Week 8: Final Exam



Due Oct. 16 (Fri.) before noon (no exceptions!)
If you complete your work before this date it would be fine to send it early (and
even a good idea if you can)...but do not send it after this date since my grades are due shortly thereafter.
If you do not send me a link to your site then you will not pass this course and should retake it at a future date.
Once you email me (at gnosticgolfer@yahoo.com) your website address with all of your work (including all of your 12 posts, exams, four rel. literature write ups, field trip report, etc.) consider the course done.
Do check your email by Monday morning for your course grade.

1. Answer the thirteen preminary questions and ten exam questions and post your answers on your website under a section entitled "final."
2.  Be sure to send me at gnosticgolfer@yahoo.com the "exact link" to your website. I want the exact link (hyperlink) so that all I have to do is click on your site. Include
the http://..... Do not send half of an address!
3.No attachments!!!!!!!! Do not even have attachments on your website.
4. Do not send a password with your link to your site...your site should just open up when I click on the hyperlink to it. Your site needs to be a PUBLIC site and not a private one.
5. Your work can either SCROLL DOWN or than can be SEPARATE PAGES/LINKS to your assignments.
6. DO NOT POST your exam or web address on the yahoo club. This is very important.
7. Please label your email to me with the title: "RELIGION FINAL."
8. Besides the final exam, include on your website all of your completed
posts (numbered and dated). Also, include a rel. literature section and reseach section. An extra credit section is optional.
9. Write totally in your "OWN" words. You can use some of your own post material as long you are the "sole
author." If you copy any material from another student's work you will receive an immediate fail!! Also, do not
copy any material whatsoever from another source/reading/book. Do not even quote (unless totally necessary for the point you are
making and make sure quotations are included then). I want everything to be your ideas, your understanding, your words...but,
MOST IMPORTANTLY, do illustrate that you read the assigned reading material in full; use examples, terms, specifics from the readings.
10. If you did not read the material that pertains to the test question then simply write "no response" or "I do not know." My hope is that
you complete the whole test but if there is an area of the reading assignment you skipped then do not answer the question that
addresses it.

11. Make sure to check your email inbox (or spam box) for an email from me indicating your course grade. I will get back to everyone by Oct. 20th at noon. 
12. While I am not counting words per essay I will look for depth and very clear evidence that the reading was completed. Offer "specific examples" (details) from the reading whenever possible and define all terms. The length of each essay will probably be about a page.
13. Some students may feel overwhelmed with a lengthy final exam but there are a few things to remember:
1) many of these questions overlap with your post questions and you
can utilize your own post material--but you probably should add more
details and depth to the exam answers.
2) this is an open book/note test and as such a higher quality is
3) you have almost one week to work on it.
4) and, most importantly, as an online class there is nothing else
for me to go on except for what you write....so quality is essential.
14. Answer "12 preliminary" questions on the first page of the


13 PRELIMINARY QUESIONS: (answer these questions on the first page of your exam)

1. NAME (your official name that is in my roll book).

2. USERNAME on the Yahoo club---exact username is required to enable
me to look up all of your posts and dates to the posts.


4. How many posts did you complete for the term? Give the "exact dates" of posts 8-12 when you posted them on the yahoo group. (Make sure to copy/paste your post work onto your website; number and date them as well.)

5. What reading did you complete in full in this course thus far? Be specific?
Did you read ALL OF THE ASSIGNED CHAPTERS in Huston Smith's book? Which ones?
Did you read  Crossan's research? the Triumph of Christianity and False Testament articles? the Gnostic Mystery?
Explain in detail (give specifics) what reading you completed.
6. What reading did you not complete? Be very specific.
7. Out of all the reading that you were assigned what reading would
you recommend for future world religions classes? be specific.
Which books? which articles? which chapters? is there reading that
you would absolutely not recommend? why? I am very interested in
your response to Huston Smith's book....did this book work for you?

