Instructions: Make sure to use the relevant readings/sources . Your answers shou

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Feb 10, 2023


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Instructions: Make sure to use the relevant readings/sources . Your answers should clearly reflect that you have read them by including in-text citations with page numbers (= paraphrasing the author’s ideas and providing a reference to where you read them). please keep direct quotations (using the authors exact words and placing them inside quotation marks) to a minimum, and do not use more than one per answer. Any additional sources should be reliable academic sources (journal articles, book chapters, books, etc.). Most internet websites do not count as reliable academic material, and I would advise against using them. You can use any citation style, as long as you use the same one throughout the exam. Make sure to add a short bibliography at the end of each answer. The bibliography does not count toward the required length of the answer to the exam question.
Some questions have several parts. Make sure to answer all of them. Carefully read the questions and make sure that your answers respond to them.
I. (6 points; 3 points for each part)
1a. Open the following reading from January 10: Wendy Doniger, The Hindus: An Alternative History. On p. 17 of the Pdf, Doniger asks the following question: “Is Indus religion a myth?” Respond to this question by discussing what is known about the religion of the Indus Valley (Harappan) Civilization, using this reading (including the previous and subsequent pages) and referring to specific archeological findings.
Required length: min. 250 words
1b. Look at the image of the “Pashupati” Seal on p. 4 of the same Pdf document (Doniger, The Hindus). Discuss the image (using the reading) and compare it with the characteristics and visual representations of god Śiva in later Hinduism. See January 10 and February 7 lectures, PPT slides, and readings.
Required length: min. 200 words

II. (6 points)
Open the following reading from January 19: William Dalrymple, Nine Lives, Chapter: “The Nun’s Tale.” Use this story to explain the Jain ethical principle of nonviolence, placing it into the broader context of the Jain doctrine of rebirth and liberation.
Required length: min. 300 words

III. (6 points)
Open the PPT slides from January 24. On slides 13 and 16 you will see excerpts from the Buddha’s first teaching. Explain the Buddha’s doctrines of the middle way and the four noble truths, using these excerpts and the following reading from January 24: Stephen C. Berkwitz, South Asian Buddhism: A Survey, Chapter 1: “Formations: The Buddha and his Dharma,” pp. 1–32.
Required length: min. 300 words

IV. (6 points)
Open the following reading from January 26: Stephen C. Berkwitz, South Asian Buddhism: A Survey, Chapter 3 “Furcations: Origins and Development of the Mahāyāna,” pp. 68–103. On pages 71–75 (pages 6–10 of the Pdf document), Berkwitz discusses various theories about the origins of Mahāyāna Buddhism. Summarize his writing and arguments.
Required length: min. 300 words

V. (6 points)
Using the relevant readings from January 31 and February 2, compare how the classical Hindu varṇāśrama dharma system (four stages of life) and certain Hindu epics, such as the Mahābhārata (with the main focus on the Bhagavadgītā), attempt to reconcile the path of fulfilling the dharma (especially householder and social duties) with the path of renunciation.
Required length: min. 300 words


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