"Religion / God / Theology" Essays

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Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,141 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1

SAMPLE TEXT:

Scientific Revolution was a revolution in the way that human life was viewed. Instead of superstition and religion governing human life, the principles of rationalism were viewed to govern human existence. Methodical, empirical observations were used to answer the questions of life, such as why objects fell to the earth or the organization of the cosmos. Instead of deductively assuming certain principles were true, like the existence of God, nothing was assumed and instead scientific principles were derived inductively.

The Enlightenment

The Enlightenment was an intellectual movement spawned by the principles of the Scientific Revolution. Just as the Scientific Revolution applied the principles of rational behavior to the natural world, the Enlightenment applied the principles of the Scientific Revolution to human political and moral life. Instead of assuming that the 'divine right of kinds' was a pre-existing fact, Enlightenment writers questioned this assumption. All human beings were seen as rational, and thus possessed certain rights that would be later defined as inalienable, and could not be taken away by any outside entity, such as a monarch. Many Enlightenment writers were Deists, or took the view of God as a great 'watchmaker' -- God may have created the rules of the universe, but then stood back and took little moral interest in it; it was thus up to human beings to decide how to govern it.

Q3. Two figures

Isaac Newton embodies the principles of the Scientific Revolution. Critical to Newton's approach was the idea that human beings should not deduce any causes other than what could be observed, which enabled him to deduce important truths about gravity, light, and differential calculus, as well as most famously identifying the force of gravity. Immanuel Kant, the famous formulator of the categorical imperative, similarly identified a rational philosophical approach to human life, to enable all human beings to life a moral and ethical existence. Rather than appealing to religion and myth, rationality was deemed to govern human doings.

Section 2: Questions on Galileo's Daughter

Q1. Describe the reception of Galileo's early work, including refining and building telescopes, viewing and drawing the moon, and discovering Jupiter's moons. Include political figures, scientists, and the Catholic Church. When why and how did the reception change?

Galileo did not begin his life as a despised figure by the Catholic Church. So long as his findings did not challenge and contradict existing doctrine, he was embraced and accepted. The Church was not necessarily against all forms of rationalism. However, the Church wanted to be the ultimate determiner of the truth in medieval life and when Galileo seemed to challenge these assertions, the Church was threatened and began to oppose him. Originally, Galileo had church approval for his challenges to the Copernican system but Church in-fighting and political wrangling between Rome, Protestantism, and Tuscany led them to condemn him.

Q2.Explain Galileo's view of the relationship between Holy Scripture and nature and his work as a scientist.

Galileo viewed Church writings to be inexorably connected to his writings as a… [read more]


Teachings and Practice of Islam Research Paper

Research Paper  |  8 pages (3,106 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5

SAMPLE TEXT:

This means there are much more Muslims living in areas like the United States and Great Britain than ever before. Many of these individuals have had to adjust how they practice Islam in order to fit into the legal mold of such Western nations, were religion is kept out of state affairs.

Still, despite growing numbers of Muslim inhabitants of… [read more]


Spiritual and or Religious Autobiography Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,490 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5

SAMPLE TEXT:

¶ … Spiritual Autobiography:

From Buddhism to Christianity and beyond

Like so many Asian-Americas, my spiritual autobiography is a tale of a divided self. I have grown up in two words, both Christian and Buddhist, and both are equally important parts of my identity. I would say that I have a 'fused' self -- not separate Christian and Buddhist ones,… [read more]


Status of Women in Islam Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,695 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5

SAMPLE TEXT:

¶ … Status of Women in Islam:

The status of women in the Islamic religion is one of the most controversial and serious issues in the religion, especially in the modern times. This issue not only affects Muslim women but it's also debatable among people who represent these women's rights in the Islamic world and among fundamentalist Muslims. Actually, there… [read more]


Unequal Pairs in Genesis Essay

Essay  |  7 pages (1,842 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1

SAMPLE TEXT:

It was sinful to offer sacrifices in other places and after the destruction of the temple offering of animals sacrifices seized. Perhaps God wanted people to present the best offerings as a form of worship and not as just a practice. The mode of presenting sacrifices to God got replaced with greater moral code that stressed on ethical values. The prophets did not reject the practice of presenting sacrifices to God, but instead rejected the simplistic means through which people presented the sacrifices. Some sacrifices like that of Cain got presented without the correct intention of repentance, a signal of devotion to God and as thanks giving. The sacrificed animals must be unblemished like the one presented by Abel and not like the unpleasing offering presented by Cain.

Conclusion

The story of Abel and Cain takes account of the first offering made to God. Despite the obedience of the two brothers in presenting the offerings as requested by God through their parents, God accepted Abel's offering and rejected Cain's. With respect to the readings in Genesis 4: 3-7, God rejected Cain's offering citing that Cain did not do what was right. Cain presented fruits of the ground while Abel presented the firstlings and the best lamb to God. While it is not very clear why God rejected Cain's offering, there are several reasons that might have led to His rejection. Among them is the manner in which the sacrifice was made and quality of the sacrifice. Later in the Old Testament, the Jews rules regarding sacrifice allowed people to make animal sacrifices only in the holy places selected by God. Perhaps God wanted people to devote themselves to Him and offer the sacrifices in worship and honor of him. The rejection of Cain's sacrifice and acceptance of Abel's sacrifice demonstrate the need for people to choose between salvation and eternal torment, righteousness and wickedness.

Reference

Bible Society in Australia Staff.…… [read more]


Authentic Prayer in Habakkuk Research Paper

Research Paper  |  3 pages (1,121 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+

SAMPLE TEXT:

Such a situation might make a person cry out to God in anger and confusion.

While there is no visible change in Habakkuk's external situation, there is a significant change in his attitude. He develops from a bitter, lamenting prophet to one who can joyfully praise God (Chisholm, p. 185). Verse 16 of the third Chapter clearly states that no change has occurred in terms of the invading nation or indeed the faithlessness of his own people. Yet Habakkuk himself has experienced a personal revival of faith to such an extent that this overrides the agony caused by his external situation. He is now able to not only wait patiently for God's promises to come into effect, but also to praise God while he waits for this process. Using the availability of figs, grapes, sheep and cattle as symbols of prosperity, Habakkuk no longer places his faith only in what he can see. Indeed, even the lack of all visible prosperity cannot silence his praise. The main reason for this is Habakkuk's ability to not only voice his concerns and complaints to God in complete honesty, but also to listen when God responds. These are the two essential components when using external and painful circumstances for the purpose of developing a mature faith in a God that is not visible and often appears to be absent not only from the world in general, but also from the world of the faithful.

Hence, when returning to the situation of the faithful person who lost his job due to economic restructuring, the first important thing to realize is that these conditions can be used to develop his faith. The first step in this development is honesty. In Chapter 1 and 2, Habakkuk makes no secret of his confusion, his struggle, or his unhappiness. He voices all this to God as honestly as he can. Arnold and Beyer (p. 15) point out that the Old Testament speak to us as Christians even today. The man who lost his job can therefore learn from this that, for God, it is completely unnecessary to hide one's feelings. He can take all his confusion, anger, and unhappiness to God in a completely honest way. This will most likely not be very difficult. A more difficult step, however, is to listen. Today, Christians have various options to obtain a response from God. They have the Bible, church sermons, religious leaders, friends, and all kinds of other elements in life that God can use to communicate. The only requirement is to be open to the idea that God can in fact speak, not only through the Bible and church, but also through others, and to be open to the idea that God does have an answer. Even if no initially satisfied with the answer, the person building his faith can continue asking and wrestling until finally, like Habakkuk, he is able to praise God for what is coming rather than what is seen.

In conclusion, although very short,… [read more]


Sing the Body Electric Peer Reviewed Journal

Peer Reviewed Journal  |  2 pages (585 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1

SAMPLE TEXT:

I do agree that "Song of Myself" has some religious imagery, as in the quote you cite: "I hear and behold God in every object, yet understand God not in the least, Nor do I understand who there can be more wonderful than myself." But Whitman's God is not a conventional theological object. God is more what is unknowable to the self, a sense of pure greatness and power that cannot be explained, much like the force which drives the artistic process itself. It exists and is manifest everywhere, including within the speaker. Thus God is not a God of guilt and shame (or shame about the body) but a God of love.

Whitman's ideas must have been very shocking to his contemporaries in the way they challenged conventional notions about the body (particularly the female body), religion, sexuality, and even class (given the degree to which people of all classes are spoken of and celebrated in his poems). I would be interested to know how you think Whitman's ideas about the body and God are related (or not related). It seems to me that Whitman had almost a pagan-like sense of the sacredness of the human body, in a manner that is very different from standard, conventional Judeo-Christian morality (or at least how Judeo-Christian morality was viewed during the era in which Whitman wrote). I think to us, in the 21st century, in some ways Whitman seems very conventional (such as the way he celebrates American uniqueness) but also quite radical (such as the way in which he looks to the self for…… [read more]


Christian Worship the History Research Paper

Research Paper  |  12 pages (4,370 words)
Bibliography Sources: 20

SAMPLE TEXT:

Some, including Presbyterian churches, believe that Christian worship should only be constructed from what is directly and explicitly written in scripture; "in short, God institutes in the Bible everything required for Church worship and prohibits all other possibilities," (Smith 19).[footnoteRef:21] Others, like Lutherans, Anglicans, and Methodists argue that "worshippers may use elements of worship that are not prohibited by the… [read more]


Philosophy of Happiness Are There Some Desires Essay

Essay  |  8 pages (2,405 words)
Bibliography Sources: 8

SAMPLE TEXT:

Philosophy of Happiness

Are there some desires that we ought not to have in order to be happy? Moreover, if so, can we eliminate such desires and make ourselves happier?

Humans engage in a range of activities that make them feel happy and try to shun those that neither bring happiness nor make them feel appreciated. The desires that people… [read more]


Life of Prophet Muhammed Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,659 words)
Style: Chicago  |  Bibliography Sources: 1

SAMPLE TEXT:

The prophet had to overcome a significant amount of adversity to gain a substantial following. Such adversity merely served as another form of test that he would have to pass to show that he had been favored by Allah. It is noteworthy to mention that for three years while he disseminated this religion within Mecca, Muhammad did so without publishing (11) his faith. When he did, he received antagonism from both polytheists as well as those within his own state, who initially derided some of his first requests (12). The former of these trials actually required physical violence, a fact which would frequently reoccur during Muhammad's life as he propagated Islam. His many victories in these encounters, however, merely added to the conviction of his faith and of the belief in this religion that he was able to inspire in others, reinforcing the notion that he was favored by God and worthy of prophesying a truth that could assert itself in the world with other religions already existent.

An analysis of several key passages in The Life of Muhammad reveals that Muhammad had to overcome a significant amount of difficulties as the apostle of Allah, particularly since he was championing a new religion. These difficulties, however, played a pivotal role in asserting the fact that Muhammad was directly supported by Allah, deserving of the deities favor, and worthy of bringing Allah's will to fruition. That will was to spread the monotheistic truth of Islam. Each trial that Muhammad passed allowed him to gain more followers and come closer to completing the work Allah had ordained for him.

Endnotes

1. Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad (Oxford:, Oxford University Press, 1955), 69.

2. Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, 70.

3. Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, 80.

4. Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, 71.

5. Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, 104.

6. Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, 105.

7. Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, 106.

8. Ibid.

9. Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, 115.

10. Ibid.

11. Ishaq, The Life…… [read more]


Dance as a Form of Worship Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (909 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0

SAMPLE TEXT:

¶ … Dance as a form of worship or ritual? Explain.

I have seen dance in various religious rituals more as bystander than participant. I have for instance observed dance in orthodox Jewish synagogues with yearly celebration over completing and starting the Torah anew. These synagogues had the men dancing with the Torah. This was particularly so in the Hassidic ones, where the women had a confined view either chatting to one another or peeking down from the balcony on top.

There have been other Orthodox synergies however - more and more -- where women too (separately) dance holding the Torah scrolls. And then I have seen feminist places of gathering where women lead the enter service and holding the scrolls dance.

These have been different from Israeli dances where both sexes dance together holding hands. Although the music based on Jewish culture and experience, is similar.

I have seen dance in other religious gatherings too. Sometimes staid and solemn, replete with meaning as with an Islamic sect that I once saw. Or so fierce and feverish that it has made me shiver and draw away. This has primarily been in a context of Shamanism and some native Indian experience.

In a different way, dance too has appeared as a ritual in exercise groups where it sometimes appears to be so compelled and obsessive that it loses its pleasurable flavor and becomes an obligation, a must.

2. Which dance from this week's content aligns most with your experiences?

The Indian Bharata Natyam that integrates physical and spiritual reminds me of the Chassidic dances where the physical and spiritual also fuse and where one bleeds into the other so that it becomes an intimate practice exuded form worshipper that bystander feels. It reminds me of Buber's I-Thou experience that he derives form Hassidism where he says that the holy can become mundane since it is brought down to the level of the earth, whilst the earth is brought u to it and both become confused and intermingled into one big 'potato pudding' one into the other. One indiscernible mish-mash. This explains how the Indian Bharata Natyam could combine sacredness with earliness since to them there was no difference.

