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Thich Nhat Hanh wrote "The Heart Of Understanding" as a commentary and evaluation of the Heart Sutra in Buddhist philosophy. The book "Heart of Understanding" is a synopsis of Hanh's interpretation of what has been described as the central sutra or philosophical teaching of Zen Buddhism. There has over the centuries been much discussion on the relevance of Buddhist teaching and the meanings held within each of the sutras. A great deal of emphasis has been placed on the heart sutra, or "Prajnaparamita" sutra, as described in great detail in Hanh's work. According to Hanh and other religious scholars, this sutra is "the essence" of Buddhist teaching.
The Heart Sutra is recited daily in Buddhist communities throughout the world (Hanh). The sutra dates back to the beginning of the Christian era, and according to scholars has been studies for over 2000 years in Inda, China, Vietnam, Korea and…… [Read More]
Eastern eligion, Eastern Mysticism, And Magic
Influence the Pop Culture in America
Eastern religion" - also alluded to in this paper as "Eastern Mysticism" and "mysticism" - and the occult, along with magic and its many off-shoots have had a considerable influence on American Pop Culture over the past few decades. Movies, books, music - all have been touched and enhanced by mysticism and its cousins. So, when referring to "Eastern religion," this paper is generally alluding to the ancient religions: Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, and other spiritual genres.
It is also important to be clear on what "occult" truly means; it is a word that comes from the Latin occultus, meaning, literally, "hidden" or "concealed" (Merriam-Webster defines occult as "to shut off from view or exposure"). "Occult" has been equated with Satan, witchcraft, vampires, and other unseemly topics related to death and blood-letting. For this paper's purpose, the occult will…… [Read More]
Taoism offers an ideal of nonaggression that does not strive to improve upon the existing order. However, unlike Buddhism, which can advocate action of present mindfulness to relieve suffering (such as the protests of Tibetan monks striving to create a free society) Taoism seems more passive, and less apt to critique existing society, in contrast to Buddhism. Taoism's main critique of Confucianism, for example, was not that Confucianism promoted an inequitable and hierarchical society of age and social class but that it tried to change things in the existing world, which was already perfect. Taoism is a philosophy that is proudly one of submission, not resistance. Even a good ruler, in the Taoist view "sidesteps" the need for direct action -- unlike Buddhism, which provided a path for warriors, so long as they upheld a virtuous ethic, and remained 'in the moment,' responding only with as much force as was…… [Read More]
Religions of the Far East are often clumped into a monolithic entity, perceived as essentially alike by those not familiar with the complexity and individuality of these traditions. Closer examination, however, shows that the major religions with roots in the Far East demonstrate a wide variety of beliefs. The tendency to group them under the heading of "Eastern religion" alone does not allow for the different histories, beliefs, and practices of these traditions. This tendency, however, has some validity in that Eastern belief systems do share many characteristics. In this essay, I will explain the basic precepts, including similarities of, differences in, and the relationship between three major Eastern traditions: Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism.
First, I will give a basic overview of the three belief systems, exploring their histories and general precepts . Then, I will explore the specific beliefs which these faiths share, as well as the beliefs which…… [Read More]
Is Jesus the Only Savoir? Is onald H. Nash's opportunity to develop a passionate and well-developed argument answering yes: yes, Jesus is the only Savoir. However, Nash does not rest on the reader's understanding or experience of faith to make his case. The author takes a different approach, using logic and reason to explain that at least to a believer in Christ, there can be no other paradigm other than Christian absolutism. According to Nash, pluralism by its very definition violates the tenets inherent in the New Testament. It is therefore impossible for a theologian, especially a Christian one, to be a pluralist.
Nash's scapegoat, for better or worse, is John Hick. Hick is a theologian who has succumbed to the temptation of thinking pluralistically and who attempts to show that Jesus is in fact not the only savior. Nash picks apart Hick's argument by revealing the logical fallacies…… [Read More]
One god unites the nation, strengthens rulers authority much more than many different small gods who are popular in some local territories but not in the whole country.
Though religion was an important kind of rulers support, but it was not that important as strong army which was the main fulcrum of king's power in the country. Ruler was a commander in chief of all armed forces of a state and hardly ever allowed very close and reliable people to head the army.
To sum up the written essay I'd like to admit that Mesopotamia was a very developed and progressive country of the Close East and whole world. Its achievements were assimilated by many nations and even now we use those sciences which had appeared and developed in Mesopotamia. Mesopotamian civilization influenced all nations of ancient world, especially Persians, Egyptians, Jews, Greeks and even Arabic state of 8th century…… [Read More]
Diana Eck's new book about religion, entitled, "A New Religious America: How a "Christian Country" Has Now ecome the World's Most Religiously Diverse Nation" talks about the growing diversity in religious affiliations in America especially among its immigrants and native people. Eck provides her readers a new issue that is controversial politically, sociologically, and personally among America's citizens. The book was released before the September 11, 2001 bombings at the World Trade Center in New York City, USA, but its release became even more important, since Eck discusses the important issue that played in the said terrorist attacks, that is, the issue of religious and cultural diversity. This paper will discuss and analyze whether "religious pluralism," a term used by Diana Eck in her book so many times, a term used to describe America's 'melting pot' of various Western and Eastern religions, serves as a unifying factor to the Americans…… [Read More]
The author of this report has been asked to compare and contrast the religious belief systems that existed in the Ancient Near East, the Indian subcontinent and China. Indeed, there will be a recitation of what they have in common and how they differ. The religions in question would include ones like Judaism, those of ancient Egypt and others like Mesopotamia and beyond. The more Eastern religions like Confucianism and Daoism is also in the discussion. hile the religions in the regions cited are alike and similar in many ways, there are still absolutely differences and variations that exist.
