Religions to include: Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism
1. Several of the traditions we are studying (e.g., Brahmanism and Confucianism) attempt to justify existing social or political institutions by religious means. What are some specific
examples of this tendency? What are some important social-political objectives these traditions seek to establish or preserve? Give specific examples of legitimizing strategies employed by at least three of the religious traditions we are studying as they are found in their respective scriptures. How, for instance, might ritual be used to validate governments or social norms? How and to what extent do these strategies resemble each other? How do
they differ? Why are these strategies so important to their particular culture? What is the nature of the relationship between the “spiritual” realm of religion and the “secular” realm of society and politics? Finally, can you identify counter-examples to this pattern either within or outside the traditions on which your essay focuses?