"Religion / God / Theology" Essays

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Colonial Development the Progression of the Maturity Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (886 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0

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Colonial Development

The progression of the maturity of the English colonies within North America can certainly be marked by the passage of time. Therefore, it is accurate to state that the colonies of the mid-18th century, spanning from approximately 1700 to 1750, had matured in a number of ways in terms of freedom of thought. However, the progression of the maturation of religious freedom and economic freedom was a lot slower in coming, and took more time beyond the mid-18th century -- although the beginning of this progression could be demonstrated at this time. Once the intellectual climate of the day spread into these religious realms, greater freedom of expression and religious belief would be accounted for. A number of fairly important events within the history of the fledgling colonies demonstrate the truth of these statements.

The single most important movement of the 18th century, which had its roots in the end of the 17th century, was the intellectual sensibilities advocated by and pertaining to the Enlightenment. This conception originally sprouted from Europe before eventually finding its way to the colonies. It was a highly secular movement that championed the prowess and capability of mankind vs. that of God. Prior to the Enlightenment, there were few people who would challenge God's reign and his hand in the fate of their lives, as well as in the doings of other people. The Enlightenment, however, spawned "alternate" religious beliefs such as Deism, which held that the power, grace and glory of God was responsible for the creation of the universe and for mostly everything in it. However, Deists believed that after this initial construction, God removed himself from the daily affairs of the people and it was up to man's ability, his "enlightenment," his intellect and his own motivation to control his destiny -- whereas popular religious thought of the day believed that God was responsible for all of these things.

To that end, there certainly was a lessening of the limitation of freedom of thought within the colonies, particularly when one considers that many of the most influential members of the colonists, who would go on to become known as the Founding Fathers, believed in intellectual thought and actually subscribed to the philosophy of Deism. Science and personal achievement was valued significantly more than religious devotion under the principles and ideas of the Enlightenment. Several of the more radical notions that stemmed from Europe during the Enlightenment were available to the colonists due to the printing press, and the movement was able to yield tangible results, such as the separation of most colleges (all of which started out being highly religious in nature) from…… [read more]


Religious Influence on Art Research Paper

Research Paper  |  3 pages (1,141 words)
Bibliography Sources: 25

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Religous Influence on Art

Art has been significantly shaped by religious values through the ages, considering that the spiritual nature of religious concepts served as a perfect tool to inspire artists. Most artists who employ religious ideas while they devise their creations are interested in putting across their faith through art and in influencing the public in adopting spiritual attitudes in their relationship with society. Many individuals relate to how artists paint using their spiritual personality, with their material personality only being used with the purpose of giving shape to their thoughts. Some artists are likely to close their eyes before actually starting to create art, as this provides them with the opportunity to reach their spirituality easier.

Through considering supernatural concepts present in religious teachings, artists are enabled to create artwork that is as unique as possible. The fact that supernatural motifs are an essential part in the process of creation makes it possible for them to detach themselves from the material world and attempt to create art that expresses spirituality through its perfection. One can even say that spirituality fed some of the greatest works of art created through time.

Jones, Cheslyn; Wainwright, Geoffrey and Yarnold, Edward eds., the Study of Spirituality (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986)

Kuspit, Donald, "Reconsidering the Spiritual in Art," Retrieved February 17, 2012, from the Blackbird Website: http://www.blackbird.vcu.edu/v2n1/gallery/kuspit_d/reconsidering_text.htm

McCray, Linda, 'A Brief History of Spiritual Art," Retrieved February 17, 2012, from the EnvisionChurch Website: http://www1.georgetown.edu/centers/liturgy/envisionchurch/45498.html

Ponomareff, Constantin V. And Bryson, Kenneth a. The Curve of the Sacred: An Exploration of Human Spirituality (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2006)

Von Ogden Vogt, Art & Religion (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1921)

Religion played a major role in assisting some of history's greatest artists not only through feeding their thoughts, both also through financing some of the greatest artworks that have ever been created. Religious individuals commissioned artists with the purpose of having them create artwork in accordance with particular religious ideas. It can even be said that the relationship between artists and religion contained ideas related to marketing. Artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo had no other choice but to work for religious persons in order to be able to make a living.

Although there were a series of patrons willing to pay for artwork, the influence of religion and the fact that religious people had access to a wide range of resources made it possible for them to have the authority and the means to force artists to create works that expressed religious concepts.

Brent Plate, S. Religion, art, and visual culture: a cross-cultural reader, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2002)

Chilvers, Ian, the Oxford dictionary of art, (Oxford University Press, 2004)

Lancaster Spalding, John, Religion and art: and other essays, (Ayer Publishing, 1905)

Martland, Thomas R. Religion as art: an interpretation, (SUNY Press, 1981)

Spector, Jack J. The Murals of Eugene Delacroix at Saint Sulpice, (Rutgers University Press, 1985)

Many artists focus on putting across moral messages through their works and religion provides them with… [read more]


Hiring Policy Case Study

Case Study  |  2 pages (786 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 3

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Hiring Policy

Facts of the Case

It would seem at the outset of a project such as Matthew and Thomas are launching -- a manufacturing facility -- that they would simply hire the most qualified individuals to work for them, candidates with the most experience and aptitude for this kind of employment. But the attempt to hire only evangelical Christians raises questions and appears to go against the law albeit it is legal according to 702 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Is such a policy legal? Answer: Yes, with a qualification

According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 employers -- when making employment decisions -- are barred from discriminating on the basis of sex, religion, age, ethnicity and disability. However, there is a statutory defense that allows employers to sidestep the Title VII requirements. It is known as the Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ), and according to Chapter 13 (Civil rights and Employment Discrimination) an employer may "…lawfully hire an individual on the basis of religion, sex, or national origin" (485). The BFOQ can be used if the employer can prove that the discrimination is "reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business" (485).

The BFOQ defense is not intended when the issue involves race or color. And moreover, because it is an affirmative defense, the burden of proof is on the shoulders of the employer to show a "reasonable basis for believing that the category of persons" (in this case, people of a certain religious faith) "excluded from a particular job" were not able to perform the work on that job.

In this case, the employer is discriminating against people who aren't evangelical Christians, which is an interesting twist to employment. The BFOQ exception is permitted under the Section 703 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 -- and though it is an available exception for both religious and gender issues Katie Manley explains that it is most frequently used for gender discrimination issues.

From a Great Commission perspective, would this policy be advisable? Answer: This would not be advisable.

In looking closely at the Great Commission -- following Jesus Christ's death and resurrection he urged his followers to go and baptize all nations -- it is hard to see why a company wanting to hire only evangelicals for a factory…… [read more]


Religion: Christopher Hitchens I Was Very Familiar Reaction Paper

Reaction Paper  |  2 pages (679 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0

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¶ … Religion: Christopher Hitchens

I was very familiar with Christopher Hitchens' position before watching his video. However, even though I was aware of his position, I had not really considered the depth and breadth of religion's involvement in modern conflicts in the world. While he said that he would avoid a Sesame Street response, but then stuck with the letter "B" and was able to name so many different conflicts that are directly traceable to people's religious affiliation came as something of a surprise to me. I simply had not considered that so many of today's modern conflicts were traceable to religion. Moreover, I am somewhat embarrassed to acknowledge that I was viewing religious conflicts as primarily disagreement between members of different religions and not even giving real consideration to the significant within-religious groups' conflicts that exist. For example, I was unaware that in Iraq people were destroying mosques that were of a different version of Islam than their own. In fact, I do not recall having heard this information at any other time, which made me reflect upon his statement that the media may discuss group-conflicts but does so in a way emphasizing ethnic differences and avoiding religious references when possible. I had not considered the media interpretations of these conflicts, and it made me think about how I might reframe some of the major "ethnic" conflicts of modern times if I had an understanding of the underlying religious issues.

The video triggered a significant amount of sorrow in me. So many people believe that religion is critical to someone being a good person. In America saying, "He is a Christian" is somehow supposed to be synonymous with "He is a good person." Likewise, mentioning that someone practices another religion immediately makes him suspect, particularly if that religion is one that is not well understood by the majority of Americans. However, the reality is that no religion has a monopoly on goodness and no religion has a monopoly on evil. People of all religious orientations do horrible…… [read more]


Christianity and Islam Research Paper

Research Paper  |  2 pages (625 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+

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Islam retained a stronger core set of beliefs that effectively replaced the tribal and shamanistic practices of the peoples upon which the religion was imposed. In their first few centuries of development, both Christianity and Islam also capitalized on their lowly social status and political persecution by playing the underdog card.

Although both Christianity and Islam began as relatively small religious groups, they morphed into major world religions. These two religions also possess significant political clout throughout the world and especially in the regions in which they thrive. For example, Christianity retains a stranglehold on the religious fundamentalists in the United States and Islam retains a similar grip on the religiously fundamental extremists in the Middle East. A sense of self-righteousness characterizes the way fundamentalist followers perpetuate their dogmas and doctrines.

As both Christianity and Islam grew, they became increasingly complex on social, political, and theological levels. This increased complexity was a sign of increased power. The Muslims had caliphs; Christians had popes and bishops. Their respective bureaucracies and internal power structures reflected greater complexity -- which was also mirrored in the diversity of their respective civilizations. Christianity and Islam became cultural emblems that transcended ethnic, national, and racial divisions that previously existed. In fact, within Christianity and Islam, those ethnic, national, and racial divisions continue to exist. Sunni and Shi'ite both consider themselves Muslim but are enemies, and for centuries Catholics and Protestants did not consider themselves members of the same religious faith. Ultimately it was keen military strategy that enabled the expansion of Christian and Muslim civilizations. Christianity and Islam both understood the strategic importance of Europe, for example, and held geographic strongholds such as Turkey ("Explore Byzantium," 2003).

References

"Explore Byzantium," (2003). Retrieved online: http://byzantium.seashell.net.nz/articlemain.php?artid=intro

The University of Calgary (1998). Introduction. Retrieved online: http://www.ucalgary.ca/applied_history/tutor/islam/beginnings/… [read more]


Equiano and Slavery Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,449 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+

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Along the way, he also learned reading and arithmetic, which few plantation slaves ever did, and he was in contact with a much wider variety of whites, including abolitionists. At the end of the war, he "thought now of nothing but being freed, and working for myself and thereby getting money to enable me to get a good education; for… [read more]


Integrative Approach to Psychology and Christianity Book Review

Book Review  |  5 pages (1,368 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5

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Integrative Approach to Psychology and Christianity - Book Review

MAT Review: Integrative Approaches to Psychology and Christianity

The book Integrative approaches to psychology and Christianity: An introduction to worldview issues, philosophical foundations, and models of integration (2010), by David N. Entwhisle delves into the issue of how psychology and Christianity have traditionally been at odds with one another. Christianity is seen as being too focused on God and not focused enough on the self, while psychology is often thought to be godless (Entwhistle, 2010). Because psychology places human experience at the very core of understanding, it differs greatly from Christianity, which places emphasis not on humanity for understanding but on God and what He has offered to the world through Jesus Christ (McMinn, 1996). Psychology also does not leave room for belief (or faith) in the supernatural - a basic tenet on which Christianity is based (Johnson & Jones, 2000). Whether the two can blend from a counseling perspective and how that would take place in a world where there is so much division of opinion is the basis of the text (Entwhistle, 2010).

The worldview held by a person encompasses and to some extent controls how a person feels about everything in his or her world (Entwhistle, 2010). The significance of this, of course, is that a person's worldview is generally taught to him or her by parents and others, as opposed to being chosen by the person. People filter their worldviews through their culture, education, and family, and most do not realize that they are doing so - so they do not have any reason to question it or make an effort to change the way they are looking at things to a way that would be more acceptable for their ultimate belief system. Finding balance, however, is crucial when it comes to accepting God into one's life and also accepting what psychology can offer (Dineen, 2000; Jones & Butman, 1991). When both Christianity and psychology are viewed as areas of life that come from and belong to God, it is easier for believers to find psychology acceptable (Entwhistle, 2010).

