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Test Review Guides

  • Preliminary Self-Test
  • 1st Quarter Test: Religions; Hinduism; Buddhism
  • Final Exam Matching

Resources for the Final Exam Essays:

  1. Explain the differences between Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist Judaism and Zionism, and explain how these differences are the result of the historical events (such as the Holocaust, the spread of Fascism and Communism, and the rise of Islam) and intellectual currents (such as Feminism) of the Modern period.
  2. Both China and Europe were changed by the spread of Communism throughout the 20th century, and in both places the interaction between Communism and Religion (Confucianism in China, Christianity in Europe) was antagonistic. Explain why this was the case, and what role religion has played or is playing in the success/failure of Communism in China and Europe today. Be sure to explain what it is about the essence of Communist thought that makes it hostile to religious belief, and what it is about Confucianism and Christianity that has caused them to play different roles in response to Communism.
  3. Discuss the impact of the life of Pope John Paul II on the 20th Century.
  4. Fundamentalist movements have arisen in all of the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) as a response or reaction to Modernism. Explain what these Fundamentalist movements have in common and why they oppose Modernity, but also explain why these movements are themselves ultimately based upon Modern assumptions. To what extent do these movements succeed as attempts to recover an authentic expression of the origins of the religions they represent, and to what extent do they distort those origins?
  5. Recently, Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, stated publically that Germany's efforts at multiculturalism have "utterly failed," a comment provoked principally by the social and economic problems Germany and much of Western Europe have faced as a result of Muslim immigration. She noted that Germany is essentially a Christian country (ironically, in light of the fact that it is the birthplace of the Reformation, it is now majority Catholic), and that immigrants should be expected to adhere to Christian values and be more willing to embrace the customs of the land to which they have immigrated. Therein lies the paradox of Postmodern tolerance: What does the West do when, in the process of elevating tolerance to the highest of the virtues, it is confronted by those who do not share that assumption? Should it force its idea of tolerance upon them, or tolerate itself out of existence?



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