9. In the Qur’an, what is the symbolism of Muhammad as the “SEAL OF THE PROPHETS”,
and what is his relationship to Abraham, Moses and Jesus?
10. Interpret, in detail, QUR’AN 96.2 that describes MUHAMMAD’S first encounter with the
ANGEL JIBRIL (GABRIEL).
11. What are the key elements of the SHAHADAH, the Muslim statement of belief, and what is
the relationship of the Qur’an to “the scriptures that he formerly sent down”?
12. In the symbolic story of the life of the BUDDHA, what are the TWO EXTREMES and how
might you characterize the ENLIGHTENMENT experience that he had?
13. The BUDDHA, who is regarded as the proto-type of a MYSTIC, realized the absolute truth
of the FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS at the height of a MEDITATIONAL EXPERIENCE. What are
the characteristics of a MYSTICAL EXPERIENCE?
14. Like the Buddha, SHANKARA is a proto-type MYSTIC but whose mystical experience was
radically different than that of the Buddha. What did SHANKARA mean by “SAMADHI” and
how does this differ from the Buddha’s understand of NIRVANA?
15. What did NANAK, the founder of Sikh tradition, mean by his statement that “there is no
Hindu; there is non Muslim”? How did NANAK envision Sikh tradition that adopted elements
of Hindu and Islamic traditions?
15 QUESTIONS FROM READINGS, OF WHICH 5 WILL BE SELECTED FOR THE
EXAM (WORTH 5 POINTS EACH)
1. What distinctive feature of the ABRAHAM tradition do the TWICE-TOLD-TALES
exemplify and what is the significance of the repeated stories?
2. What is the significance of ABRAHAM for ISLAM, as mentioned in the QUR’AN?
3. Where are the traditions about MOSES contained, and what are the FOUR DOMINATE
TRADITIONS about Moses in the Hebrew Scriptures?
4. What aspect of the relationship between JUDAISM AND CHRISTIANITY is reflected by
the portrayal of MOSES in the New Testament, and what are the ways that the New
Testament reflects this aspect?
5. What issues does the RESSURRECTION OF JESUS present to critical historical study?
What arguments have historians made in attempts to explain the RESSURRECTION in
historically plausible terms, and what arguments have been made against these attempts?