At the end of the book, Entwhistle (2010) comes full circle and returns to the discussion of how a person's worldview and everything that he or she has experienced up to a given point in time, affects and alters the way that person interprets any data that he or she is given. That includes not only data that is given to him directly through verbal or written information, but also data that is provided through what that person sees, hears, and feels. How he or she handles life and how others react to him or her are very important aspects that relate to the understanding and processing of data. In the search for truth, Entwhistle (2010) ends the book with this: "we will sometimes have to live with ambiguity and uncertainty, be we affirm that God is the author of all truth…" (p. 275). This shows the strength… [read more]


Popular Religions in the World Research Paper

Research Paper  |  2 pages (721 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+

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Christianity also utilized militant measures of its own in the form of warriors such as Charlemagne and various Crusades in an effort to coerce others to convert to its teachings. One of Christianity's greatest philosophers, St. Augustine, actually developed the idea of a "just" war that provided a moral justification for the efforts of Charlemagne and the Crusaders (Mayr-Harting, 1996). The Inquisitions that occurred throughout Europe and reached their zenith in Spain used the philosophies of Augustine as their justification (Walzer, 2002)

For nearly two thousand years Christianity and Islam have existed side by side. Often this coexistence has not been acrimonious. Still, all these years later both remain among the world's most popular religions. Interestingly, the two religions have taken differing paths relative to their secularism. Christianity has virtually abandoned any involvement in the political operations of the nations in which it is most popular while Islam has taken a different approach. Islam remains heavily involved in the politics of many nations throughout Africa, the Middle East, India, and Indonesia (Cesari, 2006). In recent years, Islam has actually seen a large increase in membership throughout the world and has actually by-passed Christianity in total world-wide membership. The factors for this upsurge are beyond the scope of this paper but the conflict between the two religions remains. Although the similarities between the religions are strong the differences continue to cause derision. Two thousand years have not allowed Christianity and Islam to grow closer together and there is no indication that it is likely to occur at any time in the near future. Despite their differences, Christianity and Islam have contributed significantly to the history of mankind and will continue to do so.

References

Cesari, J. (2006). European Muslims and the Secular State. Surrey, UK: Ashgate Publishing Company.

Latourette, K.S. (1975). A History of Christianity, Volume 1: Beginnings to 1500. New York: HarperOne.

Liu, X. (2011). A Silk Road Legacy: The Spread of Buddhism and Islam. Journal of World History, 55-81.

Mayr-Harting, H. (1996). Charlemagne, the Saxons, and the Imperial Coronation of 800. The English Historical Review, 1113-1133.

Walzer, M. (2002). The Triumph of Just War Theory (and the Dangers…… [read more]


Narrative in Narcotic Anonymous Grade Essay

Essay  |  25 pages (8,295 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0

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Narrative in Narcotic Anonymous

Grade

months recovery:

Narrative

I always wanted to become a doctor. Regardless of this passion, I ended up studying Business Administration mainly because of my incompetent and low grades. The moment when this news was disclosed, I was shattered. I felt like a failure. I planned to commit suicide but I did not succeed at it.… [read more]


Jewish Holiday of Sukkot Research Paper

Research Paper  |  10 pages (3,601 words)
Bibliography Sources: 6

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Sukkot, like many Jewish holidays, has multiple purposes in the Jewish culture, making it a religious celebration, but also a celebration of life. At this point in history, it is primarily a pilgrimage festival, and it commemorates the 40 years that the Jews spent wandering in the desert. When one examines the symbolism of the traditions connected with Sukkot that… [read more]


Religious Teacher Essay

Essay  |  6 pages (2,108 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4

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Religious Teacher

Why do I want to become a teacher in a Catholic School Board?

Anyone that takes the effort and has the moral, spiritual and social motivation to become a teacher in a Christian / Roman Catholic environment is to be praised. There is so much for all of us to learn, and in particular so many young people… [read more]


Hygieia Research Paper

Research Paper  |  5 pages (1,781 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0

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Even then, the Catholic Church had cults of the saints and the Virgin Mary, who would also be venerated and prayed to for divine intervention in times of illness. For most of history, though, such statues of serene, virginal young women would have been regarded as representing divinity rather than simply as beautiful art objects. This is also what it makes me think about today, that the statue was considered a religious object, even though most people in the modern world would not know who this goddess was. To be sure, they would understand the concept of public health and hygiene, and even recognize that the snake is still used as a symbol of medicine, although they would not be aware of its meaning in this statue immediately, as people in the ancient world would have. We still have important statues like these in the world today, often of young women wearing the same type of garments. For example, many courthouses have statues of the goddess of justice, who is blindfolded and carrying a sword in one hand and scales in the other -- symbolizing the justice is blind and, ideally at least, should be fair and equal for all, but also have the power to use the sword (punishment) when necessary. Perhaps the most famous statue in the United States, though, is the goddess of Liberty holding up a torch in New York Harbor. Although most people today would not think of her as a goddess, that is in fact exactly what she is, and her ancestry can be traced back directly to statues of…… [read more]


Cross-Currents of Philosophy Research Paper

Research Paper  |  12 pages (4,264 words)
Bibliography Sources: 12

SAMPLE TEXT:

However he reserves the highest level possible for his own philosophical teachings and their practice. This stage has been called as the Paramam Padam and is only reached though the practice of Tantric Saivism.

One major difference that is found between the teachings of Abhinavagupta and Patanjali is in the way a person was initiated into the practice of that… [read more]


Hamlet's Ghost Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (1,959 words)
Bibliography Sources: 6

SAMPLE TEXT:

Sister Miriam thus places herself in agreement with the early critics of Hamlet who saw nothing unCatholic or unchristian about the Ghost's request for justice. Modern critics however view the request as one of blood -- incompatible with the Protestant notion of a saved soul.

Yet, there are characters in the play who respond to the Ghost like Catholic men: Marcellus and Barnardo, for instance, who open the play, "exhibit the traditional Catholic view…that a soul might come to earth from purgatory" (Sister Miriam "Discerning" 493). Meanwhile, others in the play offer Protestant views: "Horatio displays the skeptical attitude of Reginal Scot (1584), who flatly denies that spirits can assume material form and thereby appear to men" (493). Hamlet, therefore, is caught in between these two opposing viewpoints and (since he has been reared in a Protestant school) leans toward "the Protestant view of Ludwig Lavater (1570) and King James I (1597) that ghosts, though they might be angels, are generally devils who assume the appearance of the departed" (493). Thus, it is, as Sister Miriam suggests, a problem of the discernment of spirits. The Ghost, in other words, represents a Christian cry for justice -- not a devilish demand for blood and damnation. However, because Hamlet has had no proper training in the Christian, i.e., Catholic worldview, he cannot understand the Ghost's message. He puts off slaying Claudius for fear of sending him to Heaven -- a distinctly unCatholic and unchristian sentiment. If there are elements of unchristian thinking in the play, they may be found wholly in the character of Hamlet.

In conclusion, Hamlet's Ghost is a question mark for scholars who fail to place him within the framework of traditional Catholic teaching -- that he is, in other words, an exception to the 5th Commandment and represents a demand for justice. The failure of Hamlet to execute that demand is where the conflict lies -- and it is this tension that causes all the speculation concerning the spirit of the Ghost. What one might do better to analyze, therefore, is the spirit of Hamlet -- and how it fails (as Sister Miriam points out) to measure up to the idea of the Christian hero.

Works Cited

Battenhouse, Roy W. "The Ghost in Hamlet: A Catholic 'Linchpin'?" Studies in Philology vol. 48, no. 2, 1951, 161-192. Print.

Miriam Joseph. "Discerning the Ghost in Hamlet." PMLA vol. 76, no. 5, 1961, 493-502.

Print.

Miriam Joseph. "Hamlet, a Christian Tragedy." Studies in Philosophy vol. 59, no. 2,

1962, 119-140. Print.

Shakespeare, William. The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. The Complete Signet Classic Shakespeare. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1972. 910-961. Print.

Siegel, Paul. "Hamlet, Revenge!"…… [read more]


Factionalism and Schism Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (564 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0

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Schisms, in the religious context, are divisions between people or a break between two sectors of a religious faith that were previously a single, unified body. Two famous religious schisms occurred in Islam after the death of the prophet Muhammad and between Martin Luther and followers and the Catholic Church, which gave rise to Protestantism.

In the case of Islam, the Sunni Muslims are the largest denomination of Islam. Their name comes from the Arabic word meaning the "teachings of the prophet." This sect believes that Muhammad died without appointing a logical or liturgical successor to lead the Islamic community. Shia Islam is the second largest denomination of Islam, and believes that just as the prophet was, Imams after Muhammad are also chosen by God.

While Islamic law has developed to touch almost every aspect of human life -- Sharia, over time there have been different interpretations of these laws. Eighty-Five per cent of the Muslim community is Sunni, and roughly 15 per cent Shiite. The break between the two factions is ancient, going back to the 7th century and dealing with disagreements dealing with political, social and religious leadership. Interestingly enough, this schism continues in the contemporary world -- and is seen in the politics of Iran and Iraq, and well as the overall Islamic view towards the West.

Martin Luther, a priest and theology professor in what is now Germany, had, for years, disagreed with certain aspects of Church practices at the time. In particular, Luther was against the selling of indulgences, which was the practice of "selling" passes into heaven for people who had committed earthly sins. In addition, Luther believed that the Mass should be said in the…… [read more]


Faith and Reason Research Paper

Research Paper  |  6 pages (2,122 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4

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Faith and Reason

An Analysis of the Reconciliation of Faith and Reason

My thesis is that Thomas Aquinas reconciled Faith and Reason in a fundamental way -- or, more specifically, in five fundamental ways known as the quinquae viae. This paper will show how Aquinas helped move the relationship of faith and reason beyond the ontological argument of Anselm and… [read more]


Pilgrimage the Hajj: Islamic Research Paper

Research Paper  |  7 pages (1,909 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0

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The Pilgrimage has allowed the royal family to maintain absolute power through a financial and political patronage system and a powerful police state. It's allies in the Arab Peninsula and beyond, whether they be local Emirs or Western Presidents, have seen the Saudi royal family as an important stabilizer in the Arab world, and therefore the family is propped up externally as well as internally through various machinations of the state.

One negative feature of the Hajj or Pilgrimage is the exclusion of non-Muslims into the city of Mecca. This exclusion is a result of extremely conservative politics in Saudi Arabia, and is not necessarily a requirement of Islam that Muslims only can visit the city of Mecca. This action removes the majority of the world's population from ever being able to visit the holy city, and therefore removes a great potential for tourism, hospitality, and trade, as the city was once historically known as being. Another negative of the site is the immense amount of capitalization on the religious obligation to serve Hajj on the various populations of Muslims. Although the Pilgrimage is a pious duty, there is an immense amount of wealth and luxury being consumed in Mecca. The Royal Family itself has built the world's largest clock tower, four times the size of London's Big Ben, in an extravagant display of wealth and power over the very heart of Islam, the Kabbalah stone. These negatives are a result of the modern world pressing in on the ancient nature of Mecca and the Pilgrimage.

Concluding Thoughts

In conclusion, the Hajj or Pilgrimage will forever maintain the relevance of Mecca as a worldly city, and has been integral to the development of science, culture, and politics through ages past. The modern age has brought great change both to the Hajj as well as Mecca itself. In the past year, eruptions of protest in the Muslim world have uprooted commonly held beliefs about the power of dictators in the region. Perhaps in the future, the Saudi Family will have to ease some of its dictations over the process of the Hajj, changing the course of history of the Muslim faith once again.… [read more]


Flannery O'Connor Was Born Research Paper

Research Paper  |  8 pages (2,942 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5

SAMPLE TEXT:

Its protagonist is again another false Messiah who seeks grace hard way, immersed in a whole gallery of characters ranging from comedy to extravagance. "Everything that grows has to converge '(1965), the latest collection of stories by O'Connor, hit the shelves months after its author died of the same disease that left her crippled. (Desmond, p129-38)

The initial, decisive obstacles,… [read more]


Reign of the Emperor Justinian Is Largely Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,520 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0

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¶ … reign of the Emperor Justinian is largely considered to be the beginning of the period of art known as Early Byzantine Art which is considered the first of the three golden ages of Byzantine Art. Said period ended with the onset of Iconoclasm that occurred during the reign of Leo III from 527 A.D. To 726 A.D. Justinian's… [read more]


Dramatic Change in the Character of Paul Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,480 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1

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¶ … Saul of Tarsus embarked on his journey to Damascus, he had already gained fame as a devout Jew, member of the Pharisees, and leader of a group of Jews that wanted to wipe out the Christians. In fact, it was he who was one of those responsible for the death of the first Christian martyr, Stephen, in Jerusalem.… [read more]


Voodoo Is Derived Comes From Vodun Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (664 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3

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¶ … voodoo" is derived comes from vodun, which means a god, spirit or some type of sacred object, in the Fon language of West Africa (Cavendish, 1970).

The term "voodoo," though, is typically used with reference to the beliefs and practices that are found in Haiti, where many adherents are descendants of slaves imported from many parts of Africa (Fluerant, 1996).

