Study "Religion / God / Theology" Essays 661-715

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Religion in the Anglo-American Colonies Term Paper

… Thus, Puritanism still gave Boston and New England a conservative and thrifty nature, but it was no longer the dominant religion in America.

That is not to say that religion still did not play a major role in America, or in the foundations of American freedom. Another historian notes, "Religion permeated early American life in part because religious institutions had to be built anew in the colonies, a task that incorporated the laity into the very fabric of the churches at the same time that it built the churches into the structure of civil society" (Bonomi 217). Thus, blending religious beliefs helped lay the foundation for a strong, vital country, and the foundations that would eventually lead to freedom. This was a country of strong and passionate beliefs, both in religion and in national pride, and just as the first settlers had come to American to rid themselves of religious persecution, the following generations wanted to rid themselves of British tyranny and manipulation.

It is interesting to note that the major portion of Anglo-American religion in America has been dominated by Protestantism. While there are other denominations that are common, it is the Protestant faith that dominates American history during this period and beyond. These historians state, "The church history in the American Protestant's mind is one of many reformations. He is aware also of modifications in the creed, the polity, and the interests of his religious group in consequence of its interaction with other Protestant societies and with democratic, scientific, and industrial civilization" (Niebuhr 24). By 1763, the foundations that created a strong and stable state were different, and so were the nation's ever widening religious beliefs.

References

Bonomi, Patricia U. Under the Cope of Heaven: Religion, Society, and Politics in Colonial America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.

Lippy, Charles H., Robert Choquette, and Stafford Poole. Christianity Comes to the Americas, 1492-1776. 1st ed. New York: Paragon House, 1992.

Niebuhr, H. Richard. "The Protestant Movement and Democracy in the United States." The Shaping of American Religion. Eds. Smith, James Ward and A. Leland Jamison. Vol. 1. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1961. 20-71.

Wright, Louis B.…… [read more]


Personal Experience With Religion Term Paper

… ¶ … high school, a friend of mine, who considered himself a very devout Christian, asked me to attend church with him. At the time, I was feeling like an outsider, and I thought that church might give me an opportunity to belong in a group. At first, the members of the church welcomed me with open arms. I gladly participated in their religious ceremonies and proclaimed myself a member of that religion. However, the shine soon began to fade from my newfound religion. Although I had found the group tolerant and open towards me, I began to understand that they were hostile towards other people and groups. Even while teaching me Jesus' message of tolerance and love, they preached hatred and judgment towards some groups of people.

While I no longer consider myself a member of that religious group, I do believe that experience was essential to the development of my spirituality. It helped me understand that my spirituality is about a personal relationship with God, not conformity with standards or…… [read more]


Pope John Paul Term Paper

… Pope John Paul II -- a Man of Courage, Dignity and Faith

Habemus Papa" -- we have a Pope. In 1978, the Council of Cardinals looked upon a world that was half slave, half free -- half communist (or dominated by another form of tyranny) and half democratic -- and proclaimed in the ancient Latin phrase that 'we have a Pope.' The Vatican Council had elected the Catholic Church's new leader, the then little-known Karol Wojtyla, soon to become Pope John Paul II. Little did the world know that this new pope, the first Polish pope and the first non-Italian leader of the Catholic Church in hundreds of years, would change history in the unique and constant fashion he embodied the three Catholic virtues of courage, dignity and faith.

With great courage, in 1979, a year after being elected, this new Polish Pope returned to visit his homeland. Millions of his countrymen flocked to see him wherever he went. He was to become the most traveled Pope, traveling to war zones and places of illness and death. He undertook grueling journeys despite his poor health from Parkinson's disease in his later years. (Walker, 2005) Pope John Paul II's courage inspired his fellow Poles during his first journey there as pope, and in the many subsequent journeys he was to take, back to his native land. Despite the great risk to their own safety, despite the fact that "crowds were only supposed to turn out at state-sponsored rallies, in support of the system and never spontaneously," Poles flocked to hear hum.

