GRE Reading Comprehension

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According to scholars, the indigenous peoples of ancient Mesoamerica, specifically the Nahuas, developed a rich and complex philosophy comprising four interrelated and overlapping branches of knowledge: metaphysics, epistemology, theory of value, and aesthetics. At the core of their philosophy was teotl, which, rather than an immutable supernatural being like the Judaeo-Christian deity, was an ever-moving and ever-changing, self-producing sacred power that animated the universe and its contents. It was responsible for all things in nature— animals, rocks, rain, and so on—and permeated the details of everything. There was no distinction between teotl and the natural world; teotl was in every entity, and every entity was also teotl. Unlike Western philosophy, which fosters dichotomies such as the personal versus the impersonal, that of the Nahuas posited a sacred power that was united with everything; it was both intrinsic and transcendent.

Question List: 1 2 3

The definition of teotl and its comparison to the Judaeo-Christian deity plays which of the following roles within the passage?

  • A It compares a lesser-known idea to a more common one to further understanding.
  • B It contrasts the sacred power of teotl with a more familiar object of veneration in order to illustrate that cultures often possess diverging narratives on the origins of the world and the organisms therein.
  • C It provides an explanation of the origins of the cosmos according to some of the proponents of Western philosophy.
  • D It bolsters the case for accepting an aboriginal explanation for the creation of the universe over a Western one.
  • E It encourages further inquiry into a lesser known understanding of the world.

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