3. Which dance from this week surprised you? Why?

The suggestive qualities of the Indian Bharata Natyam dance surprised me. Used to seeing religious dance employed in a religious context with sex and sanctity separated, I found myself uncomfortable and surprised in seeing the integration. Yet, as explained above I need not be surprised since the dance manifest the I-Thou doctrine of Buber where spirituality merges with earthliness (and earthliness itself comes from nature / Spirit) until there is no division between the two. Sensuality is a…… [read more]


Social Justice in the Book Research Paper

Research Paper  |  3 pages (1,025 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+

SAMPLE TEXT:

From the book of Micah we see how the people behaved and lived. Their actions all go against God's will and the covenant with them; the covenant was conditional which implied that God will directly bless those who obey him and curse those who disobey him. In the book of Micah there are reminders of the conditions that had been set by God when he made promises to Abraham, the directions he had given to Israel through Moses and finally the fact that God requires them to fear him, walk in his ways as well as serve him. Therefore their actions are a direct disobedience to what was expected to them by God (Garcia, 2011).

An individual's relationship with God directly impacts one's treatment of others, this means that anyone whose relationship with God is firm will be willing to walk humbly with God and therefore do what His will requires. Therefore they will do justice to everyone; they would love one another and treat people kindly. People who obey God will love mercy and act according to what mercy requires of them which include kindness, benevolence and charity. They will also act justly by giving people what is justly theirs (Dillinger, 2004). Micah's message was not only relevant to Israel but it is also relevant to Christians today; most of the political, religious and business leaders are still committing the same sins as the Israelites. Today Christians are guilty of spiritual idolatry and most of them worship other things or people apart from God. They make up lies in exchange for God's truth. According to Micah, the solution to all social ills that include economic injustice as well as moral degradation is only for people to turn back to God and hi word of truth. If only leaders and ordinary people love God and neighbors then the society will be a better place with no form of social injustice in existence. God is concerned with the weak either physically or social economically and therefore he expects us as Christians to help and defend such people.

Currently there are various underclass people and in particular the number of homeless people has been rising at a rate that is quite alarming. There are various ways that in can show God's love to the homeless. First I can share food with them since they might not be in a position to obtain food. Secondly I can try to enroll them in institutions that offer shelters to the homeless and ensure that they are considered when allocations are done. Finally I can go spend time with them so that they do not feel left out or rejected in any way by the society.

References

Bratcher, D., (2011). The Book of Micah. Retrieved February 11, 2013 from http://www.crivoice.org/books/micah.html

Dillinger, C., (2004). What Does the Lord Require? (Micah 6:8)

Retrieved February 11, 2013 from http://www.bible.ca/ef/expository-micah-6-8.htm

Garcia, C, O. (2011).Bible Teaching Notes. Retrieved February 11, 2013 from http://www.bibleteachingnotes.com/templates/System/details.asp?id=29183&fetch=8025… [read more]


Prophet Muhammad Non- Muslim Scholars Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,711 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4

SAMPLE TEXT:

The Quran was addressed to certain circumstances occurring to Prophet Muhammad. Other books can be seen to reveal Prophet Muhammad's mission, but the Quran seem to reveal his mission in discrete parts. Different scholars attempted to show how and why revelations were made. Arguments made suggest that parts of the Quran were revealed in Mecca, Jerusalem, and Medina and Paradise according to some scholars. Conclusively, prophets can be regarded as the best examples of human beings to practice. The life of a prophet in Islam is seen as a perfect example; concerning principles rather than their application.

Bibliography

Haleem, A.M.A.S. The Qu'ran: A New Translation. London: Oxford, 2005.

Hisham, I.A., Ishaq, I.M., Guillame, A. The Life Of Muhammad. Chicago: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Sells, M.A. Approaching The Quran. Virginia: White Clouds Press Virginia, 2007.

Shephard, W. Introducing Islam. New York: Routledge, 2009.

William E. Shepard, Introducing Islam (New York: Routledge, 2009).

. M.A.S. A Haleem, The Qu'ran: A New Translation, (London: Oxford University Press, 2005), 1.

Michael Anthony Sells, Approaching The Quran, (Virginia: White Clouds Press Virginia, 2007), 15.

Abd al Malik Ibn Hisham, Muhammad Ibn Ishaq, Alfred,…… [read more]


Pastoral Theology Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (541 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1

SAMPLE TEXT:

Pastoral Theology

Two of the paragraphs in chapter one refer to one of the most interesting concepts of the Orthodox faith, namely the concept of economia. The two paragraphs I am referring to both define the concept and put it into an antithetical perspective from a concept that may be seen as similar from the Roman Catholic Church. As such, the concept of economia in the Orthodox Church is described as the capacity of the priest to bypass some of the rules and regulations that have been added in the successive centuries of development of the Church.

These paragraphs are important because they describe a very important attribute for the priest in his relationship with the believers. The priest/prelate has thus the capacity to judge and evaluate the degree to which such regulations are still actual or still useful in the existence of the Church. Following on the words of Jesus Christ ("the Sabbath was made for man, not man for Sabbath"), the principle of economia gives enough flexibility to the Church to be able to face the challenges of new times and, if necessary, adapt not its principles, but rather successive regulation frameworks.

The fifth chapter refers to the dualism in terms of the marital status of the clergy. The paragraphs I am referring to brings into discussion the origin of this dualism and of the discussion between the spiritual superiority of either monastic or married life for the clergy. This discussion goes back to the time of the Gnostic and the fight against the Gnostic heresy.

While the Gnostics believed that the dualism of the world was very…… [read more]


Muhammad as a Prophet Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,674 words)
Bibliography Sources: 6

SAMPLE TEXT:

The city was in need of a strong leader, and a delegation from a prophet. However, Yathrib made an offer that Muhammad come on board and then take the job. In response, they promised to worship Allah only, and then obey Muhammad and protect him and lift that name up until death. It was said that Allah was the one that revealed to Muhammed in regards to his approval of this preparation, and Muhammad then started making plans to get away to Yathrib (Alah 2000).

As the life as a prophet, he started gaining more popularity in different cities. He was becoming popular as a prophet and many started to give him the respect. Muhammad knew the mixed emotion reaction that he was getting from all over but at the same time as a prophet is was turning into a very powerful leader. Later on his power would turn to bloodshed. As a prophet he was also taking on the role as persecuting the Jews and the Christians. In Medina, Muhammad proved himself an able politician and statesman as well as a prophet. So this was a different role that he had

"Exercising superb statecraft, he welded the five heterogeneous and conflicting tribes of the city, three of which were Jewish, into an orderly confederation.... His reputation spread and people began to flock from every part of Arabia to see the man who had wrought this 'miracle.' (Smith, 230).

In conclusion, it was clear the Muhammad wore many hats as a prophet. He started off being a being hated for his position and then turned out to be a huge leader for the Arab nation. It is clear that Muhammad position as a prophet was one that brought him influential power and at the same time turned him into a person that believed in "convert or die."

Works Cited

Ahmad, Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud. Life of Muhammad. Boston: Islam International Publications, 2006.

Alah, Sirat Rasul. The Life of Muhammad. A. Guillame, 2000.

Ernest, Carl E. Following Muhammad: Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World (Islamic Civilization and Muslim Networks). The University of North Carolina Press, 2005.

Haleem, Abdel. M.A.S. The Qur'an: A New Translation. Oxford, 2005.…… [read more]


Orthodox Church Is Indeed Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,105 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4

SAMPLE TEXT:

The reverse situation, such as the one happening with the Orthodox Church in the United States, will likely lead to the exact opposite situation.

By extrapolation, the situation in the United States, to different degrees, can be replicated in the entire Orthodox world. A separation of Church and State, even in traditionally Orthodox countries, lead to canonical disarray, as the Church strives to look for its identity in a new geopolitical context, in which support no longer comes from the state to the degree that it used to in the past.

The preface of Viscovo's work emphasizes the necessity to deal with problems and issues in a unified manner and his work sees one of the purposes of the Congress in creating the appropriate framework for such decisions to be made. An overly autonomous approach leads to decisions and hierarchies not being accepted by the other independent parochial bodies and structures.

This overly autonomous approach persists today in the Orthodox world and has led to a detrimental hierarchical organization at a global level. As previously mentioned, the decentralization of the Church, including in North America, has resulted in a canonical disarray, a situation where the norms that Church bodies adopt are not implemented or accepted by existing members.

Going back to Viscuso and his study of the 1923 Congress, another important part of that gathering was to make the Orthodox Church more adaptable in the context of a new, more modern world. For this, the Patriarch was planning to tackle a significant number of issues, including the reform of the calendar. As mentioned, all these were necessary in the 1920s. Certainly, these are all the more necessary now.

One can only conclude that part of the state of canonical disarray is also due to the inability of the Church to make itself more viable in a new, modern context. A church cannot function as a 4th century entity. Even the Roman Catholic Church accepted responsibilities and moved towards a more adaptable stance on many of the dogma and cannon issues. Likely, a successful Orthodox Church should do the same.

Beyond the issue of the calendar, which was the original motivation for the Pan-Orthodox Congress of 1923, one of the resolutions that came out of the Congress was a true example of modernism in the 20th century, from a religious point-of-view. The conclusions point that "there is no dogmatic reason of permanent anteriority between the mysteries of marriage and priesthood." Beyond the actual decision, it is also a showcase that the Orthodox Church was ready to make changes in line with the new existing conditions in the world.

One of the things that the Congress really put forward was the fundamental idea of a cohesion of thought between Orthodox churches in different countries. It is true that some of the Churches did not participate, but most of them, especially those from the Balkans, attended. This mark a show of unity on some of these issues of interest, something that no longer… [read more]


Holy Trinity Doctrine Basil's Argumentation Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,446 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1

SAMPLE TEXT:

Basil's opponents assert. Numbers deal with quantity, not with essence. One may use numbers to weigh gold or tin. Numbers are practical tools, but they deal with quantity and never with the essence of a thing. To suppose a thing's essence could be modified by applying higher or lower numbers to it, or by placing it in a different order,… [read more]


Turning the Tide: Chapter Reviews Essay

Essay  |  12 pages (3,708 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1

SAMPLE TEXT:

Many forms of socialism exist, some of which are more progressive than others. Many Christians have explicitly identified themselves as socialists, and socialism and communism (which is officially 'atheist') is not the same thing. In taking a strong stand against socialism, Stanley's stress about the lack of equality between all human beings could be read to justify a lack of… [read more]


Biblical Foundation Is of Utmost Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,925 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5

SAMPLE TEXT:

References

Dobson, J. (1992). The Strong-Willed Child. New York: Living Books.

Fey, M.A. (No date). "A Real Foundation." Focus on the Family. Retrieved from http://www.focusonthefamily.com/faith/christian_worldview/why_is_a_christian_worldview_important/a_real_foundation.aspx

No author. (No date). "Romans 12: 2." Bible Gateway.com. Retrieved from http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+12%3A2&version=NIV

Josephson, M. (2011). "Commentary: What is character?." What Will Matter. Retrieved from http://whatwillmatter.com/2011/11/commentary-what-is-character-751-2/

Schuman, D. (2009). "Why knowing biblical theology is necessary for counseling." Renew. Retrieved from http://www.renewabq.com/blog/2009/08/why-knowing-biblical-theology-is-necessary-for-counseling/comment-page-1/

Criminal Law Revision Committee 1976, Criminal Law Revision Committee: Evidence (General) 11th Report (Command 491), New impression edition. Stationery Office Books, Norwich.

Jepson n.d., R.v.Gotts (1992). Available from: . [3 January 2013].

Road Traffic Act 1988, n.d. Available from: . [3 January 2013].

Souper 2009, Sixth Form Law. Available from: . [3 January 2013].

Jelani Harper is a poet who has been moonlighting most of his adult life as a journalist. As a young child, he was quick to take advantage of his mother's punishment of sending him to his room by reading anything he could find. His natural propensity for the written word soon evinced itself in a smattering of adolescent poems, which increased in output and intensity as he pursued his bachelor's degree at New York University.

Upon graduation he became a full-time journalist, writing for a variety of weekly and daily publications including the Oakland Tribune, San Mateo Times, and Hercules Patch. His professional work has encompassed a wide range of written material such as technical writing, music and film reviews/interviews, website content, blogging, and academic writing. In addition to having worked as a staff writer for newspapers, he has spent time as the managing editor of an arts and entertainment publication and has proofread and freelanced extensively.

This bevy of experience will make Jelani one of the most valuable contributors to 3D Writing Services. The variety of work this company supplies for its customers -- from research paper development to professional documents such as press releases -- is well-suited to Jelani's background. The degree of versatility that he will bring to this company should aid its output and quality of work, especially if his efforts are paired with those of like-minded professionals focused on customer satisfaction.… [read more]


Except a Man Be Born Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (1,138 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 2

SAMPLE TEXT:

The shutters have fallen from his eyes, so to speak, and he sees not only the physical phenomena but also metaphysical phenomena and by so doing truly sees.