Some of the religions in question are Taoism/Daoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism are often collected in a set that is known as the "three teachings. All of the religions in question date back about fourteen centuries. One thing that they absolutely have in common is that…… [Read More]
Their children became the deities of the various Japanese clans. One of their daughters, Amaterasu Omikami or "Sun Goddess," became the ancestor of the Imperial Family the chief deity, and her descendants united the country (eligious Tolerance).
The Shintoism philosophy deeply reveres and worships ancestors. All humans are considered "Kami's child," and therefore all human life and nature is sacred. Followers seek the will of Kami to have sincerity and a true heart and act in a way that is best for the group. The most important aspects in life are tradition and family, nature, worship of Kami and peace (eligious Tolerance).
Shintoism is very different from Buddhism, because it is based on a philosophy of a nation, Japan. Other major related differences include ancestral worship, that centers around the Imperial Family, the philosophy's lack of discussion regarding death, and the emphasis on goodness and cleanliness instead of pain and…… [Read More]
How the Noble Truths can be achieved through the Confucian virtues.
Of course, please note especially the last ingredient, a lifetime of spiritual enlightenment, and the cooking instructions, which required all these ingredients to be mixed by a "strong, feminist hand." The recipe ultimately allows individuals, particularly women, to achieve salvation. If you've read books on Eastern philosophy and religions, you would note that in Japan, the history of Zen Buddhism is inextricably linked also with the eventual "salvation" of women in the society, and I am proud to say that my philosophical writings have helped serve as a catalyst, not only in developing Zen philosophy, but also in promoting women's equality, be this equality socio-political in nature, or in terms of salvation.
Zen philosophy promoted right-mindedness in people because it paved the way for progressive thinking. That is, Zen philosophy opened people's minds that salvation can be achieved not…… [Read More]
According to Bass, "Hinduism is the only major religion lacking an adequate explanation as to its origin," as no definitive Hindu text exist that that date before 1000 B.C. Indeed, because Hinduism is one of the religions that views time as cyclical rather than linear, what information is available about Hinduism does not give a very accurate picture of its history (Bass 5). hat can be gleaned from this history is the fact that Hinduism is one of the oldest religions with one of the oldest societies in the world. Just as their origins are difficult to define, the beliefs of Hinduism are varied depending on one's personal interpretation of the religion. However, one of the more important aspects of Hinduism is its social caste system. This belief states that there are four casts, and each "has its rules and obligation for living." The three castes are Brahman, priests, hatriyas,…… [Read More]
Without an understanding of the Arian crisis, it is difficult to understand why later theological debates ensued and tore apart people who essentially believe in the same basic religion. Some Christians might take for granted that Christ is divine, whereas others view Jesus more as a human messenger of God. The Romans were debating this very issue several thousand years ago.
Second, the story of Arius and Athanasius shows that Christianity was not founded by Jesus Christ. Christianity was founded by those who came after Jesus. Christianity was also formed over time, and as the result of crises as bloody and violent as the one that Rubenstein describes in When Jesus Became God. Jesus set in motion a chain of events that would lead to the formation of a new religion, even though Jesus himself might only have been trying to reform Judaism. Jesus may have preached of a new…… [Read More]
Like Khan, Huxley focused on the sensations of the person (himself) having the mystical experience. During his experience, Huxley felt he had no impairment in his mind or gaze, an intensity of vision without an outer and imposed substance to induce the hallucination, and had a sense that his impetus of motion or will was impaired into a state of stasis (a direct contrast with Khan's focus on the ability of music to provide motion to parallel the nature of the divine). Above all, Huxley called his sense of harmony through visual means mystical because his visual experience eliminated any sense of division inner/outer divide in perception. As he looked at the flower, and Huxley felt he was becoming the flower.
This stands in direct contrast to Kepler's schema of harmony, which is dependant upon perceptions of distinction from outside, as an observer perceives defined opposites. Kepler's definition of harmony…… [Read More]
ased on the gospels of the New Testament, Jews acted as the murderers of Jesus Christ who in Jewish history is claiming to be the Son of God. Criticizing today's Christian practices such as idolatry which is purely against time old philosophy of the scripture continually arouses negative notion on the true authority of Jesus on his teachings.
Most of the parables of Jesus written in the gospels of the New Testament have survived and prospered in the heart and mind of all Christians. The parable of the Prodigal Son and the parable of the lost sheep are some of the parables that depict the importance given by God towards mankind.
The growth of the early Christian Catholic Church have sporadically developed worldwide since its founding after the death of Jesus Christ with Apostle Peter as the first Pope. The church traces its origin from the 12 Apostles in their…… [Read More]
However, prior to the creation of Israel the numbers were much higher (currently approximately 300,000 Palestinian Christians live in the U.S. alone (2004). Interestingly, the Israeli Army does not differentiate between Arab Christians and Arab Muslims in their occupation activities. In fact, in many areas Palestinian Christians are particularly hit by civilian casualty occurrences (Halter, 2001). In fact, Palestinian Christians identify so strongly with the Palestinian cause that statements like, "The Arab Palestinian Christians are part and parcel of the Arab Palestinian nation. e have the same history, the same culture, the same habits and the same hopes..." coming from the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, the Reverend Riad Abu al-Assal, is typical of the community as a whole.
