“ myth .” christians never H u m a n i t i e s
2 PAGES each question (DOUBLE SPACED, 12 PT)
1- One of the important contributions of Ernst Troeltsch to the analysis of religion is his typology of church, sect, and cult. Discuss what Troeltsch (influenced by Weber) means by these categories and how can they be used to explain the social or communal aspects of religious phenomena. To be able to write an acceptable essay on this question the chapter on Weber in Pals and Chapter 7 of Livingston, Anatomy of the Sacred, are indispensable. (Weber strongly influenced Troeltsch, but the question is about Troeltsch, not Weber.)
2- Myth and Sacred Scripture we have seen are essential aspects of all religions. Yet believers seem to be uncomfortable with the category of myth when scholars apply it to their particular religion. And this is especially true in the three Western religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Even Hindus are now upset that a Western scholar would consider one of their great epics, the Ramayana, “myth.” Christians never had a problem labeling the stories in other religions myth, while strongly defending the historicity of every story in the Genesis narratives, or events in the life of Jesu, even to the minutest detail. Orthodox Jews and Muslims would be offended if anyone suggested there is myth in the Torah or the Qur’an. How do we deal with myth? Even if a myth is historically untrue, can it still be true in a more important sense? Question: Discuss the different views of myth in Chapter 4 of Livingston, and state with which view do you agree the most and why?
(3-4 PAGES, DOUBLE SPACED, 12 PT FON)
3- “What roles does religion play in Appiah’s analysis? Is the “contamination” Appiah is advocating good for religion, or should religions (and cultures) avoid it? Should religion remain changeless and resist any outside influences that might bring about change, or should it be open to those influences (become more “cosmopolitan”) even it means questioning or abandoning some of its traditions?