It is for this reason that Plato sees death as a good thing for he believes that by death we can "truly see." In this world, an s the New Testament phrase implies, we are occluded by deceptiveness God, or veridical spirituality / Reality is occluded. To Plato, the essence of God (or greatest Truth) was epitomized in the Platonic forms. The platonic forms are the essence of the abstract; they are the purity and the true Good that are clouded by materialism. For instance, we have beauty that is hidden in aesthetic objects (or in love); we have Justice, Truth, and many other Ideals. Access to these Ideals affords us true bliss and Knowledge (which is the essence of intimate contact with a God, or the immoveable being of all who stands outside the world). However, since we are in this corporeal world, we are distracted by our body and by physicality from these Real substances. The philosopher, therefore, looks forward to death when his soul (that which hunkers towards these Ideals) will be separated from the distracting body and be able to clearly and keenly perceive the Forms in their unclouded essence.

God (or Truth in the presence of Jesus) has often been compared to Light, to true sight.

John 1:1-5, 14 provides us with John's description of Jesus.

In the beginning the Word already existed.

The Word was with God,

and the Word was God.

4 The Word gave life to everything that was created,[a]

and his life brought light to everyone.

5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it (Wright, 2011)

Notice that this Light exists in this world. However, the world is made up of darkness -- understood in the Platonic sense of materialism and density that prevents us from seeing clearly.

In fact, John goes on to recount that

He [i.e. Jesus] came into the very world he created, but the world didn't recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him (ibid. 11) & #8230;

The darkness of the world prevented Jesus' own followers and people who originally knew him from recognizing him. Even his own people, earthly as they were, rejected him. Only a few were able to see past this, to recognize the Form: "we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father's one and only Son" (14) (Wright, 2011)

For others to see him in this same way, they had to be reborn again, i.e. Tear them away from the density of this world and be reborn in a world that was clearer, less dense and more amenable to seeing the Truth.

In this way, their past self would be changed; his self would be transformed. He would literally be reborn for he would be seeing things in a different… [read more]


Persecution of Early Christians Research Paper

Research Paper  |  20 pages (6,839 words)
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The persecution of early Christians by Romans

Before becoming a prominent and established religion, Christianity was a persecuted religion in the Roman Kingdom. It progressed from a small religion to well established one in the medieval West, and elsewhere for that matter. However, the history of its persecution needs to be revisited.

"Where there were some periods in the early… [read more]


Portrait of the Artist Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (831 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1

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Separation of church and state is an established part of the governance of many countries but still those in positions of religious authority try to influence the political positions of their parishioners and this violation of their position is what Joyce is most angry about. Other characters like Dante feel that it is acceptable for the priest to do this because the religious shapes the morals and from there the legislation of a people because everything goes back to God.

As an adult, Stephen has decided that he is no longer interested in becoming part of the Catholic Church. He has become disenfranchised with the religious world as he has with most established authorities in the world. Joyce writes of Stephen, "On Sunday mornings as he passed the church door he glanced coldly at the worshippers who stood bareheaded, four deep, outside the church, morally present at the mass which they could neither see nor hear. Their dull piety and the sickly smell of the cheap hair-oil with which they had anointed their heads repelled him from the altar they prayed at" (117). Stephen sees people going to church regularly in order to pay what he feels is lip service to God. The people cannot see the priest nor can they hear him preach but at the same time they are gaining as much from the church service as they could inside, at least from Stephen's point-of-view. Men oil their foreheads and bow their heads not because they feel God within but because they have been trained to take part in the traditions and customs but they are pious and good people while he is not because he sees the truth of their worship.

James Joyce uses the character of Stephen Dedalus to explore questions about the world around us. Religion is a very serious subject, particularly in Ireland where Catholicism was the norm. To be Catholic was to believe in all the traditions and the positions of that church. Questioning anything that was related to the religion, whether it be the existence of man or the customs in the church or the actions of the priest was to question God and this was not something one did. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man shows one man comes to question and then reject the rigidity of the religion that they believe in.

Works Cited:

Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. New York, NY:…… [read more]


Israel's Religious System at the Time of Christ Research Paper

Research Paper  |  10 pages (3,488 words)
Bibliography Sources: 13

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Israel at the Time of Christ

In order to understand the life of Jesus, it is important to understand the circumstances in which he grew up. So many times the focus is on Jesus, the God, but his humanity was as critical as his divinity, perhaps even more so because it was his humanity that made his self-sacrifice such a… [read more]


Orthodox Judaism Considers Itself Term Paper

Term Paper  |  8 pages (2,361 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5

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On the other hand, few Jews are acquainted with the word 'shul'. (Judaism 101.)

The formalistic style of the place too is distinctly Jewish in that a mechitzah (division) separates men and women during prayer service. Men, too, lead and officiate. The rabbi is always male. These differences distinguish it from branches of liberal Judaism. The symbol -- the Jewish… [read more]


Assembling Culture Assembling Southern Appalachian Term Paper

Term Paper  |  25 pages (6,890 words)
Bibliography Sources: 15

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Christianity, Judaism and Islam (these being the monotheistic religions with the largest number of adherents) account for approximately 4 billion people with a religious affiliation worldwide. These beliefs bring comfort and promise a better life for most, but they also protect the believer in this world and the one to come.

The Christian adherents seek the wisdom written in their… [read more]


Women in Judaism: An Evolving Essay

Essay  |  10 pages (3,351 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5

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The minyan has been defended by Jewish leaders by a belief that men tend to need lessons in community building in order to thrive in a communal situation. As such, Judaism believes that the exclusion of women from the minyan is not based in discrimination but in the fostering of values and community relationships for Jewish men.

Many Jewish leaders… [read more]


Job the Religious Texts Research Paper

Research Paper  |  5 pages (1,665 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5

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In fact, "Observations on Life" embody the generally pessimistic messages conveyed in the Book of Job that suggest that suffering is inevitable and part of the cosmic order. Elihu's words in chapter 32 also correspond with "Observations on Life," which focus on the role that suffering plays in the relationship between God and the human being. Personal piety is a reaction to suffering in a way that is in accordance with cosmological order. Job's final comments in the text related to his self-hatred, "Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes," (Job 42:6) underscore a major near eastern religious theme of self-annihilation in the midst of the almighty God from "Man and His God" to "Man and his Ba."

In "Ludlu Bel Nemequi," the solution of continual and selfless praise of the Lord accurately parallels the theme of the Book of Job. Like other ancient Near Eastern texts, "Ludlu Bel Nemequi" establishes a firm cosmological order with God squarely at the top of the pyramid. God's role is not to provide human beings with a simple causal framework in which their actions automatically beget predictable reactions. Job finally understands the purpose of the lesson God delivered through the trials and tribulations. In the end, Job tells God, "I know that you can do all things; / no purpose of yours can be thwarted. / You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?' / Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, / things too wonderful for me to know," (Job 42: 1-3). Job's situation has been neatly resolved within a moral and metaphysical framework. The dutiful ascription to religious law and ritual, which Job had already exemplified, is now in accordance with Job's personal piety. As other ancient Near Eastern texts show, God operates on a different realm from that of the human being. The God of the Hebrew Bible is no different, although the God of the Hebrew Bible is more conflicted with regards to how to carry out a personal vs. detached relationship with the human being.

References

Bible: New International Version

"Prophecy of Nefer-rohu"

"Man and His Ba"

"Man and His God"…… [read more]


Film Review of Judaism by Ben Kingsley Film Review

Film Review  |  2 pages (707 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0

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¶ … Judaism by Ben Kinglsey

Narrated by Ben Kingsley, the film begins with a brief overview of Judaism today and the main values and beliefs of the Jewish people. The film then dives into the first part which represents the historical backgrounds of Judaism as it appears in the first testament of the Bible. Kingsley focuses on the role of Abraham and his realization of their being one God and that this believe eventually spread to all Jewish people: it was the world-changing belief of mono-theism and the necessity of mankind to be good. The bulk of this portion of the film focuses upon the role of Abraham and the pact that he makes with God and the notion of the Jews being the chosen people. This section later touches upon clear aspects of Jewish history as presented in the Bible: the Israelites being persecuted by the Pharaoh, their escape to the wilderness with Moses, and the leadership of Moses. Moses has been credited in the film as the person responsible for laying the framework of the legal system. Scholars in Judaism are quick to distinguish how the Jews, via this legal system, and their moral code, and their belief in one god, were distinct from neighboring collectives of people.

The subsequent part of the film discusses the rebuilding of the temples and the influential work of various prophets in creating religious text which would some of the most influential in tall of human civilization. Another scholar discusses the entrance of the Maccabeus and their attempts to establish Hellenistic principles among the Jews. The Jews resisted and this friction between them lasted until the Romans conquered. This period, as Kingsley explains was characterized by a tremendous amount of unrest as the Jews awaited a messiah, and eventually revolted, being forced out in to exile. Later, this section of the film explains the emergence of the synagogue, a place of worship, study and fellowship, and the further instructions Moses had received from God as well as the development of the Talmud a focal text of Judaism.

The middles section discusses the overwhelming sense…… [read more]


Same Sex Marriage the Primary Definition Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,300 words)
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Same Sex Marriage

The primary definition of Marriage in Merriam-Webster is "1 a (1): the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2): the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage b: the mutual relation of married persons: wedlock c: the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage" (Merriam-Webster Definition).

The concept of marriage is a social and legal contract sanctioned by society. Traditionally it is between a man and a woman, creating kinship ties that extend families and holdings. The interesting focus of marriage is that it combines an institution of interpersonal relationships, typically intimate and sexual, being acknowledged in numerous ways, depending on the particular society and culture. This is typically combined with a religious rite that has blurred into societal acceptance.). As a way of looking at marriage as a social indicator of cultural trends within the United States, each year the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University publishes a yearly examination of trends and assesses the health of marriage and marital issues in a publication they entitle "The State of Our Unions." Researchers at Rutgers based this on interviews, statistical data, surveys, and current scholarship on marriage and family issues. Since today's definition of marriage varies so widely based on demographics and geography, it is interesting to analyze some of the polarization that occurs in the Christian front regarding same-sex marriage.

For decades, marriage was both the primary social and economic institution of American family life. It seemed to be the expectation, and set a solid groundwork for cultural dominance. However, as of 2007, author David Popenoe argues that trends over the past few decades point to the weakening of marriage as a prime social institution of family life. There are several trends that contribute to this finding: Americans are delaying marriage longer, living together prior to marriage or continually, marrying at older ages or not at all, and raising children in different environments (multi-parents, solo, etc.) What is interesting as that these new American trends are not really new trends at all; they are trends that have been happening in Northern Europe for decades.

The reasons for these trends are complex, but may be, according to scholarship, caused by a broader cultural shift away from religion, social traditions, and faith-based paradigms and a move towards secular humanism, personal independence, greater tolerance for diversity and secular individualism. It is interesting to note that the idea of Civil Rights and a respect for diversity also tends to move attitudes away from the more traditional frames of organizing one's life.

One of the polarizing issues surrounding same-sex marriage comes from the institution of religion. Support for, and affirmation of marriage for same-sex couples usually comes from those who practice a more liberal, progressive Christianity. The Metropolitan Community Church, United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church… [read more]


Book of Job Research Paper

Research Paper  |  5 pages (1,780 words)
Bibliography Sources: 7

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God allows suffering and pain if they serve his purposes. The greatest of saint's struggle with suffering and the suffering they go through ban have a preventive purpose 10 therefore the book of job gives a guideline on how one should deal with suffering through endurance and God will eventually see them through.

References

Albright, W.F.(2010).The Ancient Near East and Religion of Israel. Retrieved October 30,2012 from http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/3262515?uid=3738336&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&sid=21101374593407

Job1:8-11. http://www.catholic.org/bible/book.php?id=22

Job2-9. http://www.catholic.org/bible/book.php?id=22

Job 29:7-25. http://www.catholic.org/bible/book.php?id=22

Ehlke, C.R. (2004). Job "Faith on Trial." Retrieved October 30, 2012 from http://www.zionfriedheim.org/biblestudies/Old%20Testament/job.htm

Waters, J.l. (1997). Reflections on suffering from the book of job. Retrieved October 30,2012 from http://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/Ted_Hildebrandt/OTeSources/18-Job/Text/Articles/Walters-suffering-BS.pdf

Albright, W.F.(2010).The Ancient Near East and Religion of Israel. Retrieved October 30,2012 from http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/3262515?uid=3738336&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&sid=21101374593407

Job 29:7-25. http://www.catholic.org/bible/book.php?id=22

Ehlke, C.R. (2004). Job "Faith on Trial." Retrieved October 30, 2012 from ?

http://www.zionfriedheim.org/biblestudies/Old%20Testament/job.htm

Job2-9. http://www.catholic.org/bible/book.php?id=22

Waters, J.l. (1997). Reflections on suffering from the book of job. Retrieved October 30,2012 from http://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/Ted_Hildebrandt/OTeSources/18-Job/Text/Articles/Walters-suffering-BS.pdf

Job1:8-11. http://www.catholic.org/bible/book.php?id=22… [read more]


Piety in Plato's Euthyphro Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (775 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3

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"If God is the Creator of absolutely everything, then He would be the Creator of all standards of value also... Whatever He thinks, wants, or does, it is simply good by definition, regardless of what it is" (Ross 2012). We may view the destruction of cities to be immoral, but if God destroys Sodom and Gomorrah and all God does is moral, then this becomes a moral action if we believe everything willed by God is moral. If we appoint ourselves the arbiter of moral actions and say that wholesale destruction is evil, then we are forced to read the Bible and say that God committed an immoral action.