Thus, Pope John Paul II not only acted with courage, he inspired courage in others. When Lech Walesa signed the document recognizing Solidarity the Communist bloc's first free trade union with an outsize souvenir Pope pen. "The Communists were as frightened" of those courageous Christian values embodied by the Pope "as the devil is of holy water, so in that sense the Pope is the author of the victory over Communism," said Walesa later. (Roxburgh, 2005)

As he had suffered under the Nazi persecution of Poland as a young boy, the Polish Pope's heart went out not only to his countrymen -- but also to all suffering peoples. The well-traveled Pope John Paul, even after an assassination attempt on his life, mingled with the people, because he knew that he had a mission to help inspire others, regardless of the personal risk to his own safety. Even as a young man, the then unknown Wojtyla, at the daily risk of his life, participated in a host of cultural resistance groups including the underground resistance movement at his university and clandestine literary, theatrical, and religious activities. As a young priest, he nurtured "an informed, intelligent Catholic laity" fostering examples of what a later generation would call a truly "civil society," or a "culture-first" policy of first mending the Christian heat, to indirectly mend the minds of those in political power. His acts laid the groundwork for an active resistance movement that… [read more]


Martin Luther Ulrich Zwingli John Calvin Term Paper

… American Pastoral

Lutheranism originated as a 16th-century movement led by Martin Luther. Luther was a German Augustinian monk who also taught theology at the University of Wittenberg in Saxony. He is currently considered the first man who intended to reform… [read more]


Buddhism and Christianity Term Paper

… Buddhism and Christianity

It is a fact that in the past twenty years or so, women historians have been entering the field of research and have found out the truth that women in Christianity have been placed in a role… [read more]


Mysticism and Madness Term Paper

… Mysticism and Madness

The Relationship between Mysticism and Madness

The difference between mysticism and madness is the perspective of the observer. To one person, a person's claim that they hear the voice of god is a symptom of madness. The problem is not only diagnosable, but treatable. With the proper medications, hallucinations disappear and the sick individual is able to return to a "normal" life. In contrast, to some people to hear the voice of god signals a mystic, a prophet, a holy person. Instead of seeking to treat the hallucinations those people engage in activities to bring them closer to the mystical, such as fasting or the ingestion of substances like peyote. There are several shared perceptions regarding the observation of both mysticism and madness: loss of self-control, loss of self, and the loss of rationality. In fact, both mysticism and madness are characterized by the central fact that neither can truly be verified by an outside source. However, though the perception of the symptoms of madness and mysticism may be the same, one's perspective about the role of an individual in society determines whether that individual is perceived as mystical or mad. Sometimes, the difference between mysticism and madness comes down to an individual's ability to communicate and to persuade others to understand his perspective.

One perception of mystical experiences is that they are characterized by a loss of control. The individual is no longer able to direct his thoughts or feelings. Sometimes that lack of control extends to an individual's inability to direct his actions. Instead, the person is said to be a vessel for something greater than the self. The way in which the loss of control in mysticism differs from the loss of control in madness is that people perceive mystics to be controlled by something greater, while people perceive madmen to be controlled by something lesser.

Madness is also characterized by a loss of control. However, the madman is characterized as having lost a battle with a disease. Instead of being perceived as elevated, the madman is debased. In fact, in order to escape culpability for crimes on the basis of mental disease, the individual has to prove an inability to control their actions. The madman is medicated, in order to control his beliefs that he is in touch with the divine, which reinforces the perception that the madman is so debased that he could not be sanctified.

However, there appears to be a middle-ground on the perception of madman and mystic. Intoxicants are seen as substances that make a person "more" of whatever they were before ingesting the intoxicants. In fact, in some societies, intoxicants can allow someone to break down the barriers of humanness and interconnect with the divine. Furthermore, the perspective on intoxication differs from public perspective on mysticism or madness. Psychics and schizophrenics are greeted with paranoia and fear, but the drunk with hallucinations is regarded with pity or scorn. In addition, the drunk is considered to be more reliable,… [read more]


Science and Religion Have Historically Term Paper

… Galileo had purposely written his book in hypothetical terms, and concluded on a note that admitted that God maintained the capacity to bend the appearance of the universe to his will. It is worthy of note that Galileo never questioned the existence of God or the Catholic faith, he merely pointed out an instance where scientific evidence indicated something other than biblical understanding.

