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Religion & Theology
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History of Buddhism – Final paper Religion & Theology Essay (Essay Sample)


Based on your reading of the assigned texts, our in-class discussions, and your own reflection, please respond to all of the following prompts. Your responses should be thoughtful and well written. The idea is to show me the depth of your understanding of Buddhist philosophy and the conclusions you have drawn from this understanding. Please do not include the prompts in the body of your essays. (Use font size #14, double-spaced, 1 inch margins all around. If you consult secondary sources, you must acknowledge those sources in a footnote.)1. Buddhism is a school of thought and a way of life founded on philosophical and ethical principles established by the Buddha some 2600 years ago. Do you find these principles to be relevant and valuable for your own personal life in the 21stcentury – OR – are they hopelessly outdated and of no practical value? Fully explain your reasoning. (Please write at least 2 full pages).2. In the Buddhist tradition, there is an emphasis on “experiencing enlightenment.” The practice of meditation is seen as the pathway to the enlightenment experience. My question to you is this: Who becomes enlightened? Fully explain your reasoning. (Please write at least 1 full page).3. Zen Master Seung Sahn would say: When you eat, just eat. When you read the newspaper, just read the newspaper. Don’t do anything other than what you are doing. One day a student saw him reading the newspaper while he was eating. The student asked if this did not contradict the teaching. Seung Sahn said, When you eat and read the newspaper, just eat and read the newspaper. (Please write at least 1 full page).


Institutional Affiliation
Course Code/Title
Responses to Buddhist Philosophy
Philosophical and Ethical Principles
Buddhism is a religion that has its roots in the Far East in modern-day southern Nepal. The argument on whether one should relate and uphold the philosophy and ethics behind this doctrine demands knowledge on its origins. First and foremost, the pioneer of this religion, Siddhattha Gotama, was a prince born in 563 B.C.E. Gotama was oblivious of human suffering as he was prohibited from walking beyond the castle gates. On the day that he left the temple, he became cognizant of the various phases of suffering human beings were accustomed to. Consequently, he denounced his princely and made it his purpose to seek the cause of suffering. He made many journeys around Asia in search of the truth. He interacted with many cultures and found that suffering was predominant among every being.

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