It is for this reason that Palestinian Christians are particularly baffled by the pro-Israeli stance taken by many estern, non-Arab Christians (including, most notably, Jerry Fallwell, Ralph Reed, and Pat Robertson to…… [Read More]
In your view, how can Christians and Muslims work to understand one another better?
One of the first ways Christians and Muslims can work to understand one another is to recognize their shared heritage as "people of the book." Their religions are important to their identities and worldviews, and knowing this will also shed light on their common ground. Both Christians and Muslims believe in the veracity of the Hebrew Bible as the cornerstones of their religion. The common grounds between the two faiths, including the stories of the Old Testament, can be starting points for religious dialogue.
Once Christians and Muslims realize they are from a common background, they may be able to inspire compassion in one another. However, it is also important for Christians and Muslims to recognize and understand d their differences and more importantly, respect those differences. Valuing diversity, Christians and Muslims can appreciate that…… [Read More]
In fact the aims of theosophy when it was founded was to "form the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity without distinction of race, creed, or color," and also "to promote the study of Aryan and other Eastern literature, religions, and sciences," and also "to investigate the hidden mysteries of nature." (Prothero 197). New Human Potential Movement members have written books but none have penned a book that is recognized as a sacred text or as a key piece of religious dogma.
As an eclectic faith, the New Human Potential Movement has a less rigid code of ethics than most other religions do. Like ceremonial magickal traditions, moral relativism and ambiguity is tolerated. However, there are a few beliefs that are cohesive enough for scholars to define the New Human Potential Movement as a religion rather than as a cult or a simple offshoot of New Ageism. One of…… [Read More]
eligion and Politics
Uses and Abuses of the Concept of Orientalism
There have been many uses and abuses in regard to the cultural and social concept called Orientalism. "Unlike the Americans, the French and British -- less so the Germans, ussians, Spanish, Portuguese, Italians, and Swiss -- have had a long tradition of what I shall be calling Orientalism, a way of coming to terms with the Orient that is based on the Orient's special place in European Western Experience. The Orient is not only adjacent to Europe; it is also the place of Europe's greatest and richest and oldest colonies, the source of its civilizations and languages, its cultural contestant, and one of its deepest and most recurring images of the other. In addition, the Orient has helped to define Europe (or the West) as its contrasting image, idea, personality, and experience. Yet none of this Orient is merely…… [Read More]
Religion / Theology
Reaching out to communities and cultures that have not embraced Christianity is what God wants Christians to do. On this page references that describe the people and history of the country of Tunisian -- with its Arab community described and evaluated in terms of political and cultural history -- will be presented as a preface to a plan on page 2. Thesis: Scripture calls for all Christian believers to "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation" (Mark 16:15); hence it is our duty to take the ord of Christ to Tunisia, bringing Saving Grace to Tunisia.
Bilgin, Feridun. 2012. The Ottoman-Spanis Struggle for Sovereignty Over Tunisia (16th
Century). Electronic Journal of Social Sciences. 12 (inter): 181-201.
Bishku, Michael B. 2013. "Is It An Arab Spring or Business as Usual? Recent Changes in the Arab orld in Historical Context." Journal of Third orld…… [Read More]
Intro to Cultural Anthropology
Ch'en, Kenneth K.S. Buddhism in China: A Historical Survey. New Jersey: Princeton University
Press, 1907-1964. In this text, Professor Kenneth Ch'en writes a historical account of the development of Buddhism and how it modified as it grew. Buddhism is a unique religion in that it has been adapted to incorporate the cultural attitudes of the various countries in which it is found. Within China, Buddhism took an especially strong hold because it was able to incorporate the philosophical ideas of people like Confucius.
Ch'en's main argument of the piece seems to be that Buddhism is different from other religions. This is what makes the book a useful tool for academic research. There is not one set of dogmatic rules that have to be accepted, but rather many different versions of the religion. In this text, Ch'en has identified all of the social,…… [Read More]
SHAMANIC APPOACHES vs. ALTEED STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS
Compare and contrast Eastern and shamanic approaches to altering consciousness
This paper focuses on the similarities and differences between eastern Shamanic practices and altered states of consciousness (ASC), and the significance of these practices in the today's urban society. Prior to going deep into the discussion, it is significance to define the terms; Shamanic and altered states of consciousness. As asserted by Oesterreich (1935:295), Shamanic illustrates what the Shamans do, while as Shamanic practices entails an intricate of belief, rituals and traditions huddled around the Shaman practices.
Some of the authors, for instance, Ashvind, (1999) relate Shaman to Siberian, Eurasian or sub-Arctic practitioners, while others extend the term Shaman to other practitioners, for example, any practitioner that interrelates with the spirit world through altered states of consciousness (ASC). Others extend the definition and define Shamans as medicine men or witch doctors. In essence,…… [Read More]
familiar with the religions of Buddhism and Hinduism but the religion of Jainism, although enjoying nearly as many members, is not as well-known. Similarly, most know something about the practices and beliefs of Hinduism and Buddhism but very individuals know anything about Jainism.
Jainism is a well-established religion that is largely based on the concept of non-violence which is one of the five great vows of the religion (Long, 2009). The other four vows are non-attachment to material things, no lying, no stealing, and promotion of sexual restraint. As to sexual restraint, celibacy is considered to be the ideal.