Galileo's notions did little to prevent many of his successors from aiming to justify Christianity through the means of science. Rene Descartes was one prominent scientist from Galileo's time who held the belief that science and religion must necessarily be one. Essentially, Descartes' belief in science to reveal the truths of existence stemmed from his confidence in mathematics: "At the center of his thought lies the view that each science is the branch of one unified science of the world, a science based on mathematics." (Cahn 343). Doubtlessly, during his time mathematics and physics seemed to be one and the same; Descartes most interesting contribution to this notion was the idea that the language of math could be useful in far more branches of science than just physics. The beauty of math to provide clear and undeniable solutions to seemingly complicated problems appealed to Descartes to such an extent that he believed this property was applicable to religion as well.

Descartes' philosophical goal was to logically demonstrate the truth of his core beliefs. In other words, he appeared to hold specific notions concerning the nature of God and the soul and he saw science as the best tool to convince others of his beliefs. He states that "there is fixed in my mind a certain opinion of long standing, namely that there exists a God who is able to do anything and by whom I, such as I am, have been created." (Cahn 352). So, Descartes' approach to philosophy is almost opposite to that of Plato and Socrates in that he already has a conclusion that he seeks to justify; Plato and Socrates, on the other hand, investigate ideas with the aid of science and reason in attempts to discern whether there is anything at all that can be concluded. Overall, this distinction is a consequence of their opposed viewpoints upon how far the arm of science can reach in matters of the soul.

In the nineteenth century, however, scientific arguments were formulated that even Descartes may have had difficulty reconciling with the doctrines of Christianity. Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species presented a coherent and compelling case, based upon observation, which accounted for the appearance of all of life's organisms as they exist today. "On the Origin of Species hit the world like a bombshell, because it was all too easy to apply to the human race what Darwin was saying about the flora and fauna." (Burke, 260). Evolution implied that humans possessed a common ancestry with all animals and even plants. It may have been a matter of interpretation as to whether the earth… [read more]


Managing Religious Diversity in the Workplace Term Paper

… Managing Religious Diversity in the Workplace

Nowadays there is certainly an emergence of religion in the workplace, as this is a mixture of the increase in religious recognition with a growing eagerness of the people to reveal their religious beliefs… [read more]


Jesus God the Son Term Paper

… Jesus God the Son

Verse 1 Chapter One of the Gospel according to Saint John (Haugaard 2000) reads:

In the beginning the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.

The Word was and is Jesus,… [read more]


Jesus and the Synoptic Gospels Term Paper

… Gospels

The Bible is probably the most read and most controversial book in the history of humanity. Much of this controversy can be attributed to the first four books of the New Testament, which are referred to as the four… [read more]


Confucian Texts the Primary Sources Term Paper

… Confucian Texts

The primary sources included in The Search for Modern China illustrate the character of the Taiping rebellion. Spence correctly portrays the movement as a peasant revolution, one with obvious affinity for Christian ideology. However, Christian theology and precepts are conveyed in ways meaningful for a specific Chinese audience. Text 8.4, "The Ten Commandments," is clearly a retelling of the Biblical Ten Commandments from the Old Testament. The Taiping Ten Commandments are here presented in verse form, more lyrically than they are told in the Bible. The Commandments are themselves nearly identical, from demanding the worship of only one God to admonishments against adultery. However, these precepts are laden with imagery and diction that derives from indigenous Chinese religions like Taoism. For example, the commandment against secondary gods is phrased as the eschewing of "corrupt spirits." Christianity pervades the Taiping Ten Commandments, however, including the mentioning of Mount Sinai (143).…… [read more]


Miracles or Parables Term Paper

… ¶ … Raising of Lazarus

Of all the miracles ascribed to Jesus Christ in the New Testament, the raising of Lazarus from the dead is clearly the most inspiring and "miraculous." For Christians, all of the promises prescribed by God… [read more]


