Hindu Influences In America. Although Essay

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The concept of purity is taken to a greater extreme in Shinto, in which physical illness is perceived as spiritual impurity. A Taoist is concerned with both physical and spiritual health, but practices Tai Chi and similar methods of calming and balancing body and mind. Shinto is an indigenous Japanese religion, whereas Taoism originates in China. Although the two religions have different geographic origins and different means of worship, they share some elements in common. Both include reverence for ancestors or ancestral spirits, and both are concerned with physical and spiritual purity.

Written Assignment Unit Three

2. Discuss the process that led to the formation of the Talmud. Explain the basic contents of the Talmud and their relation to the Torah.

The Torah refers to the Hebrew Bible as a sacred text. The Talmud evolved as a living body of knowledge related to but extending from the Torah. Whereas the Torah is a sacred text, the Talmud is an ongoing discussion, debate, and interpretation of the essence of Judaism.

The Talmud was formed in response to historical changes in Judaism. Scholars and rabbis began to write down their previously oral teachings. These teachings eventually became codified in writing as the Talmud.

Technically, the Talmud comprises two bodies of writing: the Mishnah and the Gemara. These were codified around the fifth century C.E. But have also evolved and changed over time. The contents of the Talmud in general include commentary on Jewish law and interpretations of the Torah.

The Talmud epitomizes the nature of Judaism as a scholarly faith. Rabbinical study of the Torah led to differences in opinion about how the Jews should live and practice their faith, especially since the diaspora. Differences in opinion were honored and celebrated rather than shunned. The result of the debates between rabbis and various schools of thought is the Talmud.

Both the Talmud and the Torah are essential components of Jewish religious scripture. Whereas the Torah...


Both are crucial in defining Jewish religion, philosophy, and practice.
Written Assignment Unit Four

1. Discuss several features of new religious movements

New religious movements range from cults to New Age spiritual belief systems. They share in common a break from the traditional canon of religious teachings, stemming from established world religions such as Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism. In some cases, new religious movements fuse together many different theories and beliefs.

The main feature of new religious movements is that they are not mainstream, even if they are popular. For example, the Church of Scientology, Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints all have a worldwide presence but are not considered part of the mainstream. They are fringe religious traditions, some of which are viewed with derision.

Not all new religious movements are looked upon as cults, although many are. The main features of a religious cult include a charismatic leader or figurehead and the creation of a subculture. In many cases, members are coerced using social or actual physical pressure into joining or remaining with the group.

Although coercion is a feature of some new religious movements, many are less structured or less sinister in nature. For example, some of the New Age religious belief systems do not include a charismatic leader or peer pressure. New Religious movements will often purport to offer the believer an alternative to mainstream spirituality and a unique personal identity.

New religious movements comprise cults and other non-traditional spiritual groups. Within the great diversity of new religious movements, all are fringe groups that may borrow from mainstream religions. Some new religious movements are cultish with a charismatic leader and social pressures to join or remain with the group, whereas others are more loosely structured.

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