Followers of Jainism view the world as a highly integrated unit. They believe that all living things, including animals and plants, possess a living soul and that humans, animals, and plants all operate on an equal level. This belief places a strict duty on the part of its followers to treat…… [Read More]
Near Eastern Culture
For my first intercultural experience, I decided to attend a yoga class. Although yoga has become increasingly popular amongst Westerners, it is still an ancient Eastern practice rather than something that can be characterized as part of mainstream American culture. It is a noncompetitive activity that is devoted to preparing the body for meditation rather than improving the body's physical appearance or to improve an athlete's performance. It is much a mental practice as it is a physical one.
During the beginning of class, everyone laid down their mats and assumed an 'easy sitting posture.' The teacher gave a short 'dharma' talk about the focus of the class, which was about setting aside the ego. Then, we said 'om' to indicate that the practice was starting. We performed some chanting in Sanskrit, doing a call-and-response after the teacher's prompting. Then, we begin to practice. First we began…… [Read More]
religion, origin, cultural practices and its influences on Confucianism.
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy that is developed from the life and teachings of Buddha. Buddhism has almost 380 million followers all over the world. The number has been increasing at a greater proportion in the modern era. The religion started over almost 2500 years ago. The main message of Buddhism is that a soul should attain enlightenment. The religion preaches a way of living which is based on the avoidance of self denial and self indulgence. One interesting factor about Buddhism is that there is no superior God in Buddhism.
Buddha (in Sanskrit means the "Awakened One") lived in mid 6th- 4th century Before Christ, a teacher in the North of India. Siddhartha Gotama, who later became Buddha, was born in a well off rich family. He had a simple and luxurious life but decided to give up all…… [Read More]
Even with the fact that the tribesman was not acquainted with the religion, it is very possible that Africans in general felt that Christianity contained a series of concepts that were also present in their cultures." Though the peoples of this vast area spoke many languages and had different customs, through Christianity they were linked together in the confession of the creed of Nicaea" (ilken).
Islam had nonetheless experienced a rapid spread over the Arab Peninsula, but this can be attributed to the fact that most people in the territory had been Arab and because they saw the opportunity of adopting a religion that also had the function of uniting all the Arab people. Moreover, one can understand how Christianity had more success in converting individuals because it had mainly been directed at getting the people it came across to think spiritually and to appreciate God as a spiritual concept.…… [Read More]
evisionist historian often seek to find non-Christian association among the lives of the founding fathers, such as the Freemasons, and Humanism, yet it is clear that these organizations were not dominant to religion and that a strong Protestant ethic still reigned supreme, especially in the language of the foundational documents of the nation.
Fundamentalism has in fact created a more recent expression in modern America as churches attempt to "go back to the word" and support the idea that the scripture of the church is divine and unfailing. Though interpretations are varied in this group in general they espouse and return to "family values" via some "golden era" ideals regarding the past.
At its base, fundamentalism was compatible with the religiosity of the people, for both assumed the reality of supernatural power and the prevalence of supernatural forces at work in the world. By stressing such theological notions as…… [Read More]
Learning that we all believe in one force, yet a force that is represented with different entities and faith demonstrated through various traditions and practices, I have learned to reconcile these differences by just believing in a force, without any subsistence to religious names and labels and traditions.
As what I have discussed earlier, what used to be my religion was the belief I was exposed to since birth. However, as I grew up and became exposed to different forms of religions and beliefs in my society, I have learned to adapt to the diversity of religious philosophies extant by creating my personal philosophy. This personal philosophy is one that believes in a 'general force,' which is formless and not bound with the traditional practices. This force enables me to confide with an entity without any fear or limitations on what I can say or ask of it. It has…… [Read More]
The other universal concept shared among so many human religions relates to the fate of the individual (or of the individuals spirit or "soul"). Judeo-Christian religious traditions generally teach that a soul survives physical death and the eternal fate of that soul is substantially determined by the behaviors and choices of the individual in life (agan, 1997). Eastern religious traditions generally reflect a more general belief in the cycles of life and in multiple successive lives sharing a fundamental kernel of identity even if not exactly in the same form of soul as described in Western religions (Armstrong, 1993). Contemporary objective moralists would (again) suggest that any energies or thought in life about perpetual existence in another spiritual form of any afterlife is a waste of time.
Armstrong K. (1993). A History of God. London: Heinemann.
Egner RE and Denonn LE. (1992). The Basic Writings…… [Read More]
In addition for many years it was indeed considered impolite to laugh out loud in public which had an impact on the aesthetic value of the period in history.
The faith of Ancient Buddhism is perceived to be one of the oldest faiths in the world. Its teachings are still followed today in much of the Eastern part of the world and its simplistic view of life and the meaning of life can be seen in many other areas and cultures.
There is no denying the aesthetic value that the faith had on the period of ancient times when one examines the art being located on digs today. The beliefs of Ancient Buddhism have carried over to impact the aesthetic value of Western cultures as well as can be evidenced in the color lessons at designers schools and the study of color by modern day mental health professionals.
REFRERENCES…… [Read More]
religion on world events cannot, and should not be underestimated in its importance in dictating the events of history. The Protestant eformation is one such historic event or epoch that seemingly altered the way religion and society intermixed. The 16th century was a time of revolution and revolt and this modification of the church helped exposed many of the problems that the church had in maintaining a control over its subjects.
A the time shortly before Martin Luther's edict of worms, many were having problems with the Catholic church and an opportunity for a new sect to break off was ripe. The main problem with the church at this time was its ineffectiveness in dealing with personal salvation. The pomp and bloviated rituals apparently had lost their folk values and growing numbers were despondent and unsatisfied with the Catholic church's stance on many issues.