Bonaventure Cardinal Bonaventure -74) Term Paper

… Bonaventure

Cardinal Bonaventure (1221-74) was a general of Franciscan Order and one of the most famous theologists of the Middle Age epoch. His philosophical works, concerning different moral and ethical questions of religion as well as the works about general… [read more]


Kindness - Religion Term Paper

… Kindness - Religion

Kindness as it is reflected in the Holy Bible, the Holy Spirit, and in Our Lives

Kindness is often exhibited through acts of altruism, and the definition of altruism is: "unselfish regard for or devotion to the… [read more]


Saint Paul the Man Term Paper

… Paul with regard to salvation. The Catholic Church teaches that Jesus Christ is the Savior of all mankind and he gave up his life as atonement for the sins of all mankind. This is based on the thoughts of St. Paul who spoke of the Savior as the on who wished to save men and that they come by the knowledge of the truth as there is only one God and one mediator between God and men and that was Jesus Christ himself, who gave himself as the ransom. On this is the belief that the Catholic Church established by Jesus Christ through St. Peter is the true Church and that one is obliged to be a member of this Church for anyone who wants to benefit from his extreme sacrifice. Evidence of this will of Jesus Christ on this issue is seen in many places in the New Testament.

In his role as an evangelist St. Paul traveled to many places and it would require volumes to follow his un-resting footsteps. It would be enough to say that wherever he went the result would be that he would have some strongly on his side and the others strongly against. Him He suffered imprisonment, stoning, beatings, shipwreck, illness and at times even became despondent in the lack of response to his efforts. Yet he kept on and his mission laid the foundations for Christianity to grow and become the largest religion in the world. Finally he made it to Rome. The super session of Felix gave St. Paul an opportunity to appeal to the Emperor to go to Rome and this appeal was granted and he was sent under the escort of the Augustan cohort to Rome. His ship was wrecked off the coast of Malta, but this presented him with an opportunity to display his leadership qualities.

In the end some time in the spring of the next year, it may have been 61 or 62 AD he reached Rome. St. Peter was already established there as the leader of Christianity and once again St. Paul retreated into the shadows. From this time on the history of St. Paul is sketchy. He may have traveled to Spain and definitely to the near East. There are no details of it. His martyrdom is also shrouded in mystery. Tradition along with some evidence suggests that he underwent imprisonment under Nero and was subsequently beheaded at Tre Fontane around 66 AD. The New Testament is silent on this. Thus the most important servant of Christ passes away into oblivion, but leaves behind as the evidence of his unstinting efforts, yet unrewarded in his time, the spread of Christianity to all corners of the world.

References

Holy Roman Catholic Church. Retrieved from http://www.geocities.com/newworldorder_themovie/catholicchurch.html

Accessed on 11/12/2004

Lindas, Barnabas. Apostle Paul, Saint. Retrieved from http://www.kat.gr/kat/history/Rel/Chr/PaulApostle.htm

Accessed on 11/12/2004

Outside the Catholic Church ... no salvation. Retrieved from http://www.tldm.org/News6/Church2.htm Accessed on 12/11/2004

Saint Paul Apostle to the Gentiles -- 67 (?) Retrieved from http://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/PAUL.htm Accessed… [read more]


Functionalist Perspective on Religion, Stresses the Positive Term Paper

… ¶ … functionalist perspective on religion, stresses the positive or 'good' aspects of religion and religious influence in society. To clarify, the functionalist theory of religion and sociology argues that religion; in combination with other common social institutions contribute to the harmony and stability of society. The main thesis of Functionalism is that the primary function of religion is to answer questions about the meaning of life, existence, and the afterlife that create a more stable society. A Functionalist might use examples of societies with cohesive social and religious frameworks, such as the Amish, or current societies or subcultures that provide comforting and immediate answers to the questions of the individual's meaning of life, purpose of existence, and moral values, such as the military or twelve-step programs. Thus, in contrast to chaotic environments such as secular university, which provides no such secure answers to life's questions and often provokes depression, doubt and disharmony, religion in a functionalist view, creates harmony and answers fundamental questions about life all humans ask.