Later Christian interpreters of the Bible attempted to extricate themselves from this monotheistic paradox by interpreting aspects of the Bible in a symbolic fashion, to reconcile apparently contradictory aspects of the text. Or, some simply assume that anything God has said to have done is moral, regardless of what that may be, although most thinking people find this kind of intellectual conformity to be intolerable and even dangerous (Ross 2012). Euthyphro wrests himself out of his definitional problems by eventually defining piety as the 'care' of the gods, stating that while human beings must show care and respect to the gods (presumably by ritual means) they must also piously abide by the standards that govern behavior over human life. However, even this definition does not satisfy Socrates, because he cannot understand why the gods need such actions such as sacrifice, since they are omnipotent.

More so than the question of what is moral, the question of how omnipotent God or the gods are drives the Euthyphro. If the gods are all-powerful, whatever they say is moral, but this morality may not necessarily be a template for our own actions, which is not necessarily useful and can be confusing because the actions of the gods can be contradictory. If the gods are not all-powerful and do not set standards of value, what the gods love may be moral, not everything the gods do -- but if the gods are not all-powerful, why worship them at all?

Works Cited

Ross, Kelly. "Comments on the Euthyphro." The Proceedings of the Friesian School.…… [read more]


Love) Defining Love Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (1,120 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5

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By considering the various ways that religion defines love, we better understand its dynamic and evolving nature. The even more complex task, however, is to comprehend why we love who and what we love and how that motivates different behavior in different situations and individuals. What happens when the view of love leaps from the socially acceptable into the realm of biased, stubborn and/or dangerous?

Negation

As our comprehension and definition of love deepens, we are better able to understand what kinds of love are morally good vs. those that are morally objectionable and how to make the distinction. By exploring what love is not, we can use the process of elimination to complete our definition of what it is. 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13 of the New Testament describes it this way:

"Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged, it does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."

In exploring negations of love, we see a convergence of theology, psychology, and philosophy (Oord, 2012). Each discipline seems to come to an agreement that delineates love in affirmative terms. At the same time, each also contributes to our understanding of misguided or excessive love. For instance, psychologists define "love addiction" as an excessive and suffering romantic attachment to a love object (Reynaud, et al., 2010). While there is no definitive diagnostic criteria for this phenomenon, studies suggest that the brain mechanisms that facilitate obsessive love are similar to those involved with substance dependence. This helps to explain scenarios that defy what we consider acceptable, ethical and moral behavior.

There are people who claim that love motivated them to stalk ex-lovers, sometimes resulting in disastrous outcomes. Many pedophiles claim to love their underage victims. Abusive parents may profess a deep love for their children to justify excessive punishment or use of force in teaching right from wrong. Similarly, across the globe many holy wars have been fought for the love of religion or nationalism. If war helps advance the right cause it may not only deemed as good, but necessary.

In short, too much of anything can be bad -- even love (Reynaud, et al., 2010). In the end, how love is defined, by whom, and the subsequent expression and manifestation of that love can vary widely. This makes defining exactly what love is a difficult task. Everyone experiences it differently; however, most will agree that when based in positivity, peace, and goodwill towards others -- where love exists, hate cannot.

References

Elliott, M. (2012). The Emotional Core of Love: The Centrality of Emotion in Christian Psychology and Ethics. Journal of Psychology & Christianity, 31(2), 105-117.

love. 2012. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved October 12, 2012, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/love

Mills, S. (2011). Defining Love: A Philosophical, Scientific, and Theological Engagement - By Thomas Jay… [read more]


Bible Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,375 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4

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Figurative food, on the other hand, is the spiritual sustenance that provides eternal life. By stating, "I AM the bread of life," Jesus is saying that he offers something far greater than a loaf of bread: He offers eternal life. "My Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day," (John 6:40).

However, Jesus does multiply loaves of bread so that the people do not go physically hungry either. He then walks on the water, placing an even deeper fear of God into the hearts of the disciples. Coupled with the miracle of multiplication, walking on water highlights Jesus's deity. When He utters the statement, "I AM the bread of life," the audience is ready to listen.

One of the most important themes in chapter 6 of the gospel of John is faith. Jesus knows that faith is lacking. At first, he notices that the people are only interested in bread alone. "Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill," (John 6:27). Jesus not only has to prove His deity via the miracle and from walking on water, but by connecting Himself to the I AM nature of God. Jesus continues, "Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval," (John 6:27). Jesus refers to the "bread of God," which is parallel with, and analogous to, the bread of man. A loaf of bread is a metaphor for God's sustenance through faith.

Many in the crowd continue to doubt. Jesus argues heartily with them, and in the process of so doing, becomes more mystical and oblique. His commentary provides the basis of what is to become the Catholic Eucharist ritual: "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them," (John 6:57). The term "remains" also represents the eternal life that comes via faith, as Christ will remain in the soul who believes in the spiritual bread of God.

By stating, "I AM the bread of life," Jesus presents a great paradox. Bread is a perishable sustenance. The imagery of baskets overflowing with bread in John 6 shows that Jesus is well aware of the temporal needs of human beings. These are, however, human beings who have yet to be saved. In their state of ignorance, they view Christ as merely a vehicle by which they can attain mundane and temporary comfort. Jesus knows this, which is why he angrily exclaims, "you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill," (John 6:26). The paradox of the parable of bread is that Jesus teaches the veritable meaninglessness… [read more]


Anthropology Is Used to Study Religion Discussion and Results Chapter

Discussion and Results Chapter  |  2 pages (484 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0

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¶ … Anthropology is used to study religion. And the importance of the process of initiations in rituals.

Pamela Moro and Claude Stipe both discuss in regard to the relationship between religion and anthropology, but while the former adopts a more oriental perspective concerning the matter, the latter relates to it using a western point-of-view. Moro emphasizes the fact that religion has an essential role in assisting anthropologists because they are enabled to gain a better understanding of their field of work as a result of studying people's religious attitudes through time and by focusing on how religion shaped their thinking. She also makes it possible for her readers to understand that anthropologists have a long history of using religion as a principal tool in trying to comprehend more about human behaviors. Stipe does not hesitate to acknowledge that anthropology has been heavily influenced by religion, especially in its early days. However, he also relates to how contemporary anthropologists have a tendency to discard religion when trying to learn more about certain communities. Many anthropologists apparently think that religion place a small and insignificant role in comparison to other cultural values.

Even with the fact that Stipe highlights the fact that there is a continuous conflict between religion and anthropology, he fails to provide a more complex explanation regarding the role that religion played in assisting ethnographers through the ages. In contrast, Moro employs a more peaceful attitude in discussing the influence…… [read more]


William James' Idea of Man Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,341 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1

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It seems to me that cash value can be defined according to that which helps the individual flourish. The spiritual experiences that James had in mind may have been (in some cases, arguably) healthy and productive. Religious fervor evoked by drugs, cults, and the Nazi Reich were also instrumental but of a different kind. Their value was more destructive and, in this way, the 'cash value' of the religious experience does matter. It should be constructive.

II

William James makes distinction between the healthy-minded and the morbid-minded individual. The healthy-minded individual is he or she who is 'once-born'. She is born and the circumstances of the world are adequate for her; she is passively resigned to them. There are two types of healthy-minded individuals. The first acknowledges evil in the world and deliberately ignores it in order to proceed with life; the other is naively unaware of evil's presence.

On a higher level, is the morbid-minded individual who is 'twice-born'. This morbid-minded person is, forever, engaged in torturous reflection and contemplation of the meaning of life and trying to make sense of the existence of evil, particularly as it fits within God's plan. There are two types of morbid-minded individuals: active and passive. The active minded individual detests the world and tends to be the more puritanical harsh person who eschews pleasure and denounces existence. The passive morbid-minded individual, on the other hand, distinguishes between disposition and reality. He, or she, realizes that it is his perception of the world (his attitude) that colors the world in a particular way.

Morbid-mindedness may fall into unhappiness and cynicism or, to the other extreme, into a greater sense of contentment since the healthy morbid-minded person distinguishes between material and spiritual essences but merges both into achievement of the 'perfect' life. Whilst realizing that props of this world (such as wealth, fame, and friends) are transient, illusionary, and incomplete, they also realize their value and employ them for obtaining greater spiritual ends. James seems to imply that it is this individual who has a richer perspective on life.

The healthy-minded individual is grounded in experience (ore 'reality') and, therefore, enjoys a more pluralistic, roaming view. The morbid-minded person, on the other hand, has a transcended, monistic perspective in that he sees the full scope of the universe -- is well aware of the evil in it, too -- and his perspective gears towards upper ends, towards a spiritual striving of endeavoring to understand nature and meaning of this evil. In this way -- seeing the whole -- his perspective "ranges over the wider sense of experience."

To James, this "incompletely unified moral and intellectual constitution" was the best position to cultivate for the 'spiritual life" since it enables the individual to realize the illusion of worldly riches and to gain a deeper meaning by using reality for higher means.

I agree with James since the goods of this world (such as wealth, fame, and friends) are fleeting. A person, basing his existence on… [read more]


Passover Theme an Analysis of the Continuous Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,846 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5

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Passover Theme

An Analysis of the Continuous Themes of Passover, Desert, Law and Death in the Old and New Testaments

The Passover of the Old Testament was connected to the deliverance of the Hebrews from slavery under Pharaoh. Their slavery in Egypt was symbolic of the chosen people's slavery to sin, and the Passover symbolized their Redemption by the blood… [read more]


Autobiographical Work Narrative Book Report

Book Report  |  3 pages (988 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1

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Those who looked with disdain at his cruelty to slaves would do so silently for fear of reprisals.

With all that has been said, it would be easy to assume that Frederick Douglass saw all Christians as hypocrites who spoke one thing and then practiced another. This is not the case. After Douglass became educated himself and was able to read scripture, he came to understand the difference between the religiosity of these masters and of his own beliefs. "What I have said respecting and against religion, I mean strictly to apply to the 'slaveholding religion' of this land, and with no possible reference to Christianity proper; for, between the Christianity of the land, and Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference -- so wide, that to receive the one as good, pure, and holy, is of necessity to reject the other as bad, corrupt, and wicked" (Douglass 2008,-page 116). He came to understand that Christianity in and of itself was not evil, nor did it support the cruelty that these men saw in it. White men in the south used the Bible to justify their acts of inhumanity towards their fellow men. Douglass wrote:

I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ: I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land. Indeed, I can see no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity. I look upon it as the climax of all misnomers, the boldest of all frauds, and the grossest of all libels…We have men-stealers for ministers, women whippers for missionaries, and cradle-plunderers for church members. The man who wields the blood-clotted cow skin during the week fills the pulpit on Sunday, and claims to be a minister of the meek and lowly Jesus (2008,-page 116).

What they did is take something they desired to do and try to find justification for truly unjustifiable actions. This was not the Bible's fault. What Douglass found in the Bible were lessons about understanding and love and good deeds.

During the time of slavery in the United States, religious hypocrisy was used to protect a system that was inherently wrong and morally repugnant. Men and women who would go to church on Sunday would return home and inflict upon fellow human being unspeakable actions of pain and suffering. This is the hypocrisy that Frederick Douglass reflects on in his autobiography. It is only in finding the truth of Christianity that Douglass was able to put into words the disgust he felt, and to understand the depths of the evils that had been done to him and to others like him.

Works Cited:

Douglass, Frederick. (2008). Narrative of the Life of Frederick…… [read more]


Classical and Christian the Sixth Book Review

Book Review  |  3 pages (903 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1

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(Cooper 2009, 29) He once had all these things, and thought that he had attained happiness, but when they were all taken away, he came to realize that they were not the true source of happiness, only God could be. In the Classical view of things, worldly success was something to strive for, but in the new Christian view, spiritual salvation was what was important. Book III seems to be a condemnation that the view of happiness in the Classical world was based in worldly things instead of in God and the happiness that God encompasses.

Another change in the view of existence that came with the rise of Christianity was the idea of predetermination. Classical thought viewed chance as a major influence on a person's life; and chance was the cause of all the things that happened. However, Boethius is taught that "the order of the universe, advancing with its inevitable sequences, brings about this coincidence of causes. The order itself emanates from its source, which is Providence, and disposes all things in their proper time and place." (Cooper 2009, 61-62) God controls Providence, and while people have freewill to make their own choices, God already seems to know the choices that everyone will make. Boethius seems to be attempting to rationalize the Classical view of chance with the idea that the Christian view of God is all knowing.