The main issue with the Catholic…… [Read More]
relationship exists between difference of religion and the occurrence of civil wars within societies. The relationship between religious groups to society can be defined against the backdrop of war. Powerful emotions surround both conflict and military conflict (Yinger, 1946). A direct relationship has been recognized for several year regarding religion and violence. Students of organized religion "have frequently pointed out the ease with which most church leaders shift, at the outbreak of war, from an explicit antiwar position to a vigorous pro-war policy" (Yinger, p. 176). However, despite the seemingly strong tie between religion and war, it is critical to also acknowledge that while religion seems a backdrop for many wars, many other factors have contributed as well. Political aspirations and agendas have had as much to do with war as religion. The complex intermingling of these many different factors will be explored in greater detail below.
ecent research suggests…… [Read More]
Astrology is a key ingredient of Kabbalah, but not the traditional astrology we think of today. The Kabbalah zodiac is based on a different calendar, and the purpose of astrology is not to understand the different astrological signs and their meanings, but to take control over the negative aspects of the signs and create outcomes that are more positive. Dreams also play a large role in the Kabbalah. The Zohar believes that dreams allow people to get in touch with negative traits in their personality and make them better. Like Hindus, the Zohar teaches that people have many incarnations in this life, and they will come back many times before they get it "right" and ascend to nirvana or heaven.
The practice ultimately represents peace and harmony, and understanding the individual so they can understand the world around them. The Web site continues, "Kabbalah teaches universal principles that apply to…… [Read More]
Mattew Fox: Te Man, Te Controversy
Mattew Fox: Ten and Now Mattew Fox is a literary groundbreaker in te world of teology, in particular te doctrines of te Catolic Curc. His 1983 first-book, Original Blessing is a solid look at te blessings of life rater tan te concept of original sin. Te notion of Original sin is a central tenet to te Catolic Doctrine, and in 1989 te Vatican silenced Fox for one full year because of is teacings from Original Blessings.
In Original Blessings, Fox divides is book into four sections, befriending creation (te via positiva); befriending darkness, letting go, and letting be (te via negativa); befriending creativity, befriending our divinity (via creativa); and befriending new creation: compassion, celebration, and erotic justice (te via transformativa). He states tat awe and goodness will be te greatest counters to our society's predominantly pessimistic and fearful mood.
Fox believes tat Jesus teaces…… [Read More]
Einstein, A. "Religion and Science." Retrieved August 19, 2013, from http://www.sacred-texts.com/aor/einstein/einsci.htm
This article is intriguing because it was written by one of history's most renowned scientists with the purpose of clearing the mystery concerning the conflict between religion and science. Einstein was a convinced scientists, but this did not prevent him from acknowledging situations when religion had assisted the world of science and from realizing that religion was in many cases responsible for influencing people to come up with logical explanations to particular events.
Ferngren, G.B. (2002). Science and Religion: A Historical Introduction. JHU Press.
This book presents a typical account concerning the relationship between science and religion. The fact that it uses thirty scholarly essays with the purpose to document the history of the topic while also introducing strong opinions supporting each of the two sides shows that the debate is still alive and that it is very difficult…… [Read More]
On the surface, Hinduism and Christianity could not be much more different. Ancient Hinduism offers a colorful pantheon of playful deities, some of which assume animal characteristics such as Hanuman and Ganesh. Stemming from its Jewish roots, Christianity presents a much different view of the origin and structure of the universe. Christian cosmology is more tightly ordered than that of Hinduism. Strictly monotheistic, Judaism imparted a mistrust of pagan polytheism to Christianity. Christian deity is unitary but also triune, in the worship of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Herein lies the strongest connection between worship in ancient India and worship in early Christianity. Hinduism, like Christianity, has a triune God concept. The Hindu God Brahma is the Supreme God, but God has three manifestations as Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Each of these gods has its own expression and role in the Hindu cosmology. hereas Brahma is…… [Read More]
In his book, "Western Ways of eing Religious," (Kessler, 1999) the author Gary E. Kessler identifies the theological, philosophical and societal ramifications of the evolution of religion in the West. Christianity, Judaism and Islam can be traced to a single origin but their divergence has been very marked. Kessler sets his thesis very early in the book. He avers that there are two approaches to religion. One is to be immersed in it -- as a practitioner; the other is to study it as an objective observer, looking in from the outside. This work is unique. The author challenges the traditional notions with his own opinions then follows it with the views of an expert on that notion (in the form of a speech or an essay). He avers that a student of religion has to approach the topic with honesty and openness. This often involves imagining the…… [Read More]
The use of physical suffering as a symbol for emotional and spiritual suffering is also well-known in the estern tradition. Centuries later, men and women would disappear into the desert in search of God. They would live apart from all human companionship, and deprive themselves of all physical comfort. Gilgamesh does the same. Gilgamesh is also like the lover who pines away for his beloved and wastes away in body, as well as in heart. The message is that the eternal truths of the universe are not easily discovered, and again that these truths are largely hidden from humankind. Humanity's lot is to suffer even in the face of our greatest happiness. Unlike the gods, we cannot know joy eternally. Enkidu was a dear friend, but he could not be by Gilgamesh' side forever. The joy and love that the hero had known were foreordained to be short. Even if…… [Read More]
Rather, in Orthodox Gnosiology, the words within the Scriptures become the essential facilitator for an individual and personal journey of their interpretation. It becomes a very personal process to interpret the Scriptures, and thus there is more emphasis placed on the power of our nous, or our intellect. As such, Lossky states that Orthodox Gnosiology is "anchored in the experience of all to the degree of each one's spiritual faculties" (Lossky in the Image and Likeness of God 64). e come to these conclusions, rather than having a person of Papal or religious authority guides us there without room for our own personal interpretations. Here, Lossky writes that it is our "analysis [that] leads us finally towards the Truth and the Spirit, the ord and the Holy Spirit" (Lossky in the Image and Likeness of God 153). It is important in Orthodox Gnosiology to unite tradition and Scripture in order…… [Read More]
They both emphasize on the teaching of doing good and following rules to live right and happily. They both have vigorous missionary programs, in which they convert people to their religion. In the two religions, the people can worship in groups or individually. The religions have a leader of worship that is a monk in Buddhism and a Priest in Christianity. The two principles in the religion used parables to teach, and they are egalitarians. The teachings on respecting others and treating them as oneself are acceptable in both religions. They both emphasize on charity towards the poor and aspire for greater spiritual perfection.
