Writing Assignment – Option 1B – Comparing Ancient Religions

A common element found in all civilizations is a distinct religious structure, in which “The gods were deemed crucial to the community’s success, and a professional priestly class, serving as stewards of the gods’ property, regulated relations with the gods.” In this Module, the following religions have been discussed: Zoroastrianism, Judaism, ancient Egyptian religions and Akhenaten, Hinduism, Buddhism, and early Christianity. This essay will require you to select any two of the listed religions, comparing and contrasting them, by discussing their similarities and their distinct differences.


· Identify and review the sections in the chapters of Module I that discuss the various religions and philosophies mentioned above.

· If applicable (dependent on the religions you choose to compare), read and incorporate the following readings into the essay discussion: Ch 1-The Significance of the Nile River and the Pharaoh, pg 16, The Governing of Empires, Two Approaches, pg 27; Ch 2-Writing and Civilization, pg 37, The Search for Truth, pg 47, How to Achieve Enlightenment, pg 51; Ch 3-The Wit and Wisdom of Confucius, pg 66; Ch 4-The Axial Age, pg 100; Ch 5- Rulers and Gods, pg 133, Roman Authorities and a Christian on Christianity, pg 136, Emperors, West and East, pg 137.

· Additional content discussing the development and expansion of Hinduism and Buddhism, which can be used to support your analysis if you choose either of these two topics, can be found in Chapter 9 of the textbook.

· Identify and incorporate into your discussion at least two outside sources to support your discussion. You may use any material outside of the textbook that I have provided in the course, including primary sources. Wikipedia is not an acceptable reference.


Write a well organized essay, a minimum of 700 words (but not limited to), including supporting details from the documents/textbook/other sources, in which you address the following:

Compare and contrast the ideas of any two of the following religions: Zoroastrianism, Judaism, ancient Egyptian religions and Akhenaten, Hinduism, Buddhism, and early Christianity, discussing the similarities and differences.

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