For a long time after the fall of Rome, Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy was one of the most popular and most copied books in Western Europe. Some have said that it bridged the gap between the Classical view of the world and the Medieval Christian view, or that it provided a means by which Classical knowledge could be incorporated into the Medieval Christian world. Boethius was certainly a Christian, but his thought was heavily influenced by the older traditions of the Classical world. Beginning with the fact that he was visited by the Classical idea of "Philosophy," continuing through the "success" he thought he had attained during his life, and ending with the destruction of the idea of "chance," Boethius is heavily influenced by the ideas and knowledge of the old, pagan, Classical world. But the way in which these Classical ideas are transformed into the basis of Christian thought is the key to Boethius' success as a writer. Christians of the Middle Ages needed a way to connect the miserable world in which they lived to the high ideas of Christianity. Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy is a way to merge the old, worldly view with the new spiritual Christian view.

References

Cooper, W.V. 2009. "The Consolation of Philosophy by Anicius Manlius Severinus

Boethius." The Ex-classics Project. Accessed 15 Sept. 2012.…… [read more]


Religion and Globalization and Religion: An Annotated Annotated Bibliography

Annotated Bibliography  |  2 pages (500 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1

SAMPLE TEXT:

Religion and Globalization

Globalization and Religion: An Annotated Bibliography

Bhaskar, V.S. Faith and Philosophy in Buddhism. New Delhi: Kalpaz Publications, 2009.

Print.

At the very core of the ideals of Buddhism lies globalization. Author V.S. Bhaskar sees Buddhism as a global, world religion that stresses interdependence with all peoples combined with cooperation for the mutual good. In the age of global travel and communication, people often feel disconnected even as they attempt to reach out and become closer to others. Buddhism offers a way to transcend this disconnection and enhance both local and regional cultures. When this concept is applied to politics and economics, it allows nations to control their own circumstances while still striving for a greater good for all humankind. The author calls for Buddhists to articulate this and actively try to enhance globalization. Bhaskar's book is a philosophical introduction to various ideals of Buddhism, not completely scholarly in premise, but designed for the lay reader of all levels.

Esposito, J., Fasching, D., Lewis, T. Religion and Globalization: World Religions in Historical Perspective. New York: Oxford University Press. Print.

One of the ways in which the late 20th century evolved was the change in economic, political, and cultural movements that, through technology, seemed to move countries of the world closer together. This idea, broadly called globalism, refers generally to the idea that as life becomes more technologically complex, people in various countries are tied together, regardless of their government, culture, religion, or specific country. Similarly, the 21st century…… [read more]


Christianity and the Environment Essay

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Bibliography Sources: 5

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The authors explain by considering the ways in which Christian involvement in environmental issues can also be a vehicle for bringing the Gospel to those who had not heard it. In this view, one of the primary reasons for Christian involvement in environmental protection is evangelizing others with the same concern for the environment.

The environment has become such a… [read more]


Biblical View on Poverty Social Justices Term Paper

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Biblical View on Poverty, Social Justice

Poverty emerges as the result of deprivation from accessing the basic necessities including health and food. From time immemorial, the role of poverty plays is crucial for sustainable development of human beings. It is worth noting that poverty is one of the most common themes in the bible. The poor keeps on featuring in God's plans and they are commonly referred as the oppressed and deprived. "God has a plan for the poor," that is the main theme that always come when the poor are being mentioned. From the term being used to describe the poor, the bible brings to our attention that there are some "external forces" that is oppressing and depriving the poor, which of course should be the other human beings who are rich. From this, the term social justice sets in, since if justice was to prevail the poor could not have been oppressed or deprived of their basic need. Not only was poverty a menace to the Israelites, it also present a serious threat to the daily lives of the modern people and its discussion will be of much importance to the whole world. This paper discusses the what the bible say about poverty and the role of social justice especially among the Israel's who were the main subject in poverty discussion.

The biblical version of poverty

Views in the Old Testament

The Hebrew Bible mainly uses the Israelites as the subjects to poverty. Due to lack of justice from the Egyptians, the Israelites are oppressed and made to serve the former making them to be poor (Malchow, 1996). Therefore, this made the Israelites know what injustice could do to their own society. In their own land, the Israelites had to look for a way of eliminating injustice which would prevail among them. This could come because of the rise of the stratified society composed of the merchants and the poor. The merchants acquired much land thereby leaving the other group, which consisted of families without land and were unable to trade, in a poor situation (Tighe 1989). The different family structures during their exodus from Egypt could have also paved way for the injustice among the Israelites. This gave rise to an imbalance of the economic order among the Israelites. According to the Hebrew Bible, this paved a way for the Near Eastern concern which was more of a structure to support the weak. It started from the gods, then the monarchs who represented the former in the societies, then finally to the ordinary people who had to keep watch of their brothers (Malchow, 1996). The gods provided the rulers with the special responsibility of ensuring that there was justice in the society. The Israelites law book also designed a structure in which there was prevention of accumulation of much wealth among the rich. The law also prevented the rich from exploiting the poor. To ensure that the law had it way, during the harvesting period, the edge… [read more]


Havel Quote Response Article

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Havel Quote

Response to Havel

I agree with Vaclav Havel that the modern tragedy is man's lack of concern regarding the meaning of his life. As a firm believer in God, I believe that there is a definite purpose to our existence, and that to find and serve that purpose should be the paramount goal of every life. Not being able to be certain about one's purpose is difficult, of course, and God does not necessarily make it easy for one to discern (and much less to achieve) what the "meaning of his own life" might be, but this does not excuse anyone from the need to seek out and hopefully to identify the meaning they were meant to find in their life. Religion and more simply a faith in God used to provide the impetus for individuals to seek out a better mode of existence for themselves, not in terms of acquiring greater luxuries or comforts in the material world but in terms of bettering themselves and seeking true meaning within themselves and in the world around them -- God is the mover of souls towards their own self-realization, in other…… [read more]


Life of Jesus, Critically Examined Book Report

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Despite his supreme understanding of humanity from the clear vantage afforded by historical consideration, Strauss severely misjudged his own contemporary's potential revulsion to the radical nature of his work. Expressing his own expectations of a positive reception from

4. Ibid, 71

5. Ibid, 71

the European public, Strauss stated his hope that The Life of Jesus, Critically Examined would be well received, and perhaps even embraced "by serious and enlightened men of all persuasions as a liberation from the fetters of dogmatism and as a basis for the revitalization of the true essence of the Christian faith."6 Instead, both high ranking members of the church establishment and common worshippers alike roundly condemned his positions on the identity of their savior, criticizing Straus as woefully unorthodox at best, and dangerously heretical at worst. The sheer audacity displayed by Strauss, who publically "denied the claim that Jesus was the incarnated God, and also refused the historicity of Church dogmas concerning the person of Jesus on the basis of historical criticism and speculative philosophy"7 during an era when spiritual deviance was punishable by death speaks to the highly contentious nature of his claims. Indeed, modern scholars have consistently concluded that Strauss' ability to devalue the power of divinity in the mind of the readers as his most lasting contribution to religious discussion, with author Marylin Chapin Massey citing the author's implied exhortation that "the potentiality seeming to belong only to one exalted human belonged, rather, to humanity itself"8 as a particularly daring yet powerful pronouncement.

In the more than two centuries since The Life of Jeses, Critically Examined was first published, the impact of Strauss' arguments has been perhaps more influential than any other comparable religious examination. Both the established church hierarchy and the layman alike have been forced to confront their own preconceived notions when faced with such inscrutable

1. Hodgson, xxiv

2. Lawler, 44-45

3. Massey, 79

historical evidence, leading to major reformations from within and a worldwide awakening to the possibility that Jesus himself not the divine son of God, but merely the convenient amalgamation of various tales, parables and teachings. Never before in human history had one person so clearly illuminated the illusions of religious tradition, and with the mythologizing of the Gospel accounts finally and firmly exposed, entire generations of Europeans were liberated from the shackles of dogmatic instruction. Today, scholars credit this revolution in religious thinking on the part of Strauss with his ability to lift "readers from submission to an exalted figure of the past and from the correlative stagnation of their own religious development (and) & #8230; raise their consciousness to a recognition of their own human potential as bearers of truth and meaning and as agents of historical change."9 For the modern reader, studying Strauss' perceptive proclamations two centuries after they were put to paper, the consequences of his work may not appear to be as momentous as previously stated, but our contemporary ability to judge religious doctrine on its own merits and express… [read more]


Cause of Armed Conflict Research Paper

Research Paper  |  4 pages (1,209 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 4

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In these cases, the fault lines towards other believers within the same religion are essential to the members' self-understanding, although their other important identity markers may coincide with other significant boundaries of the overall churchly organization. Relations between groups that stand close may often be more conflictual than between groups without contiguity. This is also applicable in the case of religion; relations between interrelated religious groups have often proven to be more conflictual than between world religions. While many religious identities are fundamentally inclusive and welcoming of the 'other', it remains a fact that some of the world's most exclusionary identities are religiously founded.

The organizational basis of religion can also feed into conflict. In its own right, religions may contain organizational set-ups or networks of followers that may be recruited en bloc for the war effort. In modern inter-state war, this was largely unthinkable; in the intra-state wars of today, it is not uncommon. For the Taliban, for instance, the Sunni Islamic networks rooted in the madrasas, the religious training institutions (in this case in Afghanistan and Pakistan), served as the organizational backbone. Somewhat counter intuitively, the Taliban was successful in pulling together those networks, which are both loosely organized and fragmentary, under a joint command. Religious organizations may also contribute to war through its cooperation with other organizations, most prominently the state. They may offer not only normative legitimization of action; in addition, the organization may also be used to provide leadership and a ground for recruitment. The potential of religious organizations as focal points for recruitment and mobilization cannot be over-estimated. The Islamist terror attacks in the U.S., Spain and the UK illustrates how it is not the number of adherents that is decisive, but rather the organization of activities within a religious framework. Organized religion, with scriptures and standardized procedures, limits and restricts individual freedom of action, but does therefore have a decisive potential for altering the behavioral patterns of its adherents through its control over the normative and ethical foundations of action.

Ultimately, however, it remains a question whether religion is a dominant cause of conflict, or if it only serves to reinforce (or potentially moderate) other causes. Douglas M. Johnston and Jonathon Eastvold provide an example from the Bosnian conflict on the ambivalent effect of religion (Johnston and Eastvold 2004). While they argue that religion was anything but a root cause of the Balkan war, the authors show how religion served in various ways and in varying degrees to reinforce the nationalist fervor that divided the Serbs, Croatians and Bosnians, primarily by reinforcing national identities with religiously rooted fault lines, drawing religious organizations into the conflict as representative of the opposing parties. This in consequence fragmented the normative consensus of society. While this is only a singular example, it captures the widely held sentiment that religion is playing a limited role in initiating conflict, but an important role in perpetuating it once under way.

References

McTernan, Oliver. 2003. Violence in God's Name: Religion in… [read more]


Christianity and Hinduism Essay

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Bibliography Sources: 1+

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Prominent features in both religions

Christianity and Hinduism have some features in common, among the feature include, the existence of Supernatural realm. In Christianity they is only one true God who is the sole creator of the universe and the entire human race and in unity of the Godhead there are three persons, of one substance, eternity and power. These are; the father, the son and the Holy Ghost (Davies 99-105). In Hinduism, they are also one God called the Brahman and they are also the three in -- one- God which includes; Brahman, Vishna, and Shiva.[footnoteRef:7] [7: Wolfe, G. Common Themes in the World's Great Religions. Austin, (Texas: Jomar Press,1994), 150-167]

Another common feature in these religions is worship and prayers. In both Christianity and Hinduism people have the obligation of praising and worshiping their Gods. This is the main way through which people gets closer to God and take their needs to God. In worshiping, people from both religions get high level of spiritual realization as well as beatitudes. The effect of worshiping and praying make the followers to be in close relationship with the God as he provides for the entire humankind

Christianity and Hinduism are two religions that help people attain higher spiritual realization and enable them to appreciate the existence of the Supreme Being. Despite some differences in these religions, both have almost the same purpose of worshiping and maintaining a Holy relationship between people and God. It also helps the worshipers to understand who have the divine power and its effect to followers

This topic is important and helps us understand the religions in the world. The thesis is correct and enables to understand different beliefs that constitute different religions and how the belief affects the followers. The strong points include; divinity of power and its effect on worshipers as well as the entire humankind.

Work cited

Davies, A.P. The First Christian: A Study of St. Paul and Christian Origins. (New York: Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, 1957), 99-105

Michael K. Wilson www.facetofaceintercultural.com.au July 2007

O'Flaherty, W.D. The Rig Veda: An Anthology. (London: Penguin Books 1981), 20-59

Schaefer, Jame. "Appreciating the Beauty of the Earth," Theological Studies 62: 1 (March 2001): 23-52.