Question

The "conflict perspective on religion," stresses the negative aspects of religion, however. It might see the lack…… [read more]


St. Augustine and the Buddha Term Paper

… I call Thee into my soul which, by the longing Thyself inspirest into her, Thou preparest for Thee. Forsake me not now calling upon Thee, whom Thou preventedst before I called, and urgedst me with much variety of repeated calls, that I would hear Thee from afar, and be converted, and call upon Thee, that calledst after me; for Thou, Lord, blottedst out all my evil deservings

Such pleas are entirely out of keeping with the Buddhist view of the Cosmos.

The Buddha believed that one did not see help from without, but rather from within. Only by recognizing one's faults, and finally the greatest of all faults -- the desire for existence -- could one possibly free oneself from the endless cycles of rebirth and misery to which all physical beings were prey. This is not to say, however, that Buddhists pretend that the physical world does not exist. In their way, the teachings of the Buddha are as activist as those espoused by St. Augustine. As shown time and time again among the oppressed peoples of Buddhist lands, activism can be essential for the creation of a world in which the true Buddhist ideal can be realized:

Buddhists actively campaigning against a government they considered corrupt. But this was not, in fact, something new. Buddhism in Vietnam has a long history as the vehicle of nationalist reaction against foreign domination. Here also the justification was that unless a peaceful Buddhist state, free of strife and famine, was established, the best gift of the Dharma, the really helpful gift of final liberation from all suffering, could not be offered.

So, St. Augustine and Buddha may differ on certain fundamental beliefs, while sharing others, but they do both believe sincerely in humanity's striving to ward an improved condition. For Christians this improved condition exists here on Earth, and ultimately, afterwards in God's Kingdom. For Buddhists, the Earth and all physical creation are inherently in error, but there are certainly states of existence that are more benign and more desirable than others. In both religions there is the sense of progression and change, but these things are interpreted in different ways. Nevertheless, both strive for perfection, and do believe that that perfection can be attained.

Works Cited

Works Cited

Saint Augustine. Confessions. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991).

Corless, Roger J. The Vision of Buddhism: The Space under the Tree. 1st ed. New York: Paragon Press, 1989.

Keown, Damien. Buddhism A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.

http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o& d=48034343

Saint Augustine, Confessions of Saint Augustine, Book XIII.

http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o& d=34672933?Roger J. Corless, The Vision of Buddhism: The Space under the Tree, 1st ed. (New York: Paragon Press, 1989) 58.… [read more]


Religion and National Identity Term Paper

… Religion

The Role of Religion in the Formation of National Identity

How does religion play a role in national identity in at least 3 cases? Consider history and culture. Of what utility is the role of religion in national identity… [read more]


Biblical Hope From the Perspective Term Paper

… For example the statement of Margaret Maughon describing when she gave up:

"I remember it very well," she recalls. "I was sitting at my dresser, staring but not seeing. By then, I was obsessed with my condition. So I did… [read more]


Early Influences on Joseph Smith and Origins of the Book of Mormon Term Paper

… Joseph Smith and the Book Of Mormons

Joseph Smith, Jr. was the fourth child of Joseph Sr. And Lucy Smack and born in Sharon, Vermont on December 23, 1805. The Smith family lived under arduous and unstable financial circumstances that… [read more]


Marxist and Functionalist View of Religion Term Paper

… Sociology and Religion sociological study of religion does not focus simply on what different people believe or how different people worship. In addition to these, sociologists also focus on the social effects of religion, on how religion affects our social… [read more]


Exegesis and Demonstrate Term Paper

… Define the terms Dogma and Doctrine, giving an example of each and then show how these terms relate to the creeds.

Thomas Bokenkotter has called creed statements, such as the Nicean creed, that are part of the faith essentials for Catholics, statements or professions of belief. Creeds are professions of dogma before the church, solidifying and affirming a Catholic's relationship with the Church and the individual's belief in the Church Dogma. A dogma s a De Fide article of faith. In Catholicism, there exists what is understood to be a hierarchy of truths, whereby some doctrines have been formally defined by the Church as dogmas, such as a profession of belief in the trinity and the tripartite nature of God, a truth that Catholics consider dogmatically, essentially irrevocable and non-negotiable. To give up belief in a dogma is quite serious, because it means to give up belief in the church itself.