The differences are irrefutable, as Buddhism does not talk of a Creator, God while Christianity believes in a divine creator of Universe (allace 26). In Buddhism, the emphasis is on mediation and mindfulness, whereas that of Christianity places stress on prayer. Additionally, Buddhism emphasizes on…… [Read More]
Confucianism the Major Religion of Japan?
Religion is a cultural phenomenon and institution that involves specific behaviors and practices. Religion has been present for a great deal of human history. Religion is concerned with beliefs. Belief is a powerful tool in a person's life. People live their lives in conjunction with and in support of their beliefs. There are ways to interpret and pinpoint the ways in which religion and beliefs manifest in a culture. This paper will contemplate Japan and religion. The paper will consider what religions are present in Japanese history. With specific focus on Confucianism, the paper will ask if Confucianism is the major religion of Japan; whether it is or not, the paper will render an understanding as to why.
Confucius, an important figure in Chinese history, created Confucianism. Confucius was a political figure, educator, and founder of the Ru school of Chinese thought (Stanford: 2006).…… [Read More]
Islam is a religion of war and hatred.
One cannot highlight too much the difference amid Islam, which is plain and Islam, with a fundamentalist version. Islam is the religion of approximately one billion people, as well as is a quickly increasing faith, predominantly in Africa but also elsewhere in the globe. The United States, for instance, boasts, approximately, a million converts to Islam (in addition, an even superior number of Muslim settlers).
Islam's believers find their faith hugely appealing, for the religion possesses an internal power that is quite astonishing. As a primary figure in the Islamic Republic of Iran maintains that any Westerner who really understands Islam will desire the lives of Muslims. Far from feeling embarrassed in relation to it's being temporally the last of the three major Middle Eastern monotheisms, Muslims considered that their faith progresses on the earlier ones. In their interpretation, Judaism, as…… [Read More]
In fact in some instances women are not even treated like human beings. However, in other parts of the world Muslim women enjoy relative equality and freedom. It is important to recognize that not all Muslims are extremists or violent towards women.
Men in Islam
As it pertains to men in the Islamic world, their positions in Muslim society are significant. The Islamic religious leaders are and have been men ever since the inception of the religion. Men hold the highest positions in the Muslim faith and they still dominate positions in government in Islamic nations.
The dominance in men in Muslim society is the most prevalent in the Muslim home. As with other aspects of Islam, the amount of power or dominance that men have has a great deal to do with the nation that they live in. However for the most part Muslim men are seen as the…… [Read More]
beliefs and practices of the Eastern Orthodox Church can be somewhat differentiated from the basic beliefs and practices of the Western Church due to its veneration of iconography or spiritual imagery of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The Eastern Orthodox Church can be differentiated as well from the Western Church in that they pray for the dead and are stated to believe that icons "…are a meeting point between the living and the dead; they believe God's grace is active in relics of the saints, they pray to angels; they have a view of sacraments that is differentiated from those of the Western Church in that salvation "…deposited in the Orthodox Church and the priest gives saving grace through the sacraments, so that people have a relationship with the Church rather than with Jesus Christ." (Young, 2007, p.1)
The Eastern Orthodox church is reported to be a fellowship of…… [Read More]
This provided a pathway for spirituality to the early Vedic thinkers. For these founding ideologists, this pathway led to the notion that there are multiple deistic beings which can occupy all manner of space and mental plane, a sharp-departure from the 'ethical monotheism' that underscores most western religious traditions.
This, perhaps, more than any other quality, helps to illustrate the common ground between Hinduism and Buddhism, which Prothero goes to even greater lengths to show are distinctly eastern in their theological orientation. Due to its origins in India, Buddhism was perceived in its earliest form by many as a mere sect of Hindu rather than a philosophy of its own foundations. Its practitioners, leading into the Common Era, were a statistically modest population of Indians who placed a spiritual emphasis "on experience over belief. Buddhism never had a creed or catechism until the American convert Henry Steel Olcott decided in…… [Read More]
Ever since the time when the Muslims raided the city, it became obvious that Christians would lose their influence in the territory, even with the fact that the latter were given permission to keep most of their churches. During the years in which I stood witnessing the Christian population being assimilated into the more powerful Muslim population, I observed that people belonging to both religions came to the church to worship God. Regardless of their personal convictions, people were united through religion and through their dedication to believing in God.