Wolfe, G. Common Themes in the World's Great Religions.…… [read more]


Characterizations of Satan in Paradise Term Paper

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As much as Satan wishes to reject heaven, Milton describes Satan's kingdom as a darker semblage of heaven; he rules like a king, just as God does; he has a throne and many followers. In his rebellion, Satan has recreated his version of the kingdom of heaven where he is God and ruler over all who align with his cause. In this poem, Satan and Beelzebub are distinctly different people, whereas in contemporary literature and thinking, Beelzebub and Satan are synonyms. Beelzebub is a figure of prominence, particularly Satan as he acts as his advisor or counsel in important matters. Together they move forward on their plan to corrupt the human race and destroy or subjugate the kingdom of heaven once and for all.

By book 4, the war has commenced and the battles for the fates of heaven and humanity have begun. The language Milton uses to describe Satan is what one would use to describe an animal. This is yet another way Milton reveals his position regarding religion and really, humanity as well. Those who side with Satan are not human, they are demons and beasts, which one of several themes a reader may infer when studying the text closely. Satan's approach and conquest is slow and gradual, yet it takes place nonetheless. Milton does not portray Satan as a figure who rushes into decisions or actions, but one who is steadfast, contemplative, and persistent. Satan does not give up easily. In this book, the destruction of Eden begins, and many characters are introduced, such as Eve, Bacchus, and other beings that crisscross and overlap over the mythologies of many cultures. This poem truly is an epic undertaking.

Milton's position on heaven, man, and hell are quite apparent in "Paradise Lost." It would have been simple to make Satan and Beelzebub two-dimensional characters, who simply are evil or evil incarnate. Milton chooses to incorporate a great deal of background, detail and dimension to these characters, almost to the point where a reader may sympathize or empathize with their feelings, position, and actions. This tells readers that war is not simple or straightforward. There are man aspects of war that may be unclear or undefined for many parties involved. By adding details such as personal history and revisiting many places from religion and mythology, "Paradise Lost" engages the reader on many levels -- imagination, one's sense of humanity, and the significance of spirituality in people's lives.

References:

Literature.org. (2012) Paradise Lost. Milton, J. Available from http://www.literature.org/authors/milton-john/paradise-lost/index.html. 2012 June 01.… [read more]


Paradise Lost in His Epic Poem Essay

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Paradise Lost

In his epic poem Paradise Lost, John Milton characterizes Satan in such a way that William Blake actually suggested that Milton was "of the Devil's party without knowing it." This is because in Blake's view, Satan was actually the true protagonist of Paradise Lost, as Milton presents him as a far more relatable and sympathetic character than one… [read more]


Secularism as a Political and Social Movement Term Paper

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Secularism

One of the most important and disruptive political and social movements of the last three centuries has been the push towards the secularization of the public sphere, but it has been frequently misunderstood by its proponents and critics alike. This is because, on the one hand, religious thought is definitionally incapable of accurately assessing either itself or other modes… [read more]


Martin Luther and Christian Inculturation in the 16 Century Research Paper

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Martin Luther and His Profound Effect on Christianity

For modern day Christians, the mention of Martin Luther brings about a significant division in the way these individuals perceive this man who had such a momentous effect on Christianity and the way it is practiced in modern times. For many historians and laymen alike, Martin Luther is viewed as a radical… [read more]


Antigone Literature Has the Ability Research Paper

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Between Polynices and his brother Eteocles, it would seem that the former was in the right and the latter very much in the wrong. Between Creon and Antigone, there is no question that both felt their positions were very much in the right. Creon blamed Polynices for attacking his home city of Thebes, despite the provocation. His treachery was towards the city and the people who died were as much his own as Eteocles'. For Antigone, her duty was to her brother. It is Grecian religious law that a corpse must be buried with all due honor and respect, especially a prince. In her very heart, she believed that she had no choice but to disobey the king's orders, lest she feel the wrath of the very gods themselves. Creon, unlike any of the other characters realizes his error and tries to make amends. True to the tragic form, he is too late. Pride led to the death of his niece and son and he is forever left with blood on his hands.

Works Cited

Anouilh, Jean, Barbara Bray, and E. Freeman. Antigone. London: Methuen, 2000. Print.

Fogerty, Elsie, and Isabel Bonus. The Antigone of Sophocles: Adapted and Arranged for Amateur Performance in Girls' Schools. London: Swan Sonnenschein &, Lim., 1903. Print.

The Norton Anthology of World Literature. New York: Norton, 2001. Print.

Robert, William. Trials: of Antigone and Jesus. New York: Fordham UP, 2010. Print.

Rolfe, Henry Winchester, A.T. Murray, and H. Rushton Fairclough. Antigone?, an Account of the Presentation of the Antigone of Sophocles at the Leland Stanford Junior University, April Seventeenth and Nineteenth, Nineteen Hundred and Two. San Francisco: P.…… [read more]


Hinduism and People Research Paper

Research Paper  |  5 pages (1,789 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+

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Therefore, any path that leads to some sort of enlightened attitude is encouraged in the Hindu religion.

Each component of the religion that is known as Hinduism is designed so that the individual person can create the religious experience that he or she needs. People of the Hindu world, particularly in places like India, are born into the caste system. Once a member of a caste, it is nearly impossible to change the socioeconomic position of the individual. Therefore, the economic position of that individual is less important than that of the choices they make in terms of their religion. Each person belongs in one of the four stages of life: Brahmacharya, Grihastaashrama, Vanaprasta Ashrama, and Sannyasa Ashrama. A person is a student, an adult, a retiree, or an elderly person awaiting death. Everyone, despite their religion or their economic standing, fits into one of these life categories. Additionally, each person chooses which philosophy of religion that they will practice as well as which deities he or she will believe in. Hinduism, unlike all the other world religions, allows for individual choice explaining how those that practice and promote Hinduism respect and appreciate the individual.

Works Cited:

Keene, Michael. Religion in Life and Society. Dublin, Ireland: Folens. 2004. Print.

Ketkar, Shridhar. The History of Caste in India: Evidence of the Laws of Manu. Ithaca, NY:

Taylor & Carpenter. 1909. Print.

Lipner, Julius. Hindus: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices. Chatham. 1994. Print.

Michaels, Axel. Hinduism: Past and Present. Princeton. 2004. Print.

Molloy, Michael. Experiencing the World's Religions. McGraw-Hill. 2009. Print.

Nanda, J.N. Conflicts and Co-Existence, India. New Delhi, India: Concept. 1991.

Van Voorst, Robert E.…… [read more]


Rawls Ways of Thinking Essay

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Rawlsian Argument in Favor of a Secular Society

One can make a Rawlsian argument that we should have a secular society because morality does not have to be dictated by religion. The main argument in favor of having a religious society is that, absent the influence of religion, people worry that the world would devolve into anarchy and that the baser side of human nature, uncontrolled by religious concerns, would dominate society. However, Rawls make a compelling argument that morality is not dependent upon religion. Instead, he suggests that moral rules and laws can be established without resorting to religions. He believes that human beings, as members of society, can join together to establish guidelines for moral behavior.

It is critical to keep in mind that having a secular society that determines the rules and conditions for membership in that society in a non-religious manner does not seem to require that the individual members of that society abandon their religious teachings or learning when determining those ethical rules and norms. Rawls seems to have acknowledged that the establishment of the existence of God and reliance on religious ethics and norms has helped shape what behavior is considered normal and ethical in society. He does not suggest that society should abandon those norms that may have been shaped by religious values. However, he does suggest that religion should not dictate laws and values. The secular society that Rawls imagines seems at odds with modern America where the religion of Presidential candidates gets far more scrutiny than other aspects of their character. It seems to be a reminder of what may have been intended by the Founding Fathers, who specifically prohibited the use of a religious test to qualify political candidates.

One of the biggest arguments that people make in favor of a non-secular society is that keeping religion in society protects those who are the weakest and most vulnerable in a society. However, the history of religious oppression argues against the notion that religion…… [read more]


Thomas More's Utopia as a Criticism of 16th Century England Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,441 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 1

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Utopia

Thomas More's Utopia is particularly interesting piece of satirical literature precisely because it does not offer any easy readings. That is to say, however one wants to interpret More's point there is complicating evidence that forces one to reconsider; for example, imagining that Utopia represents More's proposal for an ideal society is complicated by the fact that the name… [read more]


Life it Is Important Thesis

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Muhammad's message is for the entire universe. Those who have pondered over and followed his teachings are reported to have lead meaningful and a satisfied life. The Prophet Muhammad's teachings appear to have a continuous positive effect on the human souls (Nyang 297).

Every one of us faces ethical issues at work and at home. It is important for the… [read more]


Eschatology Eternal Punishment Term Paper

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Bibliography Sources: 2

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Therefore, it may be difficult to choose one of these three eschatological perspectives and deliver this view definitively. All three can and should be entertained, as a means of encouraging close reading and internalization of scripture. At the same time, Christian missions and evangelical endeavors require a strong focus that precludes too-liberal interpretations of scripture. I would therefore adhere mostly to the universalist perspective, because of what it entails insofar as evangelical and missionary activities are designed to do.

Eternal damnation is indeed too much to fathom for many believers or would-be believers. The scriptural support for eternal damnation is also not as robust as it is for both universalism and for annihilationism. It is mainly the gospel of Matthew that is explicit in the perspective of eternal damnation. Within the eternal damnation framework, however, it is still possible to surrender one's beliefs about God and God's will. Eternal damnation may be a part of God's plan. Annihilation, on the other hand, is supported mostly by the Old Testament, rendering a Christian perspective weaker. Although scriptural support for annihilation is strong, and it is an attractive principle, universalism is the most attractive in the sense that it is optimistic.

Universalism may seem unrealistic, given the potential for the Day of Judgment to arrive at any moment prior to the salvation of all souls in Christ. However, from the perspective of an evangelist, it is important to cultivate that sense of optimism in believers. Believers also need to have a reason to evangelize: to spread the word of the gospel. A universalist perspective provides the impetus to get out there and save souls, rather than become resigned to the fact that there are 7 billion of us and counting -- and how on earth will it be possible to convert everyone? The answer to that question lies with God and the Holy Spirit, and it is not up to us to question that Will.

A universalist perspective hearkens to Romans 5:19: "For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous." It is crucial that Christians spread the Good News so that the many will be made righteous: the inevitable outcome of the Final Day of Judgment. If we believe strongly in the Word of Christ, then we also believe that all souls shall somehow be saved. We do not need to fathom the practical methods by which that spiritual event shall take place; only to have faith that indeed it will occur on earth.

References

"Annihilationism," (n.d.). Theopedia. Retrieved online: http://www.theopedia.com/Annihilationism

Martin, C. (2012). Hell, Hades, Scheol, Gehanna. Retrieved online: http://acharlie.tripod.com/bible_study/hell_hades.html

Pinnock, C.H. (n.d.). The destruction of the finally impenitent. Retrieved online: http://grcog.homestead.com/destruction_of_the_finally_impen.htm

"Sheol," (n.d.). Jewish Encyclopedia. Retrieved online: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/13563-sheol… [read more]


African Culture the Novel Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,262 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2

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Polygamy was accepted in the Senegalese traditions. Even though Ousmane and Mirelle wanted to live monogamous marriage, Ousmane went ahead and marries Ouleymatou.

Rituals

Ritual practices are portrayed to be common in the African culture. In the light of Ngugi wa Thiongo, before marriage, circumcision of the girl was done. At the night of circumcision, there is a dance that intends to show the individuals undergoing it, shown when Waiyaki got to talk to Nyambura's sister and even danced with her. When circumcised, the wound is treated with herbs for quick healing.

In the novel by Mariama Ba, rituals were performed upon the death of a person. A woman screams three times to show the pain and joy of the death. Several praises are said before the body is laid to rest, and the importance of the deceased to the family. Praises were given to each individual too associated with the deceased, and it mattered a lot on one's reputation.

Religion

Religions in the African concept are set to abide by. In The River Between, Joshua is a strict Christian and forces his family into it. Even though his younger daughter breaks away, he still performs his duty as a Christian, he leads church services every Sunday and he is also against female circumcision according to Christianity. He disowns his own younger daughter who breaks away from Christianity. Traditionalists on the other hand rebel from Christianity, that being the major reason of hatred between the two ridges. Traditionalist believes Christianity is a religion that is foreign and inferior from what they actually believe. Christianity is said to be learnt, shown when Waiyaki leaves for the missionary station in order to learn Christianity. Joshua and Kabonyi to meet together at the missionary school when they were learning Christianity.

The Wolof is Muslim. The Wolof religion support polygamy, and strictly marriage between the Muslims. Ousmane marries a Senegalese woman after religious drift forces him to. He is pressured by his fellow Muslims and they even end up making him marry Ouleymatou. Mirelle changes her religion from Christianity to Muslim in order for Ousmane to marry her (Parek and Agne, 1998, 66).

Race

Race is a factor that cause drift between people as portrayed in the novels. According to Ngugi, the British race during the colonial rule is the major cause of hatred between the two ridges. British came along with Christianity, and for those who reform are rebelled by the traditionalists who fight to hold on to their culture. To the Wolof too, race is a base of hatred between two different groups or people. Upon learning the relationship between Mirelle and Ousmane, Mirelle father booked a ticket for the return of Mirelle to France. This is a basis of discrimination as shown by Ba in her novel.

