Topics for Paper II, REL 353 Dark Self

Due in class Tuesday, February 7.

Topics (Select one of the following topics)

1. In the Bhagavad Gita, the God Krishna teaches Arjuna that the path to liberation (transcendence) involves duty to this world carried out without attachment, even if it means killing one's relatives. In Fear and Trembling, Johannes de Silentio (Kierkegaard) writes that the Knight of Faith resigns himself from (transcends) this world and thereby regains the world. As an example, he takes up God's command to Abraham to kill his son Isaac, calling Abraham the father of faith. Discuss similarities and differences between Arjuna's path of nonattachment as a warrior and Abraham's Knight of Faith.

2. In Sickness Unto Death, Kierkegaard defines the self as a relation between: finitude and infinite; necessity and possibility; and so on.
Option A: Discuss how Frankl would view/criticize Kierkegaard's model of the relational self.
Option B: Discuss how Rubin Carter would view/criticize Kierkegaard's model of the relational self.
(You may write this paper in the first person voice of Frankl or Carter  if that makes it easier. No matter what format you adopt, you must still document your ideas with page references/quotations.)

3. Both Frankl and Carter resist the evil of their times. Discuss two points of similarities and two points of differences in the ways they resist this evil. Address both the forms of inner and outer resistance they use.

4. Would Kierkegaard, as author of Sickness Unto Death, see Rubin Carter as sinful or as free from sin? Why or why not?

5. Select one episode from Frankl's account in Man's Search for Meaning and discuss how Carter would analyze the relation between inner and outer evil in relation to the episode. How does this differ from Frankl's view?

6. Select one episode from Carter's account in Eye of the Hurricane and discuss how Frankl would analyze the relation between inner and outer evil in relation to the episode. How does this differ from Carter's view?

7. Relate what you wrote about in your first paper to one or two texts/thinkers we have read in the course so far. Discuss how these texts/thinkers have changed or affected the views and/or experiences expressed in the first paper. What are some points in these texts/thinkers that you disagree with or that trouble you? If you choose to write on this topic relating your first essay to the readings, then please resubmit your first essay along with your second paper.