History

The year is 500BCE and you are a member of the ancient Hebrew tribes who has been forced to leave your homeland. Because of this, you decide to visit a number of areas to see if you can find a place where you will feel comfortable settling down. Along your route, you first stop in Athens, then you travel east to the Ganges River Valley of India, and finally continue on to the Yellow River Valley in China. In each of these places, you have conversations with learned people who describe to you their religious or philosophical beliefs. In an essay in which you reflect on your travels, begin by first explaining why it is that so many major religions and philosophies were developing around this time. Then describe your own (Judaic) belief system, including its historical development and the values and practices it embraces, and how and why it is different from other religions in the area. Then compare your ideas with the religions and philosophies of an Athenian, a Buddhist, and a Confucian, each of whom would also explain the historical development of their religion or philosophy, its main beliefs and values, and what makes it different from other religions and philosophies in the area. As a conclusion, discuss what you may all have in common and what you may disagree about. Would you feel comfortable settling down in this society? Why or why not? In the essay, be sure to write as though you were this person, using the first person (I, me, my, etc.), and include as much depth and specific evidence as you can from course lectures, videos, and readings.

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