6. Discuss the quest for the HISTORICAL JESUS. Name some of the key figures, their basic
goals, and how the portraits of JESUS changed as the “quest” continued. Also discuss
briefly the influence of Schweitzer’s work on historical Jesus studies.
7. Describe in detail the key characteristics of MUHAMMAD’S prophethood, with
particular attention to his “call” and to the nature of his REVELATIONS.
8. Discuss in detail the important elements of the MUHAMMAD’S position as both
RELIGIOUS and POLITICAL LEADER in the community of his time, and of the role he
came to play in the later Islamic community.
9. The approaches to the academic study of the HISTORICAL BUDDHA have changed
significantly since their initial stages in the late nineteenth century. How have these
critical approaches changed over the last century and what conclusions have current
scholars reached about the HISTORICAL BUDDHA? Why are the historical dates of
BUDDHA’S life and death problematic in this study?
10. Different BUDDHIST traditions recognize other BUDDHAS besides the historical
GAUTAMA. Outline and describe these other forms in which BUDDHAS may exist in
11. LORENZEN spends much of his article on SANKARA discussing SANKARA’S
biography, outline the major events in SANKARA’S life and explain how this impacted
the development of his religious thought.
12. Provide a detailed comment upon the following statement: “A central doctrine of
SANKARA’S thought claims that from the point of view of the SUPREME TRUTH our
inner SELF OR SOUL (ATMAN), the essence of consciousness, is identical with the
essence of being, BRAHMAN itself.”
13. NANAK’S message comes from the HINDU SANT tradition in Northern India; discuss
the main tenants which NANAK borrows from this tradition and explain why he did not
create a completely new system of theology for his teachings.
14. According to NANAK, God calls for devotion and sacrifice to save humanity. What else
must one do to be saved by God? Explain the actions one must do to attain salvation and
how GOD’S GRACE is a factor in the saving of humanity.
15. Who was RAMAKRISHNA? Provide a brief description of RAMAKRISHNA’S life,
central teachings, and the Ramakrishna Movement later led by SWAMI
RLG101HF: FINAL EXAM STUDY QUESTIONS (DECEMBER 19, 2007)