Finals should be typed with 12-point type, in Times New Roman font, single-spaced, one-inch margins surrounding the written text. Your Final may not exceed three pages of writing.
My last words of a book for which I wrote the introductory and concluding chapters, A Living Theology of Krishna Bhakti (Oxford University Press, 2012), are the following:
I can think of no greater need and nothing more exhilarating for the world today: that very gift containing something of the experience and knowledge of the heart of the divine, most lovingly offered, received, and reciprocated, from one tradition to another, building a new global theology with the divine treasures excavated from the hidden depths of ultimately every personal vision and tradition of faith.
The essential question for the final is related to these exhortative words: On what basis could various faiths of the East share with one another the greatest gifts they have to offer the world? How could they talk to one another, and influence one another? What resources from within their traditions could be engaged to do so to contribute something to the rest of the world?
Identify the vision of the ultimate truth for each of the traditions studied: Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh, Chinese (Confucian and Taoist), and Shinto traditions. Make six little paragraphs, one for each tradition describing as best you can what relationship each tradition’s practitioners has with this ultimate truth. Boldface the name of the tradition when you begin the paragraph on each tradition.
As you know, this course fulfills the Global Multicultural Perspectives (GMP) requirement for the core curriculum. The learning objective for the GMP is the following: students who take this class must “demonstrate knowledge of an outcome or consequence that results from interactions between different cultures or subcultures.” Based upon this very broad statement, choose one, or two specific examples of something we have covered in this course and write an essay showing a development in religion as a consequence of cultural interactions. Possible examples could include the Bhagavad Gita as a synthesis of major currents in classical Hinduism, differing senses of Dao, the blending of Islamic and Hindu motifs in Sikhism, etc. Your essay should be at least three (3) paragraphs with a clear beginning, middle, and end.
This third and last part has two sections:
(a) Speak about how you feel your understandings of religion could result in creating a basis for dialogue and peace between traditions. How would your findings be valuable in our world today? This part of your work is application.
(b) Establish a THESIS, which should be about only one or two sentences, and not much more! Type it in bold face. In the thesis statement, you will summarize how you feel these traditions can draw from these gifts to connect with other practitioners in all other traditions in peaceful and deeply appreciative ways. This thesis statement is VERY IMPORANT: it is the essence of what you’re trying to say in both parts one and part two. You can then follow the thesis statement with qualifying or explanatory statements.
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