By extension, the term "voodoo" is also applied to similar practices in other Caribbean islands, in the southern states of America, and in Brazil, where plantation slavery was also commonplace (Cavendish, 1970).

For many in the Western world, voodoo usually carries some type of evil or negative connotation (Cavendish, 1970).

In fact, voodoo has long been misunderstood and misrepresented in popular Western culture and media (Childs, 2011).

The popular concept of voodoo in the West is that it is "dangerous" and marred by superstitious beliefs, and most view it as some type of hybrid religion that has been imported from Africa with a mix of Catholic elements depending on regional preferences (Frey, 2007).

7. Initiation into a voodoo cult can last several weeks and involves a rigorous ordeal in darkened rooms where initiates undergo a transformation and are assigned a new "voodoo" name (Cavendish, 1970).

8. Voodoo practices typically involve (a) black magic, (b) superstitious beliefs (e.g., sticking pins into so-called "voodoo dolls"), (c) casting spells, and (d) lighting black candles in cemeteries to Baron Samedi, the powerful lord of the underworld and patron of all black magic, summoning the dead, and being related to all manner of monsters, spirits and zombies (Cavendish, 1970).

9. In some cases, local and even nefarious underworld characters are invoked by voodoo practitioners in addition to Baron Samedi because these figures are believed to have many of the same powers to protect (Cavendish, 1970).

10. While many of these characters are male, females are also represented in the voodoo pantheon (Frey, 2007).

11. Songs and dancing, which can last for several hours or even…… [read more]


Reply to Threads First Post: Respect Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (568 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2

SAMPLE TEXT:

Reply to Threads

First Post:

Respect is important and it goes a long way in building a relationship, especially with a person of another faith. This post makes that point that respect does not necessarily mean agreement -- and that is true, but it is also an important point to remember because we must remember not to commit the sin of human respect. Human respect is good so long as it does not overwhelm the truth -- and if we believe that the Truth is Christ, then even though we respect the person who is Muslim, we must be strong in our faith and show how Christ is the True Way to salvation.

This post also brings up another very good point and that is the power of prayer: "Pray for them." There is a great deal of wisdom in this statement. After all, God alone has the power to convert souls, and if we are going to assist in the conversion of anyone, that assistance must begin with prayer. God listens to prayers and answers them and if we pray with a good heart and live our lives as Gods wills us to live them, then we are already on the fast track to converting other souls of good will.

However, there are always practical concerns one must realize -- such as the fact that one ought to understand the person with whom he is dealing. A better understanding of the Muslim background would go a long way in helping to reach out to such a person. You will have knowledge of that person's world, which will enable you to better know how to sympathize or how to keep from judging. Of course,…… [read more]


Bible Hosea Amos Isaiah Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (580 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1

SAMPLE TEXT:

Bible-Hosea, Amos, Isaiah

Hosea, Amos, Isaiah

There are various figures of speech that are used by Hosea in the book of Hosea that are geared towards portraying God in a supreme and superior manner than man himself. Most of these figures of speech are repeated throughout the book of Hosea and are used with specific purposes, some of which overlap. For instance, in Hosea 11:10, there is a reference to God as the lion that roars and the people of Israel hence should follow Him,"… They will follow the LORD; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling from the west…" (NIV). This verse uses the figure of speech roar like a lion to invoke obedience and supplication among the Israelites towards the Lord our God. This was after Hosea had seen the wayward behaviors of the Israelites who had strayed to worship other gods. This verse also alludes to Jesus Christ who is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, who was initially rejected by many but later they actually came bowing to him and saying surely He is the son of God.

The other very significant verse with figure of speech is Hosea 14:5 where the Lord is likened to the dew, "…I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like a lily. Like a cedar of Lebanon he will send down his roots…" Here the verse is used to indicate restoration for the people of Israel once they come back to the Lord in reverence. This is a restoration from the Lord after the springs of Israel shall have dried up as indicated earlier on in Hosea 13:15.

The various figures of speech that Hosea has used in…… [read more]


Paradise Lost John Milton Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (1,926 words)
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God does not create evil but allows it to exist (Blessington 45).

God is aware that man is not going to be obedient to Him and yet punishes both Adam and Eve for their disobedience. Milton assumes that since God is omnipotent, he would be aware of the impending actions of his creations and yet tries to make it clear that the moral of his poem is that disobedience is akin to self-imposed damnation.

Throughout the text of John Milton's Paradise Lost, he makes it clear that the Fall of both Satan and Adam and Eve is not really about the commission of sin. Rather it is about the consequences that befall a being when the make the choice to ignore the word of God. Satan is ordered to obey God and function as his servant. Unable and unwilling to do this, he instead tries to take over the Kingdom of Heaven. When this fails, as it must for God to remain infallible, Satan is relegated to Hell. Here, his bravado shows wherein he tries to make it clear to his fellow exiles that it is better that they be the rulers in this place than to have to serve in Heaven. Yet, they are still subject to God's orders for they cannot enter again into the Kingdom of Heaven. In forcing Satan to go to Hell, God is reinforcing his power and demanding that Satan obey. Out of anger and jealousy, Satan sets out to corrupt God's newer creation, the humans Adam and Eve. Mankind is given the gift of freedom and free will. This means that they have the choice to listen to the God's order or to disobey. Obviously, Adam and Eve ate the apple and were punished for disobedience. The moral of Milton's story is that disobedience in akin to damnation. By ignoring the Bible, the Ten Commandments, and the word of God, we are in fact choosing to damn ourselves.

Works Cited:

Anderson, Gary A. "The Fall of Satan in the Thought of St. Ephrem and John Milton." Hugoye:

Journal of Syriac Studies. 3:1. 2000. Print.

Benet, Diana Tevino. "Adam's Evil Conscience and Satan's Surrogate Fall." Milton Quarterly.

39:1. 2005. 2-15. Print.

Blessington, Francis. Paradise Lost: a Student's Companion to the Poem. Lincoln, NE: Twayne.

Print.

Grimm, Zak. "Free Will, Eternal Providence, and Knowledge in Milton's Paradise Lost. 2008.

Web. Nov. 2011. http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/600989/free_will_eternal_providence_and_knowledge.html?cat=2

Johnson, Ashley. "Satan's Envy Through Paradise Lost." Association of Young Journalists and Writers. Print.

Milton, John, and Barbara Kiefer Lewalski.…… [read more]


Epitome of the Teachings of Jesus Matt 6 25 34 Term Paper

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¶ … Ethnography: The Epitome of the Teachings of Jesus (Matt 6:25-34)

This paper offers a literary ethnography of the passage known as the Sermon on the Mount, the Epitome of the Teachings of Jesus, Matt 6:25-34. The passage offers guidance to individuals who worry, letting them know that God will care for their needs. Literary ethnography involves understanding the… [read more]


Old Test Love God Research Paper

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It is not simply the Egyptians to whom God was actually showing love through the actions taken by Moses and Aaron in the bringing of the plagues. A great deal of love and compassion is shown to the Israelites in the bringing of the plagues and in the ultimate flight from Egypt that will eventually restore this nation to its rightful home. The Old Testament as a whole is about a nation learning to find and understand their God, and it is God's love for His people that drives the action of the Old Testament stories. This is most definitely true when it comes to the ten plagues Moses and Aaron bring to the Egyptians through God's command; it is through the power of these signs that the Hebrews are eventually allowed not only to escape the bonds of their slavery, but these miracles continue t protect the people to some degree through the knowledge of the might and power of God when it comes to defending His followers. The ten plagues are one more sign in the Old Testament that God is never away from His people, and that his love and compassion for those who have accepted Him is infinite and full of corporeal power. By giving the world these concrete signs of this love, compassion, and power, God was not demonstrating a desire for vengeance, but rather a desire for the return of love that He extends.

It is true that God as presented in the Old Testament is more concerned with punishment than forgiveness. The two are not mutually exclusive, however, and indeed punishment can be seen as an outgrowth of love. It is a strong love indeed that will go to such lengths to make itself known.… [read more]


Thomas Jefferson Deist and Patriot Research Paper

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Thomas Jefferson -- Deist & Patriot

"Patriotism is not a short frenzied burst of emotion, but the long and steady dedication of a lifetime…" (Jefferson)

Thomas Jefferson is certainly well-known in the United States history books as the man who helped write the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution -- and of course he served as President of the… [read more]


Problem of the Planets Book Report

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¶ … Total

The Problem of the Planets

The problem of the planets relates to their movement. The Ancient Greeks were the first to address the issue thoroughly, and one of their men - Ptolemy - came up with a theory about how planets moved (Knox, n.d.). This was needed, because the Greeks said there were "wandering stars" that did… [read more]


Faustus and Everyman an Analysis of Resemblance Term Paper

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Faustus and Everyman

An Analysis of Resemblance: Faustus and Everyman

Marlow's Doctor Faustus can be viewed on various levels, four of which are worth mentioning: First, Doctor Faustus can be considered as "Homiletic tragedy" in which the protagonist incarnates intellectual pride, compared with both Icarus and Lucifer -- existing simply to be punished. Second, it can be interpreted as a… [read more]


Old Testament Berit, Typically Translated Into English Essay

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Old Testament

Berit, typically translated into English as "covenant," "promise," or "pledge," is a Hebrew term that takes on far more than literally meaning within the Bible. Politically, it is a relationship between peoples, a way to describe that a level of responsibility is owed to a group from an entity (King, ruler, group, etc.) based on fealty, loyalty, and an agreement. Biblically, it is a way to describe that God chose the Jewish people through a covenant with Abraham. In that, Abraham and his offspring were special people who could have a land of their own and enjoy peace and good will through their own promise of relationship with God. The people must, in this example, give a pledge that Yahweh is the one and only god, and that the people will worship and serve that God above all others.

As a historical word, the term berit implies a special type of relationship between a lord and his servants. The lord takes on the role and responsibility to protect the servants; neither required nor expected by law, and in return, servants must make promises of their own to fulfil the bargain. A berit is a relationship agreement; two sided, and is valid only if both sides adhere to their part of the bargain.

Taken further, since Christianity arose out of Judaism, the promise between God and believers goes a step further. It becomes the doctrine of the Trinity, which is the basis of realization of the divinity of Christ, teaching that there are three parts to God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. One basic idea of the Trinity, then, within the Torah is that of the covenant of God, the Jews, and the Promised homeland of Israel. That there is but one god is revealed many times, but the Judaic Old Testament belief is that God is one-being, split into three essences, but the same God, or one being. In the Old Testament, there are several proofs that there is but one God:

"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is One Lord." (Deut. 6:4)

In the first of the Ten Commandments, 'Thou shalt have no other Gods before me." (Deut. 5:7).

Thus, the covenant of berit moves beyond the Ancient Jewish lands, to modern Christianity, as…… [read more]


Confucianism, Catholicism and Islam Essay

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3" To that end, even robbers possess moral knowledge "if you call them robbers, they are embarrassed.4"

Wang Vangming's statements were revolutionary in that he contested the need to spend hours of one's life learning moral improvement from books. Rather, he insisted that moral improvement was an innate aptitude that all were born with and that all could achieve and… [read more]


Islamic Faith Essay

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Islamic Faith

Religion is a very revolutionary thing, especially in the hands of the right person. This is hard for the modern mind to accept in the West where religion hs been dethroned. To understand this, it is necessary to return to the time of Mohammad and comprehend his time and faith. This is exactly what is done in A Concise History of the Middle East by Arthur Goldschmidt Jr.

Short Summary

The book functions as an introduction to the history of the Middle East from Islam's beginnings to the present. This work is distinguished by a clear style and a broad and balanced treatment of the subject. The authors wrote it for undergraduate college students, assuming that they have no prior knowledge. Thematically, its central treatment circles around focuses on the development of Islamic culture and institutions and culture, especially the life and times of Mohammad and his successors in the early history of Islam. Without Mohammad, it is likely that there would not be Islam. He is evidence of what one dedicated person can do to change history and the society around him.

Body

The meat of the Islamic history is explored in the book and this is critical to understand. While one textbook can not hope to fill in all of the holes in Western knowledge concerning the region and Islam, it certainly does yeoman's service in only a few pages.

Luckily, though a brief history, the book does a very nice job explaining the historical background of the Islamic faith in explaining its development by Mohammad in chapters 3 and 4. (Goldschmidt and Davidson, 2009, 15-42). The Quran is seen as the central miracle of Islam, proof itself of Mohammad's prophecy and the existence of God himself due to the beauty and integrity of the text. Even though Mohammad could not read, he produced this perfect book of law as it was dictated to him by God himself (ibid, 43).

