7 dimensions & Evil

Narrative and Mythic:

The nature of evil and the dimensions of religious tradition

Step 1: While watching the video identify what is the nature of evil (according to Zimbardo) and try to determine if it fits the "Narrative/Mythic" element of religious tradition

Step 2: Comparing the nature of evil in Religious traditions?

There are three major religious alternatives in explaining evil, stated by the pantheistic, dualistic and monotheistic religions. Pantheistic religions regard evil as ultimately unreal. Human suffering is a product of spiritual ignorance gathered in previous lives and distributed in the present one according to the dictates of karma. In the dualistic religions, good and evil are two eternal and rival principles. Neither has created the other one and each acts according to its own nature. In the monotheistic religions, evil has a personal identity. Its source is a being that has fallen from an initial good status as a result of misusing freedom of will.

From the list below choose 4 traditions to answer the following questions

Evil in...

  1. Zoroastrianism

  2. Gnosticism

  3. Catharism

  4. Hinduism

  5. Buddhism

  6. Taoism

  7. Christianity

  8. Islam

A) Identify which one of the following each tradition you've chosen is and why: pantheistic, dualistic and monotheistic religions (2 marks)

B) what is the nature of evil? What narrative/mythic element is being discussed. (8 marks)

C) What common and what different elements exist amongst the religious traditions in regards to the nature of evil? (4 marks)

D) Is the understanding of the nature of evil between Zimbardo and religious traditions different? Explain your response in terms of your research and the Zimbardo TED talk. (4 marks)

E) How do these religious traditions overcome the concept of evil? (4 marks)

F) What is your view on the nature of evil? In your response frame your answer in terms of the 7 dimensions of religious traditions, your research in this project and your personal views. (20 marks)