According to Richard Foltz, Buddhism is the first of the religious traditions we’ve examined that presented itself as explicitly “universal.” That is, rather than make an appeal to one geographic or ethnic group, the teachings of the Buddha from the beginning presented themselves as applicable to all people in all places at all times. Choose one of the selected passages from the Buddhist Scriptures text and illustrate through a close reading how the tradition promotes or articulates this universalizing message.
Who is Jesus? Or, more precisely, what is Jesus? This question plagued the earliest followers of the Nazarene, and routinely erupted into disputes and even schisms within the nascent Church. After having read the Gospels, the Letters from the Council of Ephesus, Phillip Jenkins Lost History of Christianity, and Samuel Lieu’s Manichaeism, please write a “defense” of the “Orthodox,” Nestorian, or Manichean conception of Jesus. Make explicit reference to at least one Gospel and explain why your chosen position is “reasonable.” This is meant to be an attempt to think through the rationale for why Jesus would be imagined or depicted in a particular way. Not all of these conceptions of Jesus survived, but each of them held intellectual and personal salience for over 1000 years in Central Asia. The question is, why did advocates of one version of Jesus find their conception of him to be appealing? All short writing assignments should be approximately 750 words in length (provide a word count at the end of your paper), use 12-point font with one-inch margins, and use the Chicago Manual of Style for footnotes