Mohammad as God's messenger is key to understanding the Islamic world's view of itself in God's revelation to humanity. In addition to being the founder of the religion of Islam, he is considered by Muslims to be a messenger and prophet of God. In addition, he is the last law-bearer in a series of Islamic prophets and the last prophet of God as taught by the Qur'an. Thus, Muslims consider Mohammad as the restorer of an the original monotheistic faith of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and other prophets that had become corrupted. In addition, Mohammad was also functioned as diplomat, social reformer and revolutionary, merchant, orator, philospher, legislator, military leader, humanitarian/philanthropist and an agent of the divine will. So that people would not worship Mohammad, his image could never be shown (ibid, 27, 43-44).

Born in 570 C.E. In Mecca, Mohammad was orphaned at young age and was brought up under the tutelage of his uncle Abu Talib who was a powerful man in the city. Mohammad later worked as a successful merchant and shepherd… [read more]


Historical Islamic Faith Essay

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Islamaphobia is one of the most catching illnesses of nowadays and on the rise. However, Islamaphobia is caused by an erogenous impression of Islam where people make the mistake of mixing up Islamists with Moslems. Moslems, according to the way I see it, are the true practitioners of historical Islam that had developed throughout the generations but stayed close to… [read more]


Greek Orthodox Church Term Paper

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Greek Orthodox Church

The only real exposure I had ever had to the Greek Orthodox church before this assignment was going to my first Greek Festival back in high school. I had the pleasure of talking to a priest there, who explained their services. One of things that I noticed right off was that a lot of the traditions resembled… [read more]


Death the Four Categories of Human Being Essay

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Death

The four categories of human being are biological, psychological, sociological and religious.

The four types of Transcendence are ancestral, experiential, cultural and mythic.

A disembody spirit is the survival of a person through consciousness and will but without a physical body.

Spiritual embodiment is a body not associated with the physical body in death but signifies a person's survival… [read more]


John Donne's "The Canonization" Begins Research Paper

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" Although in some ways this may be read "as a consolation for what the poet cannot do -- although the speaker cannot make history or build a monument, the small beauty of a sonnet or an urn can be as good as a tomb or chronicle," Donne is ultimately saying that recording their love in poem and song will… [read more]


Etty Hillesum's Book an Interrupted Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (903 words)
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She fears pursuing an affair with a man who has a fiancee in London and is honest that she struggles between her body's desires and what her soul and her knowledge of right and wrong tell her what she should do. Everyone, no matter what profession or religion, gender or age, each member of the human race will have a similar struggle between what their physical body desires and what they know to be sinful or virtuous. Some overcome the desires of the flesh and do not descend into physicality. Others are not so strong and give in to their earthen desires. Still, each person can find God and be forgiven, Hillesum believes. Though she stumbled, she is not a truly bad person. For her wrongs, she may be forgiven.

Perhaps knowing or at least sensing what was to come, Hillesum begins to appreciate nature and all of God's creations as the days pass. Her outlook changes from constantly thinking of the future and making plans for it, to an introspective perception. Etty Hillesum learns to appreciate the present moment and indulge her passions in the here and now. She no longer wishes to be a conqueror of worlds, but an appreciative audience. All credit for this change is given to God and into Hillesum's faith in a greater being. "I no longer think of the future, that is, I no longer care whether or not I shall 'make it,' because I now have the inner certainty that everything will be taken care of" (19). Instead of becoming fearful of the invaders and the restrictions of the German order, Hillesum tries to find peace and goodness in the world. She struggles with her quite natural hatred of the Germans while still trying to remember that not all Germans are bad. This faith, too, is laid at the feet of God.

Etty Hillesum was a Jewish woman living in Holland at the time of the Nazi occupation. Between the years of 1941 and 1943, she kept a diary and sent letters to her sister. In these documents, she told her hopes and her fears and her loves and the objects of her loathing. She showed how she felt about the Nazis, and how she felt about herself. Through the diary, readers can learn about the perspective of one amazing woman and how she faced her impending future with faith in God and in a sense that the world was not a random thing. Everything has a purpose and so everything will be okay in the end.

Works Cited:

Hillesum, Etty. An Interrupted Life: The Diaries, 1941-1943, and, Letters from Westerbork.

United States:…… [read more]


Pre-Existence Christ Research Paper

Research Paper  |  10 pages (3,206 words)
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Others believe that God the Son was born on the earth, making a certain time frame of existence for Christ the man on earth. This limits the ability and atonement for Christ on earth. This also makes Jesus to be a God-filled or spirit filled man rather than God incarnated as man on earth. This disqualifies pre-existence, and nullifies the… [read more]


Art Appreciation Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother, Nipomo Term Paper

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Art Appreciation

Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California (1936)

Dorothea Lange's 1936 photograph may be interpreted from the perspective of both ideological criticism and feminist criticism. From an ideological perspective, Lange captures the ideological consequences of the Lawless Decade that preceded the Great Depression -- the effects of which Migrant Mother perfectly reflects. The children recede into the background as… [read more]


Superstition Is a Belief Essay

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Superstition is a belief in something that is not based on reason. In other words, it is the opposite of faith -- which, as the medieval world understood and tried to show (in the works of Thomas Aquinas, for example), was based on reason. Superstition is usually associated with what are called "old wives' tales," and they usually deal with luck or things that might occur in the future.

I do not believe that I am superstitious about anything, even though I sometimes play along with superstitions. For example, I might root for the number 8 (which is said to be lucky) and shy away from the number 4 (unlucky).

The difference between science, pseudoscience, philosophy and religion is that in a modern sense science is held above the others because it is based the collection of empirical data. Pseudoscience is a kind of false or wishful collection of data but is mostly hyperbole. Philosophy is the study of wisdom, as the ancient Greeks used to say. But such figures as Aristotle would have seen no difference between philosophy and science. And religion is that which binds us back to God -- as we appear to be separated.

The difference between proving something and having faith is this: proof is something that can be ratified by the intellect as true. Faith is the leap the will must take when reason shows that one must accept solely on the authority of the messenger alone -- hence, faith comes by hearing, but rests upon reason.

I do not believe in pseudoscience. But I do have faith in God.

I can attempt to prove that God is true. I can point to the quinque viae that Aquinas used. Or I can point to the argument of Anselm: God is that than which nothing greater can be conceived.

I do not believe that prayer is a pseudoscience, but I do believe it is how we talk to God and I believe He listens and that prayer is good for us.

My…… [read more]


Hinduism and Buddhism Historical Context Research Paper

Research Paper  |  6 pages (1,643 words)
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Practice the right meditation (Gill, 2011).

Three important concepts of Buddhism include karma, Samsara and Nirvana. As in Hinduism, karma refers to the law of cause and effect in a person's life. But unlike Hinduism, Buddhists believe that a person can break the rebirth cycle, no matter what class one is born into. The law of Samsara holds that everything is in a birth and rebirth cycle. Buddha taught that people do not have individual souls, and that what goes through the cycle is only a set of feelings, impressions, present moments and karma that is passed on. Nirvana is the eternal state of being where the law of karma and the rebirth cycle come to an end; it is the Buddhist's eternal hope.

Buddhism has no God or eternal deity, nor did Gautama claim to be divine. Since Buddhism in general does not believe in a personal God or divine being, practitioners do not engage in worship, praying, or praising of a divine being. Since it offers no form of redemption, forgiveness, heavenly hope, or final judgment, Buddhism is therefore more of a moral philosophy or an ethical way of life than it is a religion. Since Gautama's death, many sects have developed within Buddhism, and many of them differ in fundamental ways.

Personal Appraisal of Buddhism

I agree with many precepts of Buddhism, but find its greatest weakness to be the belief that there is no self or soul, which notion is to me vastly counterintuitive. On the other hand, two of Buddhism's greatest gifts to the world are its emphasis on nonviolence and the practice of meditation.

Reference List

Hinduism: The world's third largest religion. (2011). Religious Tolerance.org Web site. Retrieved June 18, 2011 from http://www.religioustolerance.org/hinduism.htm

Fast Facts on Buddhism. (2007). Religion Facts Web site. Retrieved June 18, 2011 from http://www.religionfacts.com/buddhism/fastfacts.htm

Flood, G. (2009). History of Hinduism. BBC Web site. Retrieved June 18, 2011 from http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/hinduism/history/history_1.shtml

Gill, N.S. (2011). Siddhartha Gautama's 8-fold path: The rules of Buddhism. Retrieved June 18, 2011 from http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/indusvalleyrel/a/1120098FoldPath.htm

Zukeran, P. (2002). Buddhism. Leadership University…… [read more]


Exegesis of Hebrews 12 Term Paper

Term Paper  |  18 pages (5,679 words)
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Hebrews 12:1-3

An Exegesis of Hebrews 12:1-3

One cannot give an account of Hebrews 12:1-3 without first giving an account of the letter to the Hebrews as a whole. And that cannot be done without first considering the author of the letter. The traditional acceptance is that the ideas are Pauline if not the literary style, which is of a… [read more]


Gran Torino Is a 2008 Film Essay

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Gran Torino is a 2008 film, directed by, staring, and produced by Clint Eastwood. Eastwood remarked that this is his final acting role, and was a family project; his son Scott played Trey, and his son Kyle wrote the score. It opened in North America on December 12, 2008 and worldwide on January 9, 2009. Despite what some might see… [read more]


Meaning of Baptism Term Paper

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Baptism is a sacrament practiced in most Christian denominations. According to Anonymous (2005) "views of baptism vary, but common views of the rituals include: it grants or symbolizes salvation, commemorates Christ's death and resurrection, fulfills the command of Jesus to baptize, cleanses away sins, confers grace, and publicly expresses one's faith." This important Christian sacrament originated with Judaism. Porter (2008) explains that before worshippers who were considered unclean could enter the temple, they had to be cleansed. Worshippers could be considered unclean as a result of touching an unclean person, dealing with the dead or diseased, or being intimate with a woman who was menstruating. Individuals who wanted to worship brought offerings such as doves or lambs to the priest who administered the cleansing rite by washing the unclean person in the waters, oils, and perfumes at the temple (Porter, 2008). The worshipper was then considered clean and allowed to enter the temple. Shaw (2003) explains that "Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the River Jordan; after Jesus emerged from the water, the Holy Spirit descended upon him, in the form of a dove, and the voice of God spoke from heaven, declaring Jesus to be 'my well-beloved son'." As a result Christians are now baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Shaw (2003) adds that according to Matthew's gospel, Jesus commanded his disciples to baptize thus in his post-resurrection appearance to them in Galilee. According to The Columbia Encyclopedia, the baptism of Jesus is considered part of the founding of the Christian Church.

Porter (2008) explains that baptisms continued in the early Christian Church typically involved large groups of people who were immersed nude in a river. Converts were assisted into the river by two priests, baptized by two other priests, and assisted out of the water on the other side of the river and into a white robe by two additional priests. The priests represented the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and the emerging from the river represented…… [read more]


Religion and Slavery Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,192 words)
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He then described many other instances of cruelty towards slaves including the killing of a slave named Demby," who was shot in cold blood by a ruthless and cruel slave master. (Douglass, Chapter 4)

It was not until Douglass was moved to Baltimore that he first mentions the Good Lord. He had been transferred to family named the Aulds, relatives of his former master, and when he saw the pleasant conditions he would be experiencing, he was overjoyed. Douglass interpreted this new life "as a special interposition of divine Providence in my favor." And "This good spirit was from God, and to him I offer thanksgiving and praise." (Douglass, Chapter 5)

But Douglass would learn that even the kindest and more religious people can turn bad when exposed to slavery. His new mistress, Mrs. Auld, was at first a kind and decent woman who had taught him to read, always had "bread for the hungry, clothes for the naked, and comfort for every mourner that came within her reach." (Douglass, Chapter 7) But as Douglass then went on to lament, "Slavery soon proved its ability to divest her of these heavenly qualities. Under its influence, the tender heart became a stone, and the lamblike disposition gave way to one of tiger-like fierceness." (Douglass, Chapter 7) Mrs. Auld was a kind hearted, god-fearing woman who, when exposed to the evils of slavery, changed into an evil, contemptible, woman with a heart of stone.

