Tutor profile: Sam S.
Subject: Religious Studies
Are there any similarities between the polytheistic framework of Hindu tradition and the monotheistic framework of the Abrahamic faiths (Christianity, Judaism, Islam)?
The frameworks of the Abrahamic faiths, historically speaking, are a great deal more polytheistic than is typically known. Ancient Near Eastern thought was generally polytheistic, and despite many translators and theologians attempts to flatten out polytheistic language in the Old Testament, it persists, and is well understood among scholars (the Decalogue and Psalm 82 just to name a couple of examples). Further, Classical Christian, Jewish, and Muslim theology affirms some formulation of God as "being itself," or the absolute reality that imparts being to all things. This is consistent with the Hindu notion of the ocean of being to which all will ultimately return, and which imparts being to all, even the many gods.
Subject: US Government and Politics
What was James Madison's purpose in insisting on a bicameral system in the American legislature?
James Madison and the other Federalists were clear that the bicameral system, with the Senate above and the House of Representative beneath, was designed to allow for limited democracy by the mass of the people, and a strong, elite body of opulent, land-owning elites above that. Thus, the Senate itself was designed to limit the whims of the more democratic and thus, in Madisonian terms, less trustworthy house; the Senate was to be the more deliberative, more educated, more elite body, that would protect the monied interests in the country from bad policy from below.
Subject: US History
What was the central purpose of the controversial tax policies levied by the British Parliament on the American Colonies in the mid-late 18th century?
The British has been forced to fight a costly war against a coalition of French and Native American forces to maintain their colonial grip on their conquered territory in North America. French colonialism was a threat to British dominance in the New World, and the British Crown was willing to pay a high price to protect their new land from incursion by the French. As such, a hefty debt from the war had to be paid, and the colonists largely footed the bill for the war.
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