The finances spent for building such an architectural colossus are surely mind-blowing, taking into account that the structure's magnitude expresses magnificence. However, because the Muslim population thrived during the period, it is not surprising that they were willing to support such a spending, especially given that they too were aware of the consequences such a building would have on their…… [Read More]
Universal religions have grandiose political and social schemes. Unlike smaller-scale spiritual faiths, universal religions are those that seek to expand their locus of power and control over larger areas, such as through proselytizing or linking with political rulers. Universal religions also extended deeper into more areas of individual, family and community lives. For example, universal religions propagated specific social norms, morals, and ethics, and became one of the fundamental means of establishing laws. Universal religions also became linked with culture and ethnicity, providing a means by which people forged collective and individual identities. Yet unlike ancient religions, universal religions did not limit their scope to specific geo-political terrain. Believers would spread universal religions far beyond the place where they originated. Universal religions were believed to possess transcendent truths, which could be communicated to and received by people from various cultures, ethnicities, backgrounds, and belief systems. Unlike the localized faiths, universal…… [Read More]
Judaism as Opposed to Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism
In broad terms, the monotheistic worldview of Judaism differs from the worldviews of Eastern religious traditions that were already discussed in this course in a number of different ways. For the most part, there is a rigid monotheism that is a fundamental part of Judaism that simply is not matched in religions such as Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism. In several ways Buddhism is actually more a philosophy than a religion. Its focus is typically on the individual and the individual's harmony with the external universe which Buddhism teaches is ever evolving, constantly beginning and ending. Quite simply, there is no dominant monotheistic presence in this religion -- certainly not on the part of that which is traditionally associated with Judaism. In the latter viewpoint, God is omnipotent and the creator (and ender) of virtually everything in existence. He is at the center…… [Read More]
The Cherokee Tribe in North Carolina is part of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, a federally-recognized independent Native American Cherokee tribe whose home base is in Cherokee, North Carolina, south of the Smoky Mountains. The Eastern Band is comprised of the descendants of the approximately 800 Cherokee who did not join the Trail of Tears—the forced migration of the Native American nations from the Southern U.S. region to the western U.S. region designated by the U.S. government as Indian Territory following the Indian Removal Act of 1830. This relatively small number of Cherokee (compared to the 16,000 Cherokee who were relocated) avoided relocation by living on privately owned land, as opposed to communal land. For example, some 400 Cherokee lived on acreage owned by William Holland Thomas in the Smoky Mountains. Thomas had been taken in by the Cherokee in his youth and now returned the favor in…… [Read More]
Most Israelis do not desire assimilation into a common whole, given that they hold the other components of their identity equally dear as their Jewish heritage and their Israeli citizenship. A Russian Jew may have more in common with fellow Russians than an Ethiopian Jew and an Israeli may be an atheist yet a member of a religious state.
Does an Israel national identity still exist, asks Yehoshua? He does not ask this question of the Palestinian nationals, who clearly see themselves as apart from Israeli society, both legally and in terms of how they profess their own citizenship and nationhood. However, even for Jews, Israel proposes an interesting question of what constitutes a nation. Israel gives refuge and citizenship to every Jew, no matter where he or she may hail from, but the state of Israel also has civic institutions that are limited to professed nationals, some of whom…… [Read More]
Education in the East and West
The difference between education in the East and the West is primarily a difference in culture. Today, cultural differences are less pronounced than they were a century ago. Globalized society has seen cultures meld and melt into one another, so that in many senses the East resembles the West in more ways than one (Igarashi). However, deeply rooted cultural cues still represent a fundamental reason for existing educational differences between the East and the West. This paper will describe these differences and show why they exist.
Medieval Guilds were important to production standards in the time of the Renaissance. For example, "in places where guilds were strong, they exercised strict oversight over training" (Hansen). In fact, the education and apprenticeship of the Renaissance was a highly skilled exercise that began at the youngest age and often required more than a decade of training.
Western…… [Read More]
Spiritual Practices Beyond eligion
Spirituality in Modern Psychology
Spirituality has previously held a very limited role within psychological and counseling strategies within the context of the Western world. In psychology, more traditional methods revolve around more scientific methods. Thus, spirituality has often been overlooked within the mental health genre as a way to bring greater capabilities to patients. However, as more alternative strategies begin to further intrude onto traditional Western medicines, spirituality is becoming a new and innovative strategy for psychologists and counselors to adapt to their already established strategy methods.
The mythology of spirituality impacts different people in very different ways. It helps shape how we view spirituality, but also how we attain our own sense of spirituality. According to the research, "mythology is the oldest path to the sacred," (Elkins 1998 p 191). As human beings, mythology was our first understanding of the spiritual realm, and the practice…… [Read More]
And farther west on the Great Plains were the Teton Sioux, among them the Oglalas, whose chief was Red Cloud, and among the Hunkpapas, was Sitting ull, who together with Crazy Horse of the Oglalas, would make history in 1876 at Little ig Horn (rown 10).
After years of broken promises, conflicts and massacres, came the Treaty of Fort Laramie, said to be the most important document in the history of Indian-white relations on the Great Plains (Marrin 94). The treaty basically set aside a Great Sioux Reservation on all of present-day South Dakota west of the Missouri River up to and including the lack Hills, and barred all whites except government officials from the reservation and from a vast "unceded" territory lying between the lack Hills and ighorn Mountains (Marrin 94). Under the treaty, these lands belonged to the Lakota "forever" unless three-quarters of the tribes' men agreed to…… [Read More]
China and Europe have taken divergent views of religion, commercial exchange, and politics. However, there have emerged various points of commonality and intersection. Chinese and European society have both evolved through periods of feudalism and "warring states," and both have generally preferred centralized systems of power. China and Europe have both participated robustly in global trade, and have each developed profitable and enduring routes of trade that facilitate the movement of people, goods, and services.