Religion is one of the only hopes a slave has, they must have faith that the misery and suffering of their everyday lives will be alleviated by God. One particular slave poem, which describes the misery of slave children being separated from their families, ends with the line "Will not a righteous God visit for these things?" And yet religion is often used to justify the cruelty inflicted upon the black slaves by their white masters. When Douglass told one of his masters about the cruelty of one of his former masters, the new master simply replied with by quoting a line from scripture, "He that knoweth his master's will, and doeth not, shall be beaten with many stripes." (Douglass, Chapter 9)

Frederick Douglass, in his book Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, describes his life as a slave and the cruelty and violence which such a society breeds. While not trying to bring religion into the conversation, he did; as those who are truly religious treated him kindly. But religion can be lost, or twisted into something vile and murderous, and slavery seems to have this effect.

If there is one thing that Frederick Douglass' life as a slave has demonstrated it is the slavery is not compatible with religion. Those who practice the institution of slavery often lose their humanity, and become violent, uncaring, monsters. The transformation of Mrs. Auld from a kind and loving person to a cruel slave owner with a heart of stone is a perfect example of this.… [read more]


Etymology and Definition Essay

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Sacrifice is a word used by many in a variety of contexts, yet this word has an array of meanings which still have the same but yet different definitions. It is difficult to describe exactly what this word means without going back to the root of it. Depending in what tense the word is used and in what form, it… [read more]


Wesleyan Quadrilateral Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,192 words)
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¶ … Thorsten's argument is that Wesley developed a pneumatology in crafting his Wesleyan Quadrilateral and that understanding this pneumatology would enable one to most accurately understand Wesley's intentions, therefore approach the Scripture in a more accurate and appropriate manner.

John Wesley proposed four methods for evaluating the Scriptures. These came to be called the Wesleyan Quadrilateral and refer to the four elements that John Wesley saw as fundamental for theological method: experience, reason, tradition, and Scripture.

The quadrilateral for Wesley serves as God's message to humans. It is through these four ways that one can best approach and understand God. However, oftentimes, invoking all four at the same time as evidence for one's argument, or commingling them into theoretical debate, can be confusing since one or more of the ways can be non-complementary to the other. It is, partially, this that has resulted in dissension between scholars and different churches through the ages, and when evangelical and liberals quote the quadrilateral as defense of their views, confusion can be seeded.

Thorsen attempts to demonstrate that Wesley saw Scripture as being the primacy approach and that the other three elements, reason, tradition, and experience were secondary to -- and off shoots from - scriptural interpretation. In other words, that the other three elements served to elaborate on, serve as analogy to, and apply scriptural truths to life.

Discovery of and clarification of this pneumatology bridges relations between evangelical and liberal Christian viewpoints rather than exacerbating dissention. This does not mean that scriptural perspective is the exclusive method of interpretation as per contemporary evangelism, bur rather that it denotes the primary lens of interpreting the Bible. There is a big difference between the two. At the same time, Thorsen tells liberals that Scriptural interpretation is supposed to, per Wesley, direct other means of interpreting the Book.

The originality and strength of the Wesleyan Quadrilateral, per Thorsten, lay in the fact that it gave each and every Christian his or her own individual way of approaching God. There was no one specific doctrine that was THE TRUTH, rather each Christian could understand God and attain the Holy Spirit in his or her way by using the 4 methods as described by Wesley's Quadrilateral. This provided a theological method as contrasted to a systematic theology, and is another indication of the ecumenical spirit that Thorsten sees pervades Wesley's work, and that may be traced back to his Methodist roots.

An examination of each of his four recommendations in turn will give us insight into his theological method as delineated by Thorsten:

Scripture

Here, Scripture stands primary whilst Christian experience, reason, and tradition may be used as lens for relaying the Scriptures to one's own experiences and understanding it better. Experience, reason, tradition are complementary to the scripture; they have a complimentary relationship one to the other whilst being deployed in better understanding of their arch-objective -- the Scriptures.

Wesley asserted that the "written word of God [was] the only and sufficient rule both… [read more]


Religious Content or Ideas of Ann Bradstreet Phillis Wheatley and Olaudah Equiano Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (845 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2

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Religion in Early American Writers: Bradstreet, Wheatley, And Olaudah Equiano

For some early colonial writers, America was a shining city on a hill. In the eyes of the Puritans, America was supposed to provide them with a respite from oppression and the ability to create a new Jerusalem, a place of salvation away from the religious and politician institutions of Europe. However, for women and African-Americans, their role in this new project of creating an American identity was more uncertain. Authors such as the female Puritan poet Ann Bradstreet and the African-American writers Phyllis Wheatley and Olaudah Equiano all struggled with the question of whether they had a 'right' to articulate themselves as writers. Religion was a common means of justification for socially marginalized writers -- by appealing to God and the humility required of all authors, regardless of sex or race, female and black authors could justify their authorship. By taking a stance of humility, they could gently remind the reader that all should be humble before the divine and all human beings had a right to be free.

Ann Bradstreet was a Puritan writer who used her verse to articulate her personal and religious concerns. In her poem "To my dear and loving husband" Bradstreet states that love is priceless, and prays that she will be rewarded in heaven by being reunited with her husband. However, since election is uncertain in the Puritan worldview, this desire is expressed as a fond dream rather than absolute certainty. Love of husband and God is to be prized above material wealth -- this idea is also expressed in "The prologue." "The prologue" also makes a case for Bradstreet's right to speak as an author. Not ancient tradition, only God can confer the right to speak; "A poet's pen all scorn I should thus wrong, / For such despite they cast on female wits; / If what I do prove well, it won't advance, / They'll say it's stol'n, or else it was by chance." Even though Bradstreet humbly says that men write best, she also begs the ability to put down her thoughts in prose: "Give thyme or parsley wreath, I ask no bays." This humility is befitting a Puritan as well as a woman, and despite her show of meekness, Bradstreet also indicates that the religious subjects of her "mean pen" are still worthy. This humility is also manifested in her poem "Contemplations" which stresses the interrelated web of God, humanity, and nature.

Arguing from a position of humility before God was…… [read more]


Atheist- Review in Candidacy Article Review

Article Review  |  5 pages (1,584 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5

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To reason discusses in details the pains and sufferings of the physical world as well as moral evils. He also holds a debate on the reasons theists give for the presence of these evils. He argues that as believed by theists that pain and sufferings are the results of man's wrong deeds and that God his give man right to choose from good and evil is not true completely. He discusses that we need to think that "God in conferring free could not guarantee that we abstain from evil, for to do so would be to limit freedom?"(p.65). And thus "the existence of evil is therefore fatal to the claims that there is a Supreme Being who is perfect in every respect" (p. 66). For his arguments McCloskey present many examples of our daily life and proud to be an Atheist; "whether one by the father of the victim or the victim himself, one must feel much happier in the knowledge that there is no God. (p.68)

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bronowski, J. 1972. Science and Human Values. New York: Perennial Library, Harper & Row

Carse, James. 2008. The Religious Case Against Belief. New York: Penguin.

H.J McCloskey. 1968. On Being an Athiest.

Paulos, John Allen. 2007. Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences. Victoria, BC, Canada: Trafford

Schick, Theodore. 2004. Can Science Prove that God Does Not Exist?.Burr, John & Goldinger, Milton. Philosophy and Contemporary Issues. Upper Saddle River, Newy Jersey: Peason/Prentice Hall. 484-487

Whitehead, Alfred North. 1926. Religion in the Making, A Series of Lectures by Professor Whitehead." Mountain Man. May 2011 available…… [read more]


Machiavelli, Luther, and Muntzer Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,989 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4

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Indeed Muntzer's rhetoric repeatedly challenges Luther by questioning his sincerity: he is a "poor flatterer" and "totally incapable of shame." ("Provoked Defense," 127) (Indeed, Luther's commentary on the New Testament Epistle of St. Paul to Philemon offered a Christian endorsement of flattery, and was controversial.) Luther is "boasting" and "lying from the bottom of his throat" (134). And like "the Jews" who "continually wanted to slander and discredit Christ," Luther has provoked Muntzer with an attack on his public reputation. Yet Muntzer really has taken the logic of Luther's insistence on sincerity to its logical, and eschatological, conclusion: "I preached that the punishment of the law has not been removed for godless transgressors (even though they be rulers)" (127). This radicalism is invited by Luther's insistence on sincerity, showing the way in which it degenerates all too easily into the same sort of superficiality reflected in Machiavelli, and to a certain extent encouraged by Catholic soteriology.

In all these cases, religious difference both shapes and reflects the differing answers to the issue of whether a good politician must be morally bad. Machiavelli could defend himself by claiming that he was not encouraging wickedness, he was simply treating a subject (politics) which had no particular overlap with Christian ethics. Yet the Catholic doctrine of Original Sin holds that moral badness is inherent in everyone -- this has, to a certain extent, a democratizing effect in saying that a politician will be inherently bad to the extent that anyone else is. For Luther and Muntzer, religion takes an interior turn, but so does ethical judgment: now the assumption that politicians are inclined to ethical badness -- although not ethically bad by definition -- can be overcome by a profession of sincerity. But as there is no evidence to judge sincerity by except outward demonstrations, this leads to a superficiality as great as Machiavelli's. The only thing that Luther and Muntzer lose is the humanism of Machiavelli's vision, in which the emphasis on hypocrisy over sincerity tends to rule out any religious convictions that are worth killing over. Machiavelli thinks that of necessity a good politican must be flexible above all else and bow down to public opinion, so the level of required ethical goodness reflects societal standards; by contrast Luther and Muntzer -- less inclined to give credit to standards of society over those of scripture -- think good politics derive from sincere beliefs, but that the proof of sincerity lies in the willingness to kill for the sake of an abstract idea.

Works Cited

Luther, Martin. "Temporal Authority: To What Extent It Should Be Obeyed" (1523).

Machiavelli, Niccolo. The Prince. Translated by W.K. Marriott. Project Gutenberg; n pag. Web.

Muntzer,…… [read more]


Action(s) Should Christians Research Paper

Research Paper  |  3 pages (948 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5

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Surely, it would practically be impossible for someone today to consider that absolutely all of the activities that he or she performs are environmental-friendly. Even with that, the respective person should do anything in his or her power in order to pollute as little as possible, as people are likely to find that it is actually very easy to assist the environment. The general purpose of Christianity is to protect and save humanity, and, considering that in order to do so Christians should first focus on saving the planet because it is humanity's home, it only seems natural for Christians to want to take on an environmentalist position. Christians are traditionally focused on protecting the natural world, as "there is a tendency, especially among some Christian environmentalists, to invoke a model of nature as a harmonious, interconnected, and interdependent community" (Sideris 2).

Christians need to understand that recycling is not limited to partitioning trash so as for garbage men to be able to select and recycle materials. Mostly everything, ranging from clothes to electronics can be reused. Also, it is very important for people to focus on buying and using materials that can be recycled.

With members in the Christian community being particularly close, it is very likely that it would achieve great results if it would unite in starting a general recycling process. Priests are particularly important in this situation, as they have the ability to promote environmentalist concepts and because the public is typically accustomed to follow directions that they receive in church. The church itself is likely to benefit from this process, as people would regain their trust in the institution, especially considering that its history has been particularly troubled during the last centuries.

One of the easiest (and surely effective) methods of assisting the environment would be for Christians to be certain that the bibles that they buy are made out of recycled materials. Given the large number of bibles commercialized around the world, it is very probable that such an act would prove to be efficient. Similarly, in an attempt to save trees by refraining from using paper, Christians should use present day technology with the purpose of sending mails, as conventional mailing devices are obsolete, insecure, and generally less effective when compared with modern e-mail mediums.

Works cited:

Jenkins, Willis "Missiology in Environmental Context: Tasks for an Ecology of Mission," International Bulletin of Missionary Research Oct. 2008

Novotny, Patrick Where We Live, Work, and Play: The Environmental Justice Movement and the Struggle for a New Environmentalism (Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2000)

Reilly, Patrick "Leftists Pushing Radical 'christian' Environmentalism," Human Events 22 June 2009

Sideris, Lisa H. Environmental Ethics, Ecological Theology, and Natural Selection (New York: Columbia University Press, 2003)

"Religion and the Environment," Retrieved May 12, 2011, from the Palomar College…… [read more]


Impact of Religion on the Elderly Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (917 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2

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Public health emergency preparedness and response.

lab assignment two topics gerontology the impact of religion

The Impact of Religion among Elderly

Clear identification, description, and definition of the topic. Present relevant information such as: incidence, statistics, and demographical information.