Other doctrines, as opposed to dogmas do not carry such a weight although they may be generally believed to be true by the majority of theologians. Doctrines are areas of contention, although both sides are supported by different verifiable points-of-view, such as Paul's view, for example, of the responsibilities of the gentile community to Jewish law, as expressed in Galatians. The totality of the Mosaic law that must be obeyed by individual gentile Christians has varied, depending on different versions of Christian exegesis of the Hebraic Bible, although certain aspects, such as the kosher laws, have largely fallen by the wayside -- however other aspects, such as keeping the Sabbath holy, have been incorporated into common Christian practices. Thus, although Paul's views are largely accepted, the exact permutations of his belief that Jesus' resurrection created a cataclysmic event in human history that subsumed God's covenant with Israel and made it applicable to all humanity, and this subsumed the Mosaic covenant with a new covenant, can in doctrine receive multiple interpretations.

Works Cited

Bokenkotter, Thomas. "The Creed: Faith Essentials for Catholics." From Catholic Update.

"Exegesis." The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Fourth Edition. 2000.

"Exegesis." The Catholic Encyclopedia. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05692b.htm

Guinan. "Christian Spirituality"

Langenbrunner. "How to Understand the Bible."…… [read more]


Judaism, Christianity, and Islam Term Paper

… " (Wikipedia, 2004). However, it is important here to note that whereas all of the "books" of the three faiths share similar origins as well as stories, Muslims consider the two previous revelations to be unreliable due to "tampering" that has occurred over the years (Massey, 2002) -- An assertion, of course, mainstream Jews and Christians take issue with, yet one that many historians of both faiths generally support.

In issues of daily life, there are many similarities. For instance, all three faiths require their followers to give charity (Tzedakah: 10% of income. Tithe: 10% of income. Zakat: 2.5% of total wealth each year. (Beliefnet, 2004)).

Further, great emphasis is placed on the requirement of kindness and "good works." However, there are also differences, including strict dietary restrictions for Jews and Muslims (called Kosher and Halal laws), while there are virtually no restrictions for Christians. Additionally, the final "outcome" of belief is also different between the faiths, with Judaism generally proposing a "life after death," Christianity asserting that there is a "life after death" following the coming of the Messiah that leads one to either Heaven or Hell, and Islam asserting that there is a life after death also resulting in Heaven or Hell depending upon belief and behavior.

Finally, perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of similarity between the faiths is their position on war. Although, again, as previously stated, all three religions have certainly had untold atrocities committed in the name of their God, this is far from the actual theological message conveyed in their scriptures. Instead, all three -- Judaism, Christianity, and yes -- even Islam, place strict limits on the justification, and methodology of war, conflict, and punishment. Further, all three assert that non-violence is the best path -- yet Judaism and Islam place a particular emphasis in the merit of taking up arms in self-defense (Beliefnet).

Although the fine points of difference and similarity between the three Abrahamic faiths are too many to cover in such a short time, I hope this brief overview has helped you see just how interconnected these three great faiths are. Although modern times have led to a tragic adversarial relationship between the followers of these faiths, it is clear that their origins, as well as their fundamental beliefs are strikingly similar in many ways. I believe that understanding this fact can help one to gain a new perspective upon both the true nature of the religions, as well as the real motivations of the people that follow them -- and that is the first step toward real understanding, and perhaps, eventually, peaceful coexistence.

Works Cited

Beliefnet.com. The Abrahamic Faiths: A Comparison

How do Judaism, Christianity, and Islam differ? 2004. Retrieved from Web site on October 9, 2004 http://www.beliefnet.com/features/abrahamicfaiths.html

Fisher, Mary. Living Religions. Fifth Edition. Prentice Hall, New York. 2002.

