World Civilization

Topics for Module 2-Discussion:

Select one of the topics below:

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Topic 1: Analysis of the Bhagavad Gita

Topic 2: Reflections from Confucius

Requirements for discussion posts:

Click here to read the general requirements for discussion posts.

Scoring Rubric

The following Scoring Rubric will be used to grade discussions.
How to Make Discussion Posts in Canvas?

Click on “reply.”
Type the title of the topic you have selected. Example: Topic 2: Reflections from Confucius.You can use “bold” or “underline” to distinguish your title from the rest of the text.
Then, type or “copy” and “paste” your post and then click “post reply.” You are strongly advised to write your answers first in Word or any other text editing program and then “copy” and “paste” the final message in Canvas.
When you want to comment on the message of another student, simply click on “reply” right under that student’s message and then type yours.

4 minutes ago
Requirements for discussion posts


For each module-discussion, you will be given two topics. You need to select one of the topics and address all the questions for the topic of your choice.

Read the chapters in this module, their respective outlines, and the instructor’s notes. Your discussion posts should reflect the assigned readings for a particular module.
Your original (first) post has to address all of the questions for the topic of your choice.
Your second post has to be a comment on another student’s post.
Your third post can be a comment on another student’s post, a follow-up comment on your original post, or a response to a comment made by the instructor.
Number of Posts and Frequency of Posts

You need to have 3 posts per module for full points.
You need to post on 3 different days of the discussion’s availability period for full credit.
Your original post has to be about 200 words long to receive full credit. You are allowed to go over 200 words per post if needed. There is no limit on the number of words for your second and third post.
Students are allowed to make more than 3 comments (but urged not to exceed 5 post per module), and it is acceptable to make more than 1 post each day.
Other Requirements

All discussion posts have to be made by 11 p.m. on the Thursday of the second week of each module.
The due dates for each module discussion are listed in the Class Schedule.
I will attempt to grade the discussion assignments within one week after their due date.
No late work will be accepted.
What constitutes a good original post?

Addresses all questions
Provides factual and relevant information
Promotes critical thinking
Supports arguments with details and examples from assigned readings
Has minor spelling and grammar errors
What constitutes a good second or third post?

Offers constructive criticism of other students’ posts
Is respectful towards other students’ opinions
Does not simply state “I agree” or “I disagree,” but offers counterarguments supported with facts and examples: “I agree/disagree with your statement… because …”
Has minor spelling and grammar errors

4 minutes ago
Discussion Topic: Analysis of the Bhagavad Gita


The flavor of Indian thinking about the good life and the good society is quite different from that of China. This distinctive outlook is reflected in these selections from the Bhagavad Gita (The Song of the Lord), perhaps the most treasured of Hindu writings. Its dating is highly uncertain, although most scholars put it somewhere between the fifth and second centuries B.C.E. The Bhagavad Gita itself is an episode within the Mahabharata, one of the huge epic poems of India’s classical tradition, which describes the struggle for power between two branches of the same family. The setting of the Bhagavad Gita takes place on the eve of a great battle in which the fearless warrior Arjuna is overcome with the realization that in this battle he will be required to kill some of his own kinsmen. In his distress, he turns for advice to his charioteer, Lord Krishna, who is an incarnation of the great god Vishnu. Krishna’s response to Arjuna’s anguished questions, a part of which is reproduced here, conveys the essence of Hindu thinking about life and action in this world. A central question in the Bhagavad Gita is how a person can achieve spiritual fulfillment while remaining active in the world.

To acquaint yourself with the story in the Bhagavad Gita, read the section on it in the lecture notes for chapter 3 and watch the following video: (The video has closed captions.)

Primary Source

Read excerpts from the Bhagavad Gita, by going to the following link.

Use specific examples from the primary source (the excerpt) and secondary source (the video) to address the following questions:

1. What is Krishna’s answer to this dilemma? (The dilemma is explained in the context paragraph.)

2. What reasons does Krishna give for urging Arjuna to perform his duty as a warrior?

3. How does Krishna describe the good society?

4. What major themes of Hindu teaching can you find in this passage?

5. (Optional question) How does this text differ from that of the Analects (the primary source for the other discussion in this module)? Are they asking the same questions? What similarities in outlook, if any, can you identify in these two texts?

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