Imperialism has remained a core strategy for both Chinese and European political and economic leaders. While China has refrained from actively colonizing the regions it has traded with, European societies have prided themselves on their imperial prowess. China's tendency towards imperialism has been selective, strategic, and regional in focus, whereas European colonization has been extensive and geographically expansive. Moreover, the goal of European imperialism merges with the colonial strategy of controlling the local population extensively.…… [Read More]
PTSD & SPIITUALITY
Health care and spirituality have long been linked and involved with each other. This involvement and linkage goes far beyond the stereotypical "faith healers" that have become the butt of many jokes. Indeed, faith is used by many to get through struggles and challenges of many kinds. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is no different in this regard. While medication and therapy are the more commonly cited ways to address and treat PTSD, faith-based options are also quite common. These spiritual methods are easy to apply in the patient care sphere given that many hospitals are religiously based and/or are willing to tailor a patient's emotional and mental care based on their specific faith. While there can be some pushback when religious and spiritual values are suggested as part of a care program, the use of these values can absolutely be beneficial to a person's mental well-being…… [Read More]
Jewish, Muslim, and Christian Conflict in the Middle East small piece of land, at points only 2-3 miles wide in a barely habitable part of the world has been theater on which the pivotal events of all world history have been played. The nation of Israel clutches it's historical rights to desert real estate in opposition to the overwhelming arabs and Muslims which surround them. While there is periodic talk of peace, the culturally is that Israel has no intention of giving up what it sees as its divine inheritance, and the Muslim and Palestinian peoples have no intention of allowing Israel to become a prosperous nation. Each countries' perspective is shaped by what it sees as it's divine heritage. Each country has descended from a single ancestor, and therefore perceives it's inherited rights to the land as legal, social, familial, and a matter of divine right.
Entering into this…… [Read More]
Buddhists, who similarly believe in the concept of Karma, also have a strong commitment to the belief that their actions have consequences. hile Buddhists have a much different value system than Hindus or especially estern religions that tend to see good and bad as black and white, while Buddhists see it as wholesome or unwholesome (Sach 80), they still have a code of morality, such as valuing peace over harm. Karma represents this moral dichotomy. Thus, both the Eastern religions of Hinduism and Buddhism support the theory that one creates one's own destiny. If they did not, they could not have their system of moral rights and wrongs. ithout the chance to make positive or negative decisions, a belief system cannot coherently state that one cannot make one's own decisions, creating one's own destiny. How could a belief system maintain that one would be punished for his or her actions…… [Read More]
Eastern Religion Elements Matrix
Countries of origin
In Historical figures and events
Founded: 1500 BC
Founded 2,500 years ago by Indian Prince Siddharta Gautama
Origin: China; founded between the 6th and 5th centuries B.C.; Confucius developed cultural values and taught that learning above all should be the goal
Daoism also spelled Taoism was founded in China in 550 B.C.
In the afterlife, if Karma is not resolved, the soul is born into a new body; life's purpose is to be liberated from reincarnation
Like Hinduism, a goal is to be liberated from the cycle of reincarnation;
"benevolence" and optimism and being loyal to one's own nature; being unselfish, giving back (reciprocity) and seeking a virtuous life
This spiritual Taoism and philosophical Taoism; Taoism focuses on social duty and adheres to the principles of Confucianism; death is simply from being to non-being,…… [Read More]
idolatry: How some object or text discovered by archeologists, or some other type of cultural or literary parallel, enhances our understanding of something in Exodus
dolatry in the ancient Near East -- a non-Exodus Perspective
Over the course of the past several decades in modernity, numerous objects as well as the actual substances of texts discovered by archaeologists, have contributed to the modern understanding of the characterization of so-called 'idol worship' in Exodus as well as other Hebrew texts, texts that have come to have been canonized as 'The Hebrew Bible," as referred to by members of the Jewish religion, or 'The Old Testament,' as such books are frequently referred to by members of the Christian faith.
Up until this point in time, the way that ancient sraelites perceived idol worship held dominance how the people who worshipped idols saw idol worship. However, the Bible frequently mischaracterizes these other…… [Read More]
Eastern religions, on the other hand, conceive of much broader definitions of God and deemphasize any direct relationship between individuals and God, in addition to allowing for multiple Gods.
Other religious beliefs reject any supposed consciousness of a supreme being, conceiving God as representing nothing more than fundamental elements of the natural universe and objective principles. In that sense, in addition to increasing awareness and specific knowledge of other religions, the study of religion also introduces an entirely foreign concept, at least from the perspective of students socialized in any of the Western religious traditions. Specifically, the broadened understanding of different religious frameworks raises the possibility that the highest form of spirituality possible in human life is the complete acceptance of our absolute aloneness in the world and the relative meaninglessness of human concerns in a universe that may very well be finite in existence as well as entirely godless.…… [Read More]
Instead, the practice bhakti-style devotion to various Buddhas and other supramundane figures (Protehero, 2010, p. 177). These are not manifestations of one God, as might be understood by practitioners of most Western religions, but more similar to spirit guides.
Another aspect of Buddhism that might be surprising is the understanding of "karma." The word is commonly used in our current lexicon and refers to the good or bad that comes one's way based on one's own good or bad deeds. It is thought of as a reward or, conversely, payback. It helps people make sense of the world if they can conceive of such cosmic justice. However, karma is more complicated and really has to do with cause and effect. The idea is that everything one does has consequences, which must be dealt with constructively before one can move on (Martin, 2011). It is about learning and personal growth rather…… [Read More]