Chapter one of your text book, Experiencing the World’s Religions,

 

Chapter one of your text book, Experiencing the World’s Religions, includes a list of key terms that are used to characterize the various ways God and ultimate reality have been conceptualized by various traditions throughout time.  Terms such as pantheism and panentheism are not just petty distinctions about God to be memorized and regurgitated for the sake of a grade.  These terms are used to understand and appreciate all the ways humankind has thought about the nature of reality and the nature of any metaphysical intelligence that may be underlying our world.  That is, we will be exploring the way different cultures have conceptualized God and the ways the definition of God has been refined and redefined over the centuries.  Terms such as monotheism, polytheism dualism, pantheism, and panentheism can be thought of as a biography of God and an account of how humans have oriented themselves to the underlying structure of ultimate reality.  

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Exploring ideas means questioning received truths, being open to new understanding and ways of knowing, and learning that the old things aren’t always the way you thought they were. Moreover, we will discover that there is more than one way to think about the ultimate meaning of our existence.  Contemplating these vocabulary terms can lead us to understand the fundamental ineffability of saying anything definitive about God, and thus the culturally particular commensurability about those things which we do say.  When thinking this way, we are not simply reflecting on an issue or a problem in isolation; we are thinking through it. We are thinking with empathy and seeing , the cultures, beliefs, and even realities that we once described as “other” in new ways. This is the core method behind educational inquiry of all kinds.  

 

In the spirit of realizing that there may be many ways of thinking about God, for this discussion board assignment, I want you to contemplate a series of questions related to the nature of God.  There is no right answer, but Please provide some reasoning or justification for each response.  For the sake of this assignment, we assume that God exists for the purpose of realizing how difficult it may be to establish a universally accepted notion of God, and thereby gain insight into others’ cultural beliefs. While these questions may seem purely philosophical, traditional responses to these questions have driven the evolution and diversity of most religions.

You will need to answer at least four of the seven questions below.

  1. 1. Is God in time or is God outside of time (meaning that God is not linear and normal rules of time do not apply?)
  2. 2. Is God different from us in kind or different from us in degree?  (In other words, is God completely and categorically different from us or is God similar to us only just a lot smarter, purer, and more powerful?  
  3. 3. If you believe that God is categorically different from us and therefore a transcendent being that is beyond space and time, then how does God interact with us? That is, how does God answer our prayers and intervene with our lives?
  4. 4. Do you know about the existence and nature of God by faith, reason, or both?
    1.   1. If you answered that we know God by both faith and reason, which has primacy?  That is, if faith clashed with reason, which prevails and takes precedence?  
  5. 5. Is God outside of our world, within the world (pantheism), or both?
  6. 6. What is the world ultimately made of?  Spirit, matter, or both?  
    1.   1. Is the world made of one kind of thing? (Monism)
    2.   2. Is the world made of two kinds of things? (Dualism)
    3.   3. If there can be both matter and spirit, comprising of two different kinds of “stuff”, then how do they interact?
  7. 7. How many deities can there be?  One (monotheism) or multiple (polytheism)?  

*Please note that there is no correct answer here and the purpose of the assignment is to realize that the concept of God can be complicated and to appreciate why different cultures and eras have established different notions for the nature of God.  

Technical Assignment Details: 

Your initial response should be clear and support your view. Write about in your initial post with a minimum length of 175 words

 

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