Marriage

Marriage is a traditional practice of the Africans, which was determined by several factors. According to Ngugi, marriage took place after the circumcision of a girl to symbolize womanhood. No man would want… [read more]


Thomas More's Utopia Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,280 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1

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There was a need for creation of better policies, which would ensure sufficient provision for everyone just like in Utopia and not the privatization policies depriving the larger community, and leaving wealth in the hands of a few people. In utopia, slaves were free to take food, drinks and clothes from friends, and not allowed to take money. However, the economic, social and political aspects in England promoted theft. These were like the preserved soldiers, exploitation from the rich and enclosure movement that stole the livelihood of peasants. It was like, "manufacturing thieves and then blaming them for being thieves" (More).

The circulation of money was available to Christian Monks, because the king had a feeling that this would add up the commerce and exchange. There was also a superstitious opinion that gained popularity that suggested that money and possessions in a country, would increase injustice and promote a poor administration. Utopias economy depended on revenues, lands, gold and treasures. "As long as there is property, and while money is the standard of all things, I cannot think that a nation can be governed either justly or happily; not justly" (More).

Utopia is multi-denominational; and yet nevertheless, they still believed that there was one highest mortal. This empowers more insight of upholding Christian observation as the only means of rescuing the society from the atrocities like the ones England faced. In his portrayal of the leadership of England and comparing it with those of Utopia, he comes up with a proposition to streamline the flaws, which existed at the time regarding leadership and policies. "The setting is on acquiring new kingdoms, right or wrong, than on governing well those they possess" (More). That is the challenge, which faces England in its bid for curbing theft from the society. The rules laid down for punishing offenders like thieves thought to be, in conformity, to biblical commandments against theft. No wonder, the cardinal resorts to More for an opinion of the best means of punishing thieves, other than using capital punishment on criminals. Being a Christian More is apt in mentioning the high handedness of capital punishment notably as blasphemy against Gods command for no killing. "That the soul of man is immortal, and that God of His goodness has designed that it should be happy; and that He has, therefore, appointed rewards for good and virtuous actions, and punishments for vice, to be distributed after this life" (More).

His idea and proposition in relation to Polylerites policies produce scorn from his listeners who view their negativity. It brings the conclusion that the introduction of new policies into a system is not easy to people focused on one end of opinion like the England leaders. "If you do not find a remedy to these evils, it is a vain thing to boast of your severity in punishing theft" (More). Utopia creates a platform for the discussion of events in England at the time. These are such as tolerance of religion, economic status… [read more]


English Civil War Essay

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Bibliography Sources: 5

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387). This obviously represents the destruction of the rebel movement, as it is contrasted with Milton's description of God's angels staying in line and keeping their military fortitude. Still, Satan's healing does show an optimistic hope for a commonwealth in the future. He lives to fight another day, "Yet soon he healed, for spirits that live throughout / Vital in… [read more]


Exegesis of Philippians Essay

Essay  |  15 pages (5,438 words)
Bibliography Sources: 7

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Exegesis of Philippians

Christians throughout history have faced struggles and trials, some affecting the Church as a whole, and some deeply personal, and the very same is true today. At times like this, when we feel alone, abandoned, and as if the horrors and abuses of the world might be too much to bear, it becomes almost too easy to… [read more]


Response to Being an Atheist Essay

Essay  |  6 pages (1,864 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1

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Atheist

A Rational Response to Atheism

Atheism is a religious orientation which argues that there is empirical and irrefutable proof that God does not exist. Constructing rational arguments to demonstrate the inherent flaws in the thinking of the theologically oriented, those philosophically inclined toward atheism will tend to decry religious observation for its blind certainty of God's existence. Simultaneously though,… [read more]


Spirituality in Healthcare Term Paper

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Spirituality in Healthcare

Understanding spirituality in healthcare environments is important for any professional in the healthcare industry, simply because knowledge translates into power, and well-informed, well-trained, alert talent in healthcare settings can save lives and help individuals become healthy by relying on more than medications and personal attention. This paper delves into the reasons for linking spirituality with healthcare, and using appropriate spiritual tools when the patients that nurses, doctors and others in the field care for need this support. Moreover, studies show that people with strong spiritual believes actually heal faster, hence, competent, compassionate healthcare professionals certainly need to be informed and active in spirituality vis-a-vis healthcare settings.

ONE (a). What is spirituality and why is it important in healthcare settings? According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, spirituality is a belief in a power far greater than humans can imagine; spirituality is a sense and an awareness that humans are connected to the world and all its creatures. "It's the way you find meaning, hope, comfort, and inner peace in your life" (Ehrlich, 2011, p. 1). Hence, since spirituality is a greater power than religion per se, and because spirituality links alert humans with their physical and metaphysical world, this paper provides relevant information about those concepts.

TWO -- Different Traditions. An article in the Journal of Clinical Nursing (Pesut, et al., 2008, p. 2804) discusses historical and social traditions and contexts for the use of spirituality in nursing. First, Pesut mentions "common themes" through the years, including: "meaning, purpose, hope, connectedness, relationship, transcendence, existential experiences and power/force/energy" (2804). Spirituality is frequently described as "…a journey of lived experience, characterized by a greater sense of peace, meaning, purpose and connectedness" (Pesut, 2804).

Tradition #1: The historical traditions of spirituality begin with the Enlightenment, when religion, in particular Christianity, had a very powerful role in the workings of the Western world. The claims that religious dogma held at that time -- juxtaposed with the Enlightenment's emphasis on the "pre-eminence of reason" -- were actually challenged. In other words, the Enlightenment challenged organized religion's dogmas as to their level of truth and authority, Pesut explains (2804). Because of the emergence of spirituality (with its origins in the Enlightenment) and the challenge to the authority of the church, "…religion in the Western world lost much of its social and political authority" (Pesut, 2804).

In fact, because of the Enlightenment, the assumption that the world was "essentially homogeneous in nature" and governed by the laws of nature, theology became a kind of science searching for God, Pesut explains (2805). Reason dominated religions dialogue. Hence, God became a "problem" that needed studying, and moreover organized religion became "suspect as a bearer of revealed truths about God" (Pesut, 2805). Influential thinkers like Freud, Durkheim, Max Weber and Karl Marx suggested that religion would fade away gradually as the industrial age emerged.

Tradition #2: In postmodern spirituality, reason lost some of its glow, Pesut asserts on page 2805. Part of the rejection of Enlightenment's… [read more]


Age of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky Term Paper

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Age of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky

Compare and contrast L.N. Tolstoy and F.M. Dostoevsky with respect to their writing style and their thought.

Nineteenth-century Russia was a time of profound political and social changes. The Russian Empire continued to expand into the south, while the reputation of the Romanov dynasty was at its all-time low. Frequent riots and political assassination attempts… [read more]


Magic as a Central Theme Term Paper

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Moses went from the burning bush back to Egypt almost forty years after he had left it. He confronted Pharaoh for his evil treatment of the Hebrews and demanded that Pharaoh let them go. Famously, Pharaoh did not acquiesce until Moses had orchestrated the pass over night when all of the first born of Egypt were killed except for those… [read more]


Reflecting Christian Counseling and Spiritual Formation Term Paper

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Counseling

What I have learned in this class is that techniques such as the twelve steps to spirituality and Multiple Counseling Techniques help people not only get closer to God, but to become a centered spiritual person through Christian counseling. I have learned the steps to spirituality are steps that lead the client down a path that helps them to… [read more]


Man as a Passive Agent Essay

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¶ … Man as a Passive Agent in His Construction of Himself

In "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" Nicholas Carr makes the argument that the internet has not only changed how people can access information, but also how people process that information that they do access. As his title suggests, he believes that the internet has contributed to a decline… [read more]


Remembering Jesus the Communicative Approach Term Paper

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¶ … Communicative Approach to Acts 25:30

As Jeannine Brown (2007) notes, it was Zwingli who advocated pulling verses from the Bible and doing "with them as we will" (p. 213). However, removing Scripture from its context shows little "respect for the text as communicative act" (Brown, 2007, p. 213). According to the Communicative Approach, Scripture should be accessed on… [read more]


Experiencing the Sacred Compare St Essay

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On the one hand, a religious experience is as valid as any other psychological experience. Like love or fear, the numinous is an experience that cannot be quantified or explained logically. Yet it still does exist, and is a part of the human consciousness, psyche, and experience. On the other hand, there is still no proof that religious experience actually points to the reality of any sacred or divine dimension. Just because people experience the divine, or a god, does not mean that those experiences are anything more than psychological. Religious experience is private, even when it is shared in a communal worship or ceremony.

To debate this issue, it is first important to define what a religious experience is. There are generally two types of religious experience: the mystical type and the religious type. The mystical type of religious experience is one that is characterized by a sense of oneness or unity. There is no separation between the self and the divine. In this sense, the mystical experience shares much in common with the philosophies of Hinduism and Buddhism.

The other type, a religious experience, is one that is characterized by an encounter with a God. This is the type most commonly reported among followers of monotheistic faiths such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Indeed, the prophets of these three religions all have religious, rather than mystical, experience.

Both the types of religious experiences are problematic to study because they depend on description. Religious experiences are often ineffable; that is, they do not lend themselves well to being described with words. As direct encounters, the religious experiences described by Christ, Muhammad, Buddha, and other figures are codified in the best way known to those individuals. Language can come in the way of the religious experience, which is one argument against their being meaningful on any ontological level. Therefore, there are two main arguments against religious experience providing evidence of the sacred: one is that these experiences are only psychological and private; the other is that even when they are shared, they cannot be replicated or communicated readily. The one main argument in favor of religious experiences being evidence of the divine is that they are nearly universal in nature.

Works Cited

Kessler, Gary. "Experiencing the Sacred." 2008.

Pojman, Louis. "The Argument from Religious Experience." Chapter 5 in…… [read more]


Anthropology Santeria in Cuba Research Paper

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Both blacks and women were given rights they had not taken pleasure in before. Santeria was still not quite suitable in refined society, and both this religion and Catholicism were measured as intimidating and incompatible with the thoughts of the revolution. Both religions were barred. Santeria because it was thought to be prehistoric and unsuited with the ground-breaking ideas of a learned people. Catholicism was banned because its strong hierarchy and international associates could directly threaten the Cuban government (The History of Santeria, 2012).

It was only in the early 1990's that complete religious freedom was initiated in Cuba. The reason is supposedly that Castro realised there was not necessarily any disagreement between being revolutionary and religious. Additionally, he no doubt realised that education and bans would not in any case chase either Catholic saints or African Santos from the nation. Today, Santeria is a visible part of life and can be seen on the street. Even though Santeria is widespread, it is still not accepted in all walks of life and amongst all groups (The History of Santeria, 2012).

Today Santeria is far more accepted than it was just ten years ago, even though there are still a lot of sceptics and critics. Yet, it is hard to say how many supporters Santeria has as no data are available. Cuba's yearly statistical survey for 1999 said nothing about the number of believers or how extensive this religion is. One reason for this lack of data may be that the organisational makeup of the cult makes it hard to get a clear indication of the quantity of believers, but it is also due to the authorities' lack of concern in finding out and making the figures known (The History of Santeria, 2012).

Santeria is visible today in that it is present in popular music and seen in the tourist industry in cabaret shows and tourist products. According to people in Havana, all music groups with any self-worth will have at least one song in their repertory about Santeria or the Santos. "In parallel with the Cubans' growing interest in Santeria, foreigners have also discovered this religion, and many go to Cuba to be initiated. Most of them come from other countries in Latin America and the U.S.A., but there are also Santeros and Babalawos in Europe" (The History of Santeria, 2012).

In the past the religion was practiced in secret, for the reason that people frowned on the strange traditions of the African natives. Although today the requirement for keeping the religion secret has generally vanished, it is practiced today in secrecy out of a strong sense of custom. "Santeria now lives on in small numbers in many countries around the world: the U.S. (New York, Florida), South American countries, and Europe. It is still mostly practiced in secret, but a few churches have emerged, giving the people a place to practice Santeria freely. One in particular, The Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, was formed in the early 1970's… [read more]


Myth According to Kessler (N Essay

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d.). As Otto Rank (1914) states, symbolic theory explains how the archetype of the hero is prevalent throughout different societies. Finally, the phenomenological theory of myth states that, "myths are manifestations of the sacred," (Kessler, n.d., p. 73). Mircea Eliade (1957) takes a phenomenological approach by stating things like, the "gods founded sacred time" (p. 70).

