured portrait of diversity hold up after more than a decade; is her book still relevant – why or why not? Who is missing from her “kaleidoscope” and if you were asked to revise the book for 2013 publication, what else would you want to include?