Topics for Paper III, REL101 World Religions: Asian Traditions
Due Friday, November 10, 2017 in class.
may choose to do either "Your Own Topic" or one of the "Defined
Topics" below. Be sure to follow the instructions in either case.
Whether you do your own topic or one of the defined topics, you
must provide page references/direct quotations from the
readings to back up your ideas and arguments.
B. Defined Topics
Once Zhuangzi dreamt he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. He didn't know he was Zhuangzi. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable Zhuangzi. But he didn't know if he was Zhuangzi who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was Zhuangzi. Between Zhuangzi and a butterfly there must be some distinction! This is called the Transformation of Things (p. 44).
Here are some further suggestions concerning the first paper
topic on the Daoist assassin.
Here are some things you could consider:
a) What is the basis of ethics in Daoism?
Daoism: Disharmony with the Dao versus Harmony with the Dao.
Buddhism: Suffering versus Liberation from Suffering.
Some other religions: Hard list of rights versus wrong.
b) Why kinds of figures appear in the Zhuangzi?
Do we find Daoist bureacrats? What about Daoist robbers, rapists, and murders?
Why are they included or not included?
c) What is the possible state of mind of a Daoist assasin? Does it fit in with the Dao or not?