"An analysis of Gallup polls between 1992 and 1999 shows that thirty-eight percent of Americans over fifty years of age attend church at least once a week and seventy percent in that age group rate religion as an important part of their lives (Ehmann, 1999). Jeffrey Levin, the premier writer in the field of religion, aging, and health points out that 50% of those over 65 attend church at least weekly" (Onken 1999). Research conducted by the Yale University School of Medicine indicates that religion can have a significant impact upon the health of the elderly: Americans over 65 who regularly attend religious services are more apt to engage in preventative self-care and are more likely to have positive social ties that promote better psychological and physical health (New research, 1997, Science Daily). Religion does not specifically 'heal' the elderly, but it does promote the creation of a healing environment.

Explain the bio-psychosocial aspects/factors or theories which impact your topic (discuss at least 2 aspects)

According to Erik Erikson, the central developmental conflict of the elderly is the conflict between integrity vs. despair (Harder 2005). Individuals search for a sense that their lives were meaningful. Religion can help give people a philosophical and emotional context in which to place their lives. There are also biological and sociological aspects that affect the perceptions of the aging person. Sickness can cause the elderly to feel depression, and retirement and the loss of friends and loved ones can also provoke depression. Religion can help the individual better understand 'why me' if he or she is afflicted with an illness, and religious communities can create a network of ties to sustain the elderly person even after adult children have moved away and loved ones and friends have passed away.

What are the specific needs of this particular elderly group on a micro, mezzo, and macro level?

On a micro, or individual/familial level, the elderly person must find a balance between independence and interdependence. Some elderly people may be resistant to seeking support for activities they once performed with ease, such as cooking a meal for themselves. On the other hand, children may be overly protective of parents who do not need intensive support. On a mezzo level, elderly individuals can benefit from retaining a sense of connection to the community and also engaging in personal development, either through travel or taking classes. On a macro, societal level, elderly persons deserve to have their skills and past knowledge respected, and for elderly persons who…… [read more]


Personal Religious History Religion Today Essay

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Personal Religious History

Religion today is probably one of the most contentious areas of debate in society. The fact that there are so many possible belief systems is one of the challenges faced by today's religious person. Those who grew up in a Christian background, for example, have a tendency to believe in the absolute truth of their own position without giving much consideration to other directions. The same is true of other fundamentalist religions such as Judaism or Islam. My own personal history is very much informed by the Christian background in which I grew up. I just also take into account, however, more recent events that have influenced who I am today, including the events on September 11, 2001.

My childhood was infused with Christianity. As a family, we attended regular church services, had Bible study times at home, and generally professed ourselves to be children. In my young self, this created a philosophy that believed in heaven and hell, as well as the necessity of being a Christian in order to be able to go to heaven. At the time, I believed that people who believed otherwise than myself were "lost souls."

As a believer, I also held the philosophy that compassion and love for others were one of the manifestations of Christianity in myself. I always tried to help where I could, especially where a person was suffering to a greater extent than I was.

I was part of a community that generally held the same beliefs that I did. When one grows up in a home that is based on a certain philosophy, it is easy to accept this philosophy if it is not challenged by anyone in one's immediate environment. Growing up as a Christian, my parents always provided me with a large amount of support for developing my ideas around my religion. They also made sure that I came into contact with a community that held the same ideas as I did. Many of our friends were Christian as well, reinforcing the philosophy in myself.

I believe there are many beautiful things about Christianity. I like the idea of heaven, for example. I also like the idea of compassion and helping others in need based on the love Christ had for the suffering world. In retrospect, the time when I held these beliefs without question seems painfully peaceful, especially in the light of the things I have known and experienced since.

When one grows up in a certain philosophy, there is always a measure of protection. Depending on the extent of this protection provided by the parents, one might be somewhat shocked to come into contact with a world where the reality is far different from that promoted at home. In my home, for example, I was taught the value of caring for others, as well as the value of the Christian philosophy.

When I grew up and started serving as a Naval officer from 1999 to 2005, I was exposed to many… [read more]


Interfaith Dialogue Essay

Essay  |  10 pages (2,695 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 4

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Interfaith Dialogue

Common Ground in a World of Growing Fundamentalism and Controversy: The Importance of Interfaith Dialogue

The geopolitical situation of the world today is heavily influenced by matters of faith, and specifically by the adherents to certain specific major religions. Despite what appears to be an increasing secularization in much of the world and in the hearts and minds… [read more]


Discovery Project Research Paper

Research Paper  |  4 pages (1,101 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4

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Jainism began in the 7th century B.C. In eastern India, one of many groups divesting themselves from the formalized rituals and hierarchical organization of Hinduism (1). According to Hibbets, Jainism follows the teachings of twenty-four Tirthankaras who taught that the way to spiritual enlightenment was through a strict practice of religious asceticism. The last of these Tirthankaras is generally credited with founding Jainism. Born in the family of Jnatirputra around 599 B.C., he has been given the laudatory names of Mahavira (the great one) and Jina (the conqueror) (2). According to Jainist tradition, when he was a young man, Mahavira left the emptiness of a life a pleasure to pursue the ascetics of Brahminism. Mahavira believed so completely in the principle of self-mortification that he did not wear clothes, did not shelter himself from the elements, ate only vegetables, and fasted (2). After thirteen years of this practice, Mahavira converted eleven disciples. Jain tradition credits Mahavira with establishing a monastic community of 14,000 monks and 36,000 nuns by the time of his death, which tradition attributes to fasting (1).

In the fourth century AD, a schism occurred in Jainism which formed the two sects that continue today -- the Shvetembaras (white-clad monastics) and Digambaras (sky-clad monastics). The Shvetembaras believe that monks and nuns should wear white robes, while the Digambaras believe that monks should be nude. Digambaras also believe that females cannot attain liberation (1). Between the fourth and sixth centuries, the Shvetembaras migrated to western and central India, whereas the Digambaras settled in southern India.

'Describing eight main classes of karmas, successively, in proper order; a worldly soul, bound by these karmas, suffers through cycles of birth and death.' (Uttaraadhyayan Sutra)

The major tenet of Jainism is for the soul to achieve liberation from the cycle of reincarnation by ridding itself of the bonds of karma through ascetic practice. Jains believe that the soul is uncreated, eternal, and has infinite power and knowledge (Anonymous). While Jains believe that all living things have a soul, only humans can achieve liberation. There are five levels on this path to liberation:

1. Sadhus (monks) and sadhvis (nuns)

2. Upahdyayas (teachers of the Jain scripture)

3. Acharyas (spiritual leaders)

4. Arihantas (liberated souls who have attained salvation)

5. Siddhas (liberated souls)

When an ordinary person (a householder) decides they want to undertake the path to liberation, they must first live with monks or nuns for a specified period of time. If after learning about the religion and the ascetic life they decide they want to follow it, they take the five vows to become a sadhu or sadhvi and begin following the renounced life. Once a sadhu acquires additional knowledge of the Jain scriptures and philosophy, he teaches the scriptures to others and becomes an upahdyaya. As the individual progresses on the path to liberation and masters the scriptures, other languages, and other religions, he becomes an acharya and is able to lead a monastic community. The ultimate level that a human can… [read more]


Second Vatican Council Research Paper

Research Paper  |  15 pages (4,728 words)
Bibliography Sources: 15

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Vatican II

A Survey of the Second Vatican Council

Vatican Council II stands out as unique in the Catholic Church's near 2000-year history. From 1962 to 1965 the massive council met in Vatican City to update the Church's stance on liturgical and theological matters. By adopting what Popes John XXIII and Paul VI, as well as a majority of the… [read more]


Mel Gibson's the Passion Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,790 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+

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Gibson's earlier Oscar-winning Braveheart manages to follow precisely the pattern I have outlined above. Braveheart features a graphically violent sequence in which King Edward I kills the male lover of his son. Although Edward II is known to have been homosexual, and the murders of his (reputed) lovers Gaveston and Spenser is a matter of historical fact, they occurred long after the conflict between Longhanks and William Wallace depicted in the film. In Braveheart Gibson is going out of his way to depict the violent death of a minor character, depicted as an impertinent and effeminate homosexual -- and in Braveheart the main character (played by Gibson) undergoes a slow death by torture. Yet the handling of the sacrificial death of the protagonist at the climax of Braveheart differs from Gibson's handling of the Crucifixion in The Passion of the Christ by allowing the camera to linger on the protagonist's face rather than depicting a crudely literalistic interpretation of Isaiah's prophecy of a Messiah being "crushed." But it may be that the demonization of androgyny, or the androgyny of demonization, in The Passion of the Christ is merely Mel Gibson's method of applying the same studious aesthetic contemplation of himself that he employed in Braveheart to contemplating the nude body of the suffering Christ: in order to get over the anxiety of staring at a half-naked man whom doctrinally Mel Gibson is obliged to love, he goes out of his way to suggest that homosexuals are evil, or that evil is merely a by-product of androgyny.

Works Cited

Gibson, Mel. The Passion of the Christ. With James Caviezel, Monica Bellucci. Icon Productions: 2004.

Gibson, Mel. Braveheart. With Mel Gibson, Brian…… [read more]


Catholic Voices Data Analysis Data Analysis Chapter

Data Analysis Chapter  |  10 pages (2,900 words)
Style: Harvard  |  Bibliography Sources: 10

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" (Allen, 2010) It is stated that what is needed is "to reflect on this experience, how well it went and what we can learn from it, and then think about the future. Of course, the future will require funding, where it will come from and so on. Without a papal visit on the horizon, will there be the same… [read more]


Comparing Islam to Judeo-Christian Beliefs Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (955 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2

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¶ … Islam to Judeo-Christian beliefs

Islamic Beliefs vs. Christian Beliefs

The similarities between Christianity and Islam arise from their origin in Judaism. Just as Christianity is seen as Judaism 2.0, Islam can be seen as Judaism 3.0. Thus, the two faiths share beliefs similar to the beliefs of Judaism, including the concept of a jealous God, heaven and hell, and the communication of God to mankind through prophets.

Beliefs

Main Beliefs of Islam

The Islamic belief in Tawhid is equal to the Christian belief in the one True God. The Qu'ran reads, "He is God, the One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; and there is none like unto Him."

Like Christianity, Islam imagines a jealous God and preaches love only for the one true God.

The Islamic belief in the Day of Resurrection or Day of Final Judgment is synonomous with Christianity's Day of Judgment. Both beliefs state that Armageddon will visit Earth and God will separate the believers and the non-believers. However, Christianity believes that Judgment Day will be triggered by the second coming of Christ, who will himself judge the non-believers and redeem the faithful, establishing the Kingdom of God.

Islam has its own special set of laws, called the Sharia, governing believers. The Shariah covers aspects of daily living as well as aspects of government, influencing and even superseding secular law in many polities. Christianity does not have a comprehensive set of formal laws to govern such detailed aspects of its believers' lives, relying mainly on the Golden Rule and the advice of its priesthood for Guidance.

Unlike Christians, Muslims have a concrete framework through which to prove their commitment to the faith and to guide them in their worship. This framework is called the Five Pillars presents them as a They are creed, daily prayers, almsgiving, fasting during Ramadan, and the pilgrimage to Mecca. Christians do not have a concrete framework to guide their prayer or prove their commitment to God, believing that it was only necessary to love God in one's heart.

Islam does not believe in a clergy to act as intermediaries between God and God's followers. Although Islam has an imam who leads prayer and acts as a spiritual advisor, this imam cannot be considered a priest in the traditional sense of the word. Christianity has a sacrificial priesthood derived from the original priesthood of Christ.

To this day, clergymen are required to perform various services, such as baptisms or marriages.

Furthermore, Protestant Christians reject the concept of a special intermediary class of Christians and believe in the priesthood of all believers.

Theology

The biggest theological disagreement between Islam and Christianity regards the divinity of Christ. However, Islam does not teach that Jesus was the son of God.

However, Islam, like Christianity, preaches the immaculate conception of Jesus, that he was…… [read more]


Pascal &amp Giussani the Roman Term Paper

Term Paper  |  7 pages (2,169 words)
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" Why does he know that it exists? Because the existence of that thing is implied in the dynamic of his person. (116)

In other words, Giussani rather appealingly likens the otherness of God to the otherness inherent in a boy-meets-girl situation -- it is an otherness that fascinates, appeals, beckons and inspires. But the problem with the use of reason to interpret the signs of creation is that we are (like a pubescent boy thinking of girls) often lured into impatience, the desire for an answer: as Giussani puts it later,

Reality is a sign, and it awakens our religious sense. But it is a suggestion that is misinterpreted. Existentially, the human being is driven to interpret it poorly; that is to say, prematurely, with impatience. The intuition of our relationship with mystery becomes degraded into presumption. (140)

This then means that the possibility for God's presence to be manifest in the world is constant, but it is our own interpretive skills that may fail us. As Giussani will put it within this same discussion: "Revelation means a possibly real fact, an historical event, which the human person may or may not recognize" (143).