8. Films: List all of the films you watched in week four, five and six. Do you have a favorite and why? Did you skip any films and which ones?
9. What field trip did you complete? Where and when? Did you attend a service there?
10. Which Religious Literature did you complete this term? (make sure to have completed at least four total for the semester; place this on your website under religious literature; this will make up part of your course grade)
11. Did you complete any extra credit in the course thus far? Be specific. (Make sure to include all extra credit in the e.c. section
of your website.)
12. Please list what "grade" you received on your midterm examination. Was there any material you were asked to make up and
did you? Include the makeup work on your website and clearly label it!
13. Final Prelim. question: Of all the religions we studied this semester (Eastern and
Western) which one do you find most appealing to you (outside of your own religious tradition)? Explain why. Offer interesting
personal insights here and what attracts you to this alternative philosophy. Explain in depth---there is a lot one can write here!!
How can the ideas of this religion impact your life? Explain in depth.


Here's the tofu of the test: (ten questions: one page per question;
if you write more it is acceptable; avoid writing just a few lines. I
need to see that one read the material, understood it and thought
about it as well; if I cannot tell that you read your score will
significantly suffer). Total test length: approx. 8-10 pages.




1. Explain in depth what Gnosticism is. Why do you think that it failed and that Christianity
Hint: I want you to draw from GNOSTIC MYSTERY for the first half of the question and TRIUMPH of CHRISTIANITY for the
second half of the answer. Do not give a religious answer here --
like one is God given and the other is heretical; just draw from the
two articles assigned.

2. You were assigned material on the work of the biblical scholar J.D. Crossan, who paints a picture of who he thinks the "historical Jesus" was.
First describe his specific "research methodology" and then, most importantly, his actual findings on the life and teachings of Jesus. Do you like the philosophy of the
historical Jesus as presented by Crossan?

Hint:  Focus here on the "biographical" details of the "historical Jesus" (as opposed to
the more traditionally religious perspective). For biographical
details focus on the life of Jesus and what the "historical Jesus"
might have taught, according to Crossan. Here examine Jesus as the
philosopher. Was he a radical revolutionary? What does Crossan say Jesus taught and what about his
teachings led to his own death?  (note: Crossan is not
interested in the theology of Christianity which took centuries to
develop but in examining Jesus as a "historical philosopher.”) 

3. Outline the main argument in FALSE TESTAMENT and offer several
(offer "four to six") specific, detailed examples of why they call it "false
Hint: Compare/contrast the academic biblical research
in the article with a more conservatively religious view which takes
the Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament at face value. For instance,
tradition says David was a major king but research in the article
argues what?

4. You were assigned to watch a lecture by a Yale University professor on the Hebrew Scriptures. Which of the three lectures did you watch? Outline in depth the 45 minute lecture.
Hint: Include the the key ideas from the beginning, middle and end of the lecture. 
5. Utilizing Smith's material (chapter 8) on Christianity, outline
the history of Christianity, paying special attention to the
differing schools of thought/branches (Protestantism, Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox, etc.) within
it and how they developed.  Next, discuss in depth the film from the History Channel. What did you get out of the video and find interesting and even challenging? Offer proof that it was watched. For example, explain what did Crossan say in the video, etc....?

Hint:  Compare and contrast the different schools of thought. (make sure to use the required text).
6. Utilizing Smith's material in chapter seven discuss the Jewish
quest for "meaning." What does Smith means by this and give numerous
examples/"details"/specifics from the text to illustrate it.
7. A detailed website on Judaism was offered on the course syllabus week five. There were twelve sections on the religion, from customs to holy days to ethics, etc... Using your own words briefly discuss the key ideas in these twelve areas.
Hint: you do not need to detail everything in each of the areas. Just cover some main ideas of each area to illustrate that you have a grasp of the religion.

8. Detail the life and teachings of Muhammad according to Smith.  Make sure to discuss the basic theological ideas, main practices, social teachings of this religion.
Next, discuss the two part video that you watched on Islam (the Ben Kingsley one). What did you learn from the film? Elaborate.
Hint: you do not need to discuss Sufism in this essay.

9. Discuss in detail the mystical form of Islam as presented by Smith. Follow this with Karen Armstrong's position on this topic and what she finds appealing about Islam and its founder.
10. Compare and contrast Islam with Judaism and then compare and contrast it with
Christianity. How is it similar to Judaism and how is it different?
How is it similar to Christianity and how is it different?
Hint:  Draw from the reading and not outside websites(you are encouraged to use the websites offered on the course syllabus however).
There is a lot to discuss here. Discuss each separately. Do not just list a few ideas but develop a well thought
out essay here. This is an important essay.


NAMASTE to you all!!