2. In many ancient cultures, there is a myth of a god who dies and is later reborn. The Egyptians had this myth with Osiris. Later, the Christians had this myth with Jesus Christ. The Hindus also have myths about gods that die and are reborn. The death/rebirth myth can be explained using all five of the theories of myth. Using the rationalistic theory, the death/rebirth phenomenon would just be a way to explain why a man was pronounced clinically dead when he was really still alive. According to functionalist theory, the death/rebirth myth like that of Jesus Christ is important in creating a Christian identity. It helps people believe in the power of God and Jesus Christ. According to the phenomenological theory, the myth of a dead and reborn god persists throughout different cultures because it is real on some level. Human beings perceive this essential spiritual reality via the story. Finally, the structuralist theory would hold that the death/rebirth myth connotes cognitive structures (Kessler, n.d.). The Christ story, for example, shows that human beings need to order their universe according to categories like "life" and "death."

References

Eliade, M. (1957). The sacred and the profane.

Rank, O. (1914). The myth of the rebirth of the hero.

Kessler, G. (n.d.). Studying religion.… [read more]


Flaubert / Dostoevsky Examples Essay

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The bookseller, with as much indifference as if he had been sending a consignment of hardware to a parcel of niggers, packed off a bundle containing all the best sellers in the way of books of devotion. There were little manuals of instruction by way of question and answer, pamphlets in rather a grim style, in the manner of Monsieur de Maistre, and things that passed for novels- namby-pamby things bound in pink boards, put together by scribbling clerics or repentant blue stockings. There was 'Ponder it Well; The Man of the World at Mary's Feet', by M. de..., whose work had received official recognition; 'The Errors of Voltaire, for Young Readers', etc. (Flaubert, Chapter 23)

Flaubert's presentation of religious hypocrisy here depends heavily on the Naturalistic accumulation of unpleasant details. The bookseller's decision to send religious books to Emma Bovary is described in unpleasant condescending racial terms: the choice of books is not made as though Emma is having a sincere religious experience, but as though she simply wants to conform by having the same experience as everyone else. He sends her the standard religious best-sellers of the day. But it is the method of Naturalism to bring the spiritual down to the level of the biological, and it seems like Emma's romantic love has been redirected from sexual affairs to a "love" for God. But at the same time, Flaubert's resistance toward telling the reader what to think of all this holds open the possibility of some sort of Symbolist interpretation. After all, it is entirely possible to see Emma Bovary as a creature of religious pride, and to interpret her unhappy ending as a kind of morality story. The only thing that maintains the Naturalist element at the novel's conclusion is the prosperity of Monsieur Homais. If anything, he seems to be an even more selfish and reprehensible creature than Emma Bovary, so the novel does not endorse the interpretation that bad people always come to a bad end. In the case of Homais, he is positively rewarded for his rottenness.

Is Dostoevsky a Realist, Naturalist, or Symbolist?

Dostoyevsky's purpose in Notes from the Underground is to criticize a current school of optimistic social meliorism which was demanding political reform and revolution in Russia. Dostoyevsky is suspicious of the kind of political idealism espoused by optimists and believers in social progress: to this extent he takes part in the deterministic currents of literary Naturalism. But it is clear that Notes from the Underground… [read more]


Roger Williams Was a Puritan Essay

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Persecution and warfare had inly caused the deaths "of so many hundred thousands of his poor servants by the civil powers of the world, pretending to suppress blasphemies, heresies, idolatries, superstition, etc." (Williams 1652). In reality, at least twenty million had died in the recent religious wars in Europe although at the time no one knew the exact numbers, only… [read more]


Do Heaven and Hell Really Exist? Research Paper

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¶ … Heaven and Hell really exist?

The most common question that is often asked by people belonging from different religions is in relation to the reality of the existence of the heaven and hell, the end of the world, the outcomes of the actions of the people in the world and if the world will end. From these questions,… [read more]


Freud's Writing by Socrates Essay

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In his sermon, Jesus Christ shows how one must life a good and pure life in order to receive the gift of Heaven. In fact, the whole sermon is extremely positive. This created a situation where the fear was removed from Christian worship of God, who had before been a figure to often fear in the context of the Old… [read more]


Jew Hindu God Concepts Essay

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d.).

In Hindu, the concept of God or gods is also multifaceted and complex, which is clearly demonstrated in the fact that it is not always possible to talk of a single deity but at other times this is the most appropriate perspective (Kesarcodi-Watson, 1976). For Hindus, there is one eternal substance or power that fills the universe, and indeed is the universe, called Brahmin, and this Brahmin is essentially equivalent to the Judeo-Christian concept of God, especially when it takes the form of a single entity, Isvara (Kesarcodi-Watson, 1976; Woodburne, 1925). The devas, which are commonly thought of as gods, are more accurately described as "angels," in a certain sense, in that they are lesser than Brahmin even though they are more rigidly codified as conscious entities (Kesarcodi-Watson, 1976). If Brahmin can be thought of as the "true" God of Hindu or the closest analog to the Judeo-Christian concept of God, then it can be seen that the Jewish and Hindi traditions are not as far removed as might initially be thought. Both God and Brahmin are all-pervasive and ultimately all-powerful, and both are singular and unified in a cohesive consciousness or substance (Coogan, 2008; Avery-Peck, n.d.; Woodburne, 1925; Kesarcodu-Watson, 1976).

There are undoubtedly many differences between the Jewish and Hindu religions. The concept of God in these two religions is far from uniform and is one area of significant theological and philosophical differences between the two religions. At the same time, there are some significant similarities between the Hindu and Jewish concepts of God that are worthy…… [read more]


Etiology Christianity and Judaism Essay

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Etiology Questions; Christianity and Judaism

The idea of etiology is the study of causation -- usually used to refer to the study of why things occur or the reasons behind certain stories, etc. Tracing the origin of stories, myth, parables, and legends is often helpful for archaeologists, sociologists, and religious scholars for it helps solidify and structure the historical ways people described and understood the universe. Understanding the way that the Torah, or the first books of the Bible were written, can be explained beyond etiology when one looks at the similarities between other cultures and building upon the beliefs of the Sumerian civilization. It is in the nature of humans to wonder about the unknown and search for answers. At the foundation of nearly every culture is a creation myth that explains how divine inspiration created the world, nature, and humanity. Within each culture, creation mythology provides the very basis of fundamental structure -- who are we? From where did we come? Why are we here? What is our purpose? Creation myths, in fact, influence the way cultures viewed themselves and their place in nature and with the divine.

In fact, myths from different cultures seem to tell the same story -- the nuances may be different, but overall themes are the same (Sproul, 1979).

Scholars like Joseph Campbell and Claude Levi-Strauss believed that myth is a mode of communication between generations, outside the temporal realm and, rather than referring to objective reality over time it may describe an abstract, conceptual or emotional reality. As it tries to describe the unknowable, which changes over time, it becomes a language of symbols, of metaphors, and a language of correspondence meant to communicate truths as opposed to references (Doty, 2000). This is particularly true in creation mythology, which is interesting in and of itself because of the amount of commonality cultures share. One difficulty, though, is answering the question; to what degree did the ancient cultures believe the creation myths as literal? Archaeological evidence does not always present the correct picture, only a partial picture -- what if 5,000 years from now, an archaeologist were to dig up a department store vignette from December in New York City? Would they say -- this culture worshiped a jolly older man in red who had flying reindeer?…… [read more]


Religious Dualism and Contrasts Essay

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The words uttered by Satan contradict the Bible, the book of Daniel says, "the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will"[footnoteRef:6]. It is clear according to the Bible that there is only one God the creator of heaven and earth and all that is in it as well as the universe and no other can claim to rival Him. [6: Dn. 4:17]

Biblical Teaching about the Origin and Destiny of Satan

In religious dualism, there exist two powerful and eternal supernatural beings of equal power. In this sense, a common understanding would be that they have neither beginning nor the end. In Revelation, I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."[footnoteRef:7] Clearly, the Bible says that the Lord God is supreme and no one else is equal to Him. If religious dualism refers to Satan as God's equal them it is inconsistent with the contents of the Bible. The book of Ezekiel talks about the creation of Satan, "Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared"[footnoteRef:8]. In addition, it says, "You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you"[footnoteRef:9] evidence that God did not create evil but through Satan widespread ways evil was found in him. In Isaiah the Bible says "But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit"[footnoteRef:10]. God created and will destroy Satan and therefore Satan cannot be equal but is in subservient to God. [7: Rv. 1:8] [8: Ez. 28:13] [9: Ez. 28:13] [10: Is. 14:15]

According to Floyd ( 2008), temptation is an invitation to do evil therefore not a matter of "if," but of "when. The book of James explains, "But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed"[footnoteRef:11]. There should be individual responsibility for one's own actions. [11: Js. 1:14]

Bibliography

Floyd, Shelby G. "Temptation and Sin." www.preachthewordatheartland.com. October 2008.

http://www.preachthewordatheartland.com/docs/james/7 -- Temptation%20And%20Sin%202-17-02.htm (accessed March 6, 2012).

Mizii. "Religious dualism." www.mizii.com. 1999.

http://www.mizii.com/jesusi/inlight/religion/belief/dualism.htm (accessed March…… [read more]


New Counseling Paradigm Focusing Essay

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This model is also echoed in the Bible, where in Philippians 4:8 it is written, "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and… [read more]


Diary of Urban Dweller Essay

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Even those who tend sheep, sweeps the floors or washes dishes is blessed by God, though, as long as they are diligently following their true calling. Because this is a world of sin and evil, we also have to fight wars sometimes with the French and Spanish as well as the Indians, who are all inspired by Satan to make war on God's chosen people. In one of these unfortunate and bloody conflicts in which I served honorably as an officer on the field of battle, I even obtained some Indian slaves, which I sold profitably down to Jamaica and Barbados. I had no desire to keep such savage creatures here as servants, and even the two Irish boys I purchased as indentured servants were quite obstinate and willful, given so much to singing, drinking, idleness, theft and flirting with girls that I had to flog them repeatedly to extract some measure of obedience. As master of the household, I often had correct my own children in the same way when they were younger, simply to keep them mindful of their duties and obedient to the will of their parents. If a child is not raised up properly from the beginning by diligent parents, then it will end up living a wasted life of debauchery, laziness, lewdness, profanity, atheism, sin and corruption. Due to original sin, this is human nature, and nothing can change it except the grace of God, and only Adam in his innocence lived a life of ease and pleasure, before he fell from grace through arrogance and pride.

As I near old age and death, I am content that I have followed the path of true religion, provided for my family, and done my best to raise them up to be righteous and productive citizens of this commonwealth. I ensured that they attended church every Sunday, heard the Word of the Lord and remembered the Sabbath day and kept it holy. They have no bad habits like gluttony, drunkenness or greed, although the Lord does permit us to enjoy food, brink and leisure within moderation. I regularly led the household in prayers and devotion, to keep the Devil out, and whipped those Irish boys when they seemed to snicker at me and the true (Reformed) version of Christianity. From fairly humble beginnings I have accumulated more than my share of money, wealth and property thanks to the expanding commerce of this city, and the greatest temptation for me has been not to become boastful and prideful about this worldly success, and never to forget that all of it is temporary and will be left behind after my death. Ultimately, none of these material things matter compared to the condition of the soul and the fact that God has chosen some to be saved and others to be damned eternally. Only the fool believes that this material world is all that exists or that there is no soul and we are just atoms and molecules floating around… [read more]


Germanic Art 7th 9th Centuries Essay

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Germanic Art and Its Influence From the 7th-9th Century

Following the conversion and reign of Constantine, Christianity's impact began to be felt throughout all Europe. Clovis, king of the Franks, converted in the 5th century and left behind the Merovingian line of kings, which was finally displaced by the Carolingian line, led famously by Charlemagne -- or Karl der Grosse… [read more]


Religions in Africa Chapter Writing

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Religions in Africa by Ibigbolade S. Aderibigbe

In Chapter Five: Religions in Africa, author Ibigbolade S. Aderibigbe engages in a cursory examination of religions in Africa. She acknowledges that the examination will be only cursory because of the tremendous variety of religions in Africa. Therefore, the chapter focuses on three main religious traditions: African traditional religions, Christianity, and Islam. Another caveat mentioned by the author is that academic study of traditional religions is relatively new and has been conducted by outsiders, either non-Africans or people who are not practitioners of the traditional religions and those religions also lack sacred books.

Aderibigbe begins with a discussion of African traditional religions. While there are a vast number of these religions, she finds that they share unique basic characteristics. However, she also notes that these traditional religions have been changed by exposure to other cultures. One of the things that she notes is that African religions manifest both the philosophical and practical experiences and are transmitted from generation to generation. She approaches the study of traditional African religions by examining three different components: belief structure, functional components, and religious officials and sacred places. The belief structure of traditional African religion has a five hierarchical structure: Supreme Being, divinities, spirits, ancestors, and magic and medicine. The functional components of the religions include prayers, offerings, rituals, and are significantly intertwined with music. The religious officials of traditional African religion include priests, priestesses, diviners, spirit mediums, and kings. The sacred places include shrines.

Aderibigbe then goes on to discuss the Christian religious tradition, beginning with a historical discussion of Christianity and its Jewish traditional roots. It is focused on the idea of a heavenly Messianic kingdom, which was different than the Judaic conception of an earthly Messianic kingdom. Jesus' mission was to save the world and he committed many miraculous works. Although Jesus did not write down any of his…… [read more]