Altogether it might seem that Pascal's approach to Christian belief is substantially more gloomy than Giussani's, there is a way of interpreting them as being quite similar. Pascal was famously horrified by the contemplation of the vast empty spaces of the universe, unable to conceive of them without a God. Giussani sees this rather bleak reality as instead God's call to address the solitude of the human condition: "Before solitude there is companionship, which embraces my solitude. Because of this, solitude is no longer true solitude, but a crying out to that hidden companionship" (56). But overall, the gloomy Jansenism that hovers over Pascal -- emphasizing the fallen and corrupt nature of man in an Augustianian way, while at the same time suggesting that only God's grace can permit human action to rise above this fallenness -- is fairly brighter in the more orthodox conceptions of Giussani. For Giussani, divine grace actually fills the existential void of contemplation, and instead of despairing of human merit of salvation as Pascal might, he suggests that "This is the frontier of human dignity: "Even if salvation does not come, still I want to be worthy of it in every instant." (145). Giussani's God is altogether not so chilly and remote as Pascal's. But this is ultimately the limitation of Pascal's style of argument, as seen in his famous "wager." Pascal's achievements in mathematics -- where he more or less established the idea of probability (related to wagering) -- argues that if there is any probability that God exists, the rational person will undergo whatever privations are demanded by religion in order to enjoy eternal life. Yet this argument offers no moral force when faced with contemplation of an heretical alternative -- if the Muslim heaven offers virgins and servants in addition to rapt contemplation of God, should it… [read more]


Taoism and Later World Religions Essay

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" But the largest gulf between Christianity and Daoism is that Christianity is a salvation religion. (So is Islam, although interestingly the Judaism from which both derived is not.) Laozi offers no guidance for the afterlife or for salvation, and when he refers to Heaven he presumably means something like "the natural order of the universe," for he places Heaven subordinate to the Dao itself: "Man takes his law from the Earth; the Earth takes its law from Heaven; Heaven takes its law from the Dao." But then Laozi shockingly follows this with the claim that "the law of the Dao is its being what it is," in other words, it is not only the central ordering principle of the world, it is also self-evident to an observer. Daoism resembles the other religions of the east in placing no emphasis on salvation, although salvationist strands of Buddhism would emerge in the years after Laozi's death.

One final major difference between Laozi's philosophy and those of the later religions that arose to the west lies in the role played by scripture. The process of building up the canonical scriptures of both Christianity and Islam would take centuries: Islamic clerics would record the statements of the prophet Muhammad after his death to create the Hadith, a second scripture to go beside the Qu'ran, while various conferences of Christian bishops would eventually decide which Christian scriptures were authentic and which apocryphal. And religious observances in both creeds use the scripture heavily. But Laozi -- who left only one short cryptic text to state his tenets -- put no stock whatsoever in the notion that serious study would offer any religious insight. "When we renounce learning we have no troubles," says Laozi. Although this could be interpreted as a command to operate on instinct rather than thought -- not unlike Obi-Wan Kenobi telling Luke Skywalker to "use the force" -- it resembles nothing that the mainstream clergy in either Christianity or Islam would endorse. To find similar sentiments, one would have to look to the mystical traditions in those religions -- the mysticism of Sufi Islam or the direct experience of God recorded by Christian mystics such as Saint John of the Cross -- in order to find any sort of teaching which places an emphasis on the avoidance of "learning," including scripture, doctrine, or…… [read more]


Groome's Shared Christian Praxis Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (924 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3

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Education

According to Thomas Groome (n.d.), religious education has become divorced completely from catechism. Groome (n.d.) in part blames the intense rationalism of modern era Western philosophers like Descartes, but also points to political and cultural motives for the separation of religious knowledge from catechetical knowing. The Christian praxis approach that Groome (n.d.) presents is one that can ideally fuse religious education and catechism.

Religious education can be loosely defined as the bare facts of the faith: as in the Bible as literature and Christ as a historical figure. How religion transforms the character of an individual is glossed over if it is discussed at all. Critical reflection is saved mainly for the analysis of data, and not for self-reflection. Groome's (n.d.) Christian praxis approach bravely re-introduces the catechism into religious education. The praxis approach is, according to Ryan (2007), "a significant refinement of contemporary catechetical ideas and practice," (p. 111).

In the contemporary Australian school system, the Christian praxis approach reveals very real benefits. However, the praxis approach can also become one of the most controversial elements in a student's religious education. Drawbacks, or at least potential drawbacks, to Groome's (n.d.) Christian praxis approach begin with the fundamental fact of diversity. As Groome (n.d.) himself admits, the praxis approach must be tempered with political and cultural realities. Christian praxis is uniquely Catholic, as Groome (n.d.) notes. This could serve to isolate some Christian students from the core dialogue and discourse. Moreover, students engaging in religious education may not necessarily be Christian at all. Political correctness and sensitivity to diversity must be taken into account when incorporating Christian praxis into general religious education classrooms.

It would be theoretically and also practically impossible to present Christian praxis without its religious context. Ryan (2007), O'Murchu (n.d.), and Groome (n.d.) himself concur that the story of Christ and the Christian experience are the central fountains from which students draw the necessary tools and frameworks for understanding real-world issues. The Christian praxis approach entails increasing student knowledge of the Christian tradition while also engaging in a highly participatory environment (Ryan 2007). Real life situations are viewed through the lens of both personal experience and Christianity, so that critical analysis becomes possible. It would be impossible for educators to teach character development without a core framework or set of criteria.

For this reason, incorporating praxis into religious education can make religious education more meaningful. It may in fact be the only way of making religious education meaningful. As O'Murchu (n.d.) points out, the traditional emphasis in religious education on the Church "has been so central and patriarchially controlled that we have lost virtually all semblance of what the new reign of God (the Kingdom) is about" (p. 46). Divorcing religious education from catechism has, O'Murchu (n.d.) argues,…… [read more]


Wesley John Wesley Was a Brilliant Theologian Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,411 words)
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Wesley

John Wesley was a brilliant theologian who lived from 1703 to 1791. He lived his life as an Anglican minister and was an early leader in the Methodist movement, first while he was at Oxford University, then while he was a parish priest in Savannah, Georgia, and finally in London after Wesley returned to England. The movement really took… [read more]


Death Dying and Bereavement Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (980 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+

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Surviving the Death Experience

Rituals in Human Life and Death

The loss of loved ones to death is one of the most emotionally traumatic experiences in human life. Nevertheless, death is an inevitable aspect of life and almost everyone does, unfortunately, experience the loss of a loved one several times in life. One of the ways that humans come to term with and recover emotionally from the loss of close relations is through rituals such as funerals and other organized commemoration of the life and death of the deceased.

Typically, funeral services in Western cultures and other types of organized social death rituals in other cultures feature the expression of grief by loved ones and close relations, as well as public acknowledgment of the contributions and value of the life of the deceased from the perspective of the community. Funerals and death rituals provide an opportunity for loved ones to experience closure and to express their grief fully; they also allow members of the community to demonstrate their respect for and appreciation of the deceased in a manner that is often helpful to the family in coping with their loss.

The Role of Religion

Naturally, religious cultures and rituals dominate the manner in which people conceptualize and respond to death. That is largely because to the extent people maintain religious beliefs, those beliefs generally lay out the fundamental beliefs shared within the community about human life and death, as well as about specific beliefs about what happens to the deceased individual "after" death. These specific beliefs inevitably play in important role in how we view human death: in some cultures, religious beliefs teach that death is not permanent but only a phase of existence within an endless cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth in other forms. By contrast, Western Judea-Christian religious views of death regard death as a permanent end to the physical life of the individual but not necessarily of the person's eternal spirit. Certain Western religious traditions (such as Christianity in particular) go much further and presuppose very specific beliefs about the nature and quality of the supposed "afterlife" and even the manner in which the nature of the afterlife is specifically determined by choices made by the individual during life.

Regardless, of the different beliefs taught by various religious traditions, virtually all human religions provide a means of understanding death and putting it into perspective, generally, in relation to the larger notion of an eternal divine being they call "God." The presumed belief that God has a comprehensive plan for all human beings and that the human "soul" continues to share a relationship with "God" brings many people a measure of psychological comfort in connection with the loss of loved ones. Similarly, it may play an equally important role in helping individuals accept the fact that they too will eventually die. That is, understandably, a very troubling thought to many people; the belief in gods, eternal…… [read more]


Saint Thomas Aquinas Essay

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But a glance at the actual text of Aquinas' Summa Theologica shows the way his philosophical argumentation and system-building proceed: Aquinas asks a question, then introduces philosophical objections, then resolves the dispute with reference to scripture but also to syllogistic logic, empirical evidence, and common sense. Aquinas proves both by Aristotelian logic but also by scriptural reference that "the fool has said in his heart that there is no God" that it cannot be asserted that God's existence is self-evident ("Summa" Question 2 Article 1). This willingness to combine dogma with clear and obvious logic seems to derive from Aquinas' dual focus as a Dominican on learning and preaching to ordinary persons: the system of Christian doctrine should therefore be justifiable both in terms of basic common sense and the most advanced sort of philosophical inquiry.

Aquinas' influence as a thinker, though, relies more on the systematic character of his thought. James Hinz notes that, in the sixteenth century, Aquinas' Scholasticism was still alive and well even after the Catholic Church's monopoly on Christian religion had been challenged: Hinz refers to Schegk as the "father of Protestant Scholasticism," who would write numerous commentaries on Aristotle, from a standpoint that otherwise theologically was more in agreement with Luther than with Aquinas (Wikipedia, "Jakob Schegk"). This is worth noting in case we are tempted to see Aquinas as relevant only to the specific study of Catholicism -- his emphasis on the Classical naturalism of Aristotle was capable of attracting emulators even across doctrinal divides. Indeed Aquinas also has had an influence on ethical thinking without any specific reference to God or religion at all: since the nineteenth century, the philosophical analysis of ethics has been divided into Kantian and Utilitarian approaches. We can see this with an ethical writer like John Rawls, who is attempting to reclaim a Kantian position, or like Peter Singer, who is rather provocatively occupying the most stubborn Utilitarian position conceivable. Because Aquinas' view of ethical behavior depends more on the notion of personal virtue -- rather than the universalistic appeals to society at large which mark the Kantian categorical imperative and the cold-blooded Benthamite calculus alike -- Aquinas has offered an example for ethical writers like the Cambridge Wittgensteinian G.E.M. Anscombe (Wikipedia, "G.E.M. Anscombe."). And it is worth noting that one of the major twentieth century inheritors of Aquinas was the Irish writer (and seriously lapsed Catholic) James Joyce, who took from Aquinas not only the categorical system-building approach to thought, but also an aesthetic theory based on Aquinas' notions of consciousness and representation.

Works Cited

Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica. Online at: http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1002.htm

Soccio, Archetypes of Wisdom (8th edition).

Wikipedia.org, "Jakob Schegk."

Wikipedia.org, "G.E.M. Anscombe."… [read more]


Aquinas' 4th Proof Essay

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Thomas Aquinas and the Gradation of Things

Thomas Aquinas and the Gradation to be Found in Things

This paper addresses the fourth proof of the existence of God given by Thomas Aquinas and discuss the efficiency of Aquinas' style. It will answer the question of criticism of Aquinas' proof and will also give a modern-day situation, to which the fourth proof may be applied, while surveying the larger theme of faith in relation to reason.

Thomas Aquinas set out five proofs for the existence of God, called the quinque viae -- or five ways, in the Summa Theologica. The fourth way in which the existence of God is proven employs the use of gradations found in nature. Aquinas' style and technique is very effective -- for not only does he rely heavily on rational argument, but also he supplies numerous examples to illustrate his point. For instance, to explain how the existence of God is proven by the gradation of things, Aquinas gives the example of heat related to fire: some things are hot, some are hotter, and some are hottest. Fire is the cause of all things hot and is itself the hottest. Thus, "the maximum," as Aquinas says, "in any genus is the cause of all in that genus." If that is true, what is said for fire must also be said for being. Gradations in being must point to a maximum being -- and that maximum being must be what is called God.

I would not add anything to Aquinas' methods or responses, because what he says is clear enough. It is straight-forward, concise, and to the point. What can be especially appreciated is the fact that there is no deviation with regard to this proof. Elsewhere, Aquinas is prone to giving lengthy disputations of arguments, responses to those arguments, and responses to those responses -- so that some may lose track of what it is Aquinas is essentially setting out to prove. However, careful following of his texts is sure to lead one to the answer Aquinas proposes. And his fourth proof relying on the gradation to be found in things is so simply constructed and recited that no one should be capable of losing his or her way.

One criticism that might be leveled at Aquinas is that he is starting with the firm conviction that God exists and then attempting to rationalize this conviction. But such a criticism could easily be turned around and put upon the accuser who exercises no conviction. Such a one, rather than observing the laws of nature as Aquinas does, will try to interpret the laws of nature to fit his own hypothesis; such a one will rationalize his own unbelief. Such is not the case with Aquinas. Never does he rely upon Revelation as a proof in and of itself -- unless he is arguing that Revelation can be used as a proof in and of itself. Instead, if he must rely on proofs not found in nature,… [read more]


Holy Spirit in the Book Acts Term Paper

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Holy Spirit in the Book Of Acts

The purpose of the Book of Acts was to offer a history of the early church with a focus on the Holy Spirit and how it is the "life principle" of the Church (Johnson 1992, 14). The book focuses on the day of Pentecost and how one can be empowered by being a… [read more]


Old Testament Deuteronomy CHP 10 Research Paper

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Deuteronomy, Chapter 10

According to biblical scholars, chapter 10 of the Book of Deuteronomy was written on the fortieth year of the exile of the people of Israel. The chapter is also one of the most important parts of the book, and the Bible in general, for it emphasizes the importance of Mosaic Law, God's Love, Grace, and Forgiveness. Scholars… [read more]


David Hume William James Contrast and Compare Theories Term Paper

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David Hume/Williams James

William James (1842-1910) was one of America's most notable philosophers, however, his work went beyond the boundaries of philosophy (Schick & Vaughn 2009). Born in New York City to a theologian father and the elder brother of famed novelist Henry James, James spent much of his youth studying religion and writing his thoughts on the subject matter… [read more]


Witness of Preaching Book Report

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Witness of Preaching by Thomas G. Long Note: the book is based on the idea that ministers and preachers are called from within the church instead of being sent to it from the outside world. Based on this, the entire books provides insights to not just pastors but also seminary students on how they can prepare their speeches to influence… [read more]


Descartes and Skepticism Is the Definition Term Paper

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Descartes and Skepticism

Skepticism is the definition where each and every aspect of one's knowledge -- including belief of one's reality is questioned. Determined to investigate the source and truth of his knowledge, Descartes determined to start by doubting all that he knew and then to work through each and every element of his presupposition -- both cultural and sensual and even the fundamental basics of reasoning itself -- in order to arrive at some sort of infrastructure of knowledge that he could accept as certain. This became known as the Cartesian framework or endeavor towards certain knowledge.

His book the Meditaitons describes this search. His First Meditation is the elaboration of his exercise on three levels. Firstly, Descartes notes that all of existence may be an illusion. Just as dreams are illusions, so too may existence be one long drawn out delusion too. It is, therefore, recommended to doubt any particular bit of sensory knowledge except that of mathematics and the content of simple nature since these remain constant even in an abstract existence.

Furthermore, Descartes brings up the possibility of a deceiving God, namely one who belabors to induce humans to believe in an existence that is untrue. Perhaps I systematically deceive myself, or there is some demon (if not God) that distorts my reality. The point is uncertainty in the certitude of any of my beliefs.

Descartes then proceeds to show that the one element that emerges as assured is the fact "cogito ergo sum," "I exist, therefore I am" (Med. II). I think, therefore I am. I have this thought of skepticism therefore I must exist, and no demon could deceive me regarding that. "Cogito ergo sum" acts as an intuition of one's own reality, an expression of self-conscious awareness.

From this basis, flows all else. What is this sum? Asserts Descartes, it is a mind or soul: sum res cogitans" ("I am a thing that thinks") (Med. II). All external impression are printed on the mind as imprint on beeswax. Whilst sensory appearances may be unreliable, it is the mind -- introspection -- that provides the key to authentic knowledge. Nonetheless, we may still be deceived by some sort of demon -- perhaps our innate ideas do not correspond to the reality of things (Med III).

Descartes then proves that God does exist by arguing that the cause of my idea must have at least as much reality as the content of the idea itself. Since my concept of God has unlimited content, the initiator of this idea must be infinite and this description can only apply to an omnipotent infinite creator. Therefore God exists, and Descartes' reinforces this supposition with the classical cosmological argument. A perfect God would not wish to deceive (Med. IV), and, therefore, I can now be certain that my innate ideas (or intellectual / cognitive capacities) cohere to an external reality. Errors come about through the organ of the will rather than through the organ of the understanding, since I… [read more]


Jesus and Mohammed Essay

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Jesus & Mohammed

More than any two religions on Earth, Christian and Muslim traditions share striking similarities (George, 2002, p. 20). At a time in our global society when Muslims as a group are viewed unfavorably because of the actions of a few, it is important to understand the commonalities of these two faiths and appreciate how devotees similarly worship… [read more]


Deutero Pauline and the Pastoral Epistles Essay

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Theology

Pseudoepigraphy is a term of Greek origin meaning literally false writing; the term is used to refer to a "false attribution of authorship" or "falsely attributing a writing to someone different from the actual author," (Just 2009). The practice of pseudoepigraphy was relatively common in the ancient world. Among the Biblical canon, several texts are believed to be falsely… [read more]


Beliefs and Tenets That Comprise the Hindu Essay

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¶ … beliefs and tenets that comprise the Hindu religion? What is the history of Hinduism? Are there some things about this faith that are not well-known? Those questions about the beliefs and the history of the religion will be reviewed in this paper.

Review of Relevant Literature

Subhamoy Das explains that Hinduism is the "oldest extant religion" with over a billion followers. That means Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world, although some would argue that Hinduism isn't really a religion but rather a philosophy. To that, Das asserts that Hinduism is actually a "conglomeration of religious, philosophical, and cultural ideas and practices" that had its genesis in India (Das, 2010, p. 1). In fact, over 80% of the Indian population practice Hinduism, Das explains.

The most well-known aspects of Hinduism are: a) the belief in reincarnation; b) the law of cause and effect; c) "one absolute being of multiple manifestations; d) "following the path of righteousness; and e) the desire for liberation from "the cycle of births and deaths" (Das, p. 1). Das explains that Hinduism cannot be "neatly slotted into any particular belief system" and that it is really more a way of living than a strictly regulated religion with dogma.

In fact, Hinduism is known for "Dharma," the law the governs all action. Culturally, Hinduism is said to have been responsible for creating Yoga, Vastu, Puja, Tantra, Vedanta, Karma, Ayurveda, and Vastu. The origins of Hinduism go back to perhaps 10,000 BC, Das writes (p. 1), and the first scriptures (called "The Rig Veda") was written even before 6,5000 BC. Those reviewing the Rig Veda will not find the word "Hindu" or "Hinduism" because "Hindu" was not brought into the faith until foreigners used "Hindu" to describe Indians in the north of the country that lived on the other side of the River Indus, Das explains.

Though there are not specific rituals and dogma in Hinduism, there are "basic tenets," according to the Das article in About.com. The tenets (a "conglomerate of diverse beliefs and traditions") include: Dharma (the list of ethical values and duties); Samsara (rebirth); Karma (right action); and Moksha (liberation from the cycle of Samsara).

On the subject of Moksha, according to an article by Melissa Lorentz of the Minnesota State University Moksha is the "highest goal of Hinduism" -- and that goal is liberation, or Moksha, from the "karmic cycle of death and rebirth." Moksha literally is translated from Sanskrit to mean "release" or "to let loose, let go" and it is likely that the idea of Moksha originated in India by people that were perhaps influenced by Buddhism and Nainism. The Moksha is the final, last release from one's worldly conception of self; it is also accompanied by the coming to grips of the fact of one's fundamental nature as a human.

How to attain Moksha is an interesting component of Hinduism. The four disciplines (or Yogas) that must be obtained prior to achieving Moksha. They are Karma Yoga… [read more]


Joyce's Ulysses Claude Rawson Research Paper

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Giordano Bruno is referenced by Ellmann as the source for Joyce's notion of a sort of mystical "coincidence of contraries" (Ellmann 54) almost like Blake's similar "Union of Contraries" in "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell," but exemplified in this chapter by that same complicated nexus of images: Dignam's corpse, "potted meat," the association of the potted meat with not… [read more]


Christian Transformation: The Evolution of the Architecture Research Paper

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¶ … Christian Transformation: The Evolution of the Architecture of the Christian Church, from Early Christianity to the Modern Eastern (Greek) Orthodox Christian Church

Over the course of a thousand years, the architecture of the early Christian churches underwent an evolution from the modest to the basilicas and cathedrals that remain standing today. To determine how and why this transformation… [read more]


Religious Site Visitation Interview

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¶ … trip to visit the Roman Catholic Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana in California. The mission is located at the North end of the San Fernando Valley, to the North of Los Angeles. Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana was founded on 8 September 1797 by Father Fermin Francisco de Lasuen. The mission was named for Ferdinand, the King of Spain. The name in the local Native American language was Pashecgna. A variety of disasters that included earthquakes in 1812 as well as the digging up of the church floor by gold prospectors caused the mission to fall into ruins. Many structures have been restored including the church, monastery and some other buildings around the quadrangle. The church has an active congregation ("California Missions Online").

Proselytization was the very purpose of the mission and religious orders keep this tradition alive today. New members are known as catechumens. New members also come via marriage from outside of the Church. Many catechumens say they want to join the established, universal Church (Matthews, 342-346).

The name of the Roman Catholic Church comes from the claim of the Pope to be the head of the first and official "universal" church that personifies the original Church doctrines. While Christianity is divided up into denominations and groups, the Roman Church recognizes only its authority. Although it maintains ecumenical ties with other groups that are diplomatic in nature, the Roman Catholic aim is to recapture the original unity of Christianity prior to its divisions into Western, Eastern, and Protestant divisions. After all, an ecumenical counsel means a counsel of the "whole church." The Roman Catholic Church sees itself as the embodiment of this universal church with a duty to reunite its divisions (ibid).

The group is by far the largest divisions of Christianity with around one billion adherents.…… [read more]


God Given Rights: Understanding America Essay

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Both are experiencing difficulties in getting recognized as a respectable, independent party. When Wheatley claims, "Remember, Christians, Negros, black as Cain, May be refin'd and join th' angelic train." (REFERENCE) she is challenging the Christians, explaining that like them, she is a child of God, and is therefore protected by Him. God also gives rights to all people, such as those listed in the Declaration of Independence, as "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." (REFERENCE) As all men are created equal in God's eyes, the people of America get this right no matter what their oppressor, England, tries to force upon them.

Each author comes from a difficult standpoint: The minority. As the minority, Wheatley fights for the general respect and acceptance of her people, stating that "Some view our sable race with scornful eye." (REFERENCE) She is starting her new faith in her new country, however she is not within a superior group within her new country. Jefferson and all others represented in the Declaration of Independence are officially claiming their separation from their mother country, claiming that the king of England does not have the capabilities to properly run the states, and that instead, they will be creating their own government that meets their needs.

At first glance, the poetry of Phillis Wheatley and the document of The Declaration of Independence, created by Thomas Jefferson appear to be regarding separate topics. Wheatley discusses the challenges of being an African-American and how Christianity protects her. Thomas Jefferson writes of America's separation from England. However, both are arguing that they have God given rights that they should be allowed to by their oppressor. Each come from a minority group and are searching for a way to prove themselves to their oppressor. Finally, each are starting new: One as a Christian and one as a new country. It is through the exploration of early American literature that a reader is able to examine the growth process that this new country has had in its centuries of existence. Through such, can appreciate how far it has evolved.… [read more]


Religious Culture in Korea Term Paper

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Religious Culture in Korea

The Cult of Tan'gun (Taejong-kyo): This faith is said to be the oldest religion in Korea, dating back as far as 4,000 years. It evolved from the legend of Tan'gun, a "god-man" who was believed to be the grandson of God and was supposedly born through the union of a female bear and the "son of… [read more]


Exegesis Luke Essay

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Exegesis Luke 12:16-21

The Parable Of The Rich Fool

exegesis of luke 12:16-21

THE PARABLE of the RICH FOOL

"Luke's version of the story is a rather simple one, actually.

A rich man lives like there is no tomorrow, only to learn, to his embarrassment, there really isn't! Simple enough.

or is it?"

When Jesus shared the parable of the… [read more]