Makari, Peter. "Abrahamic Heritage" a meeting of Muslim and Christian minds. 1998. Retrieved from Web site on October 9, 2004 http://www.mecchurches.org/newsreport/vol10/abrahamicheritage.asp

Massey, Kundan. Has the Bible Been Changed. 2002.… [read more]


Roman Catholicism Is the Oldest Term Paper

… ' Be silent therefore, and do not chatter about God, for by chattering about him, you tell lies and commit a sin. If you wish to be perfect and without sin, then do not prattle about God. Also you should not wish to understand anything about God, for God is beyond all understanding. A master says: If I had a God that I could understand, I would not regard him as God. If you understand anything about him, then he is not in it, and by understanding something of him, you fall into ignorance" (Davies 236-7). The arguments surrounding the existence of God and the understanding of God have usually ended in these sorts of logical contradictions. Yet, it has generally been agreed that when discussing an all-powerful and all-knowing being like a God contradictions are inherent and unavoidable. Clearly, St. Augustine was a follower of the Catholic faith and his philosophy was that of an unquestioning belief.

However, there have been others of the Catholic persuasion who were not contented to recognize the logical flaws in faith and instead tried to prove the existence of God with philosophy. Saint Anselm in the late eleventh century tried to do just this. He put forth the "Ontological Argument for the Existence and Nature of God." Simply put, he asserted that God must exist because if He is the greatest thing that the human mind can comprehend, he must exist outside of the mind; this is because existing outside of the mind is greater than just being a figment of the mind (Feinberg 6-7). This argument ultimately failed because although it is logically self-consistent, its premise that being of reality is greater than being of the mind is not plainly true.

For all the arguments in favor of the Roman Catholic faith there have been many others against its underlying ideas. Fyodor Dostoevsky objected to the idea that a God of such compassion would create a world in which the innocent suffer. He writes, "Imagine you are writing the fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, giving them peace and rest at last, but that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death one tiny creature -- that baby beating its breast with its fist, for instance -- and to found that edifice on its unavenged tears, would you consent to be the architect of those conditions?" (Feinberg 89). The seeming injustice of a world supposedly created to reward the righteous prevented men like Dostoyevsky from having faith.

Another argument against faith was put forth by W.K. Clifford in the nineteenth century. Clifford could not accept the requirement of Christian belief; which is to make a blind leap of faith. To believe in an all powerful God, logically, you are unable to base this belief on anything concrete. He asserted that it is a logical contradiction to believe in God and that, "It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon… [read more]


Sovereignty of God Many Christians Term Paper

… The effect of this is that Moses and his people become aware not only of the greatness of God, but also of God's trustworthiness. God's supremacy is thus not only terrifying or awe-inspiring, but also teaches trust. Again, the distinction can be made between God's followers and those who are against him. God's followers learn trust, whereas God's opponents learn that he is a force far beyond human power.

God however does not always intervene in the choices people make; hence the concept of free will. Indeed, Adam and Eve's mistake seems to prove the point that people; even God's children, are sometimes allowed to make mistakes. In this case it could be beneficial to consider God in his New Testament capacity as father. We as human beings allow our children to make mistakes and to learn from them. This is the only way in which to prepare them for adult life. In the same way then God allows human beings to make mistakes, learn from them, and be prepared for their ultimate union with him. Life on earth then serves as a preparation for God's children in order to perfect them for the life with God. This preparation occurs through using one's free will in the best and most informed way possible.

God's ultimate plan for humanity is therefore based on free will. In choosing the Savior's way then implies a type of spiritual maturity, which is the result of spiritual growth through choice. Humanity is given a choice to either choose or reject the Savior, and in this way the choice prepares them for the after life with God.

In giving human beings free choice, God ensures that humanity is a mirror image of his own nature, although God's nature is far superior to that of humanity. Nonetheless, God's plan includes a blend of divine choice and human choice in order to ensure God's glory. At the same time the element of choice on both divine and human part ensures that human beings achieve spiritual growth through learning the consequences of mistaken choices. Free will might appear to be a contradiction to divine supremacy; yet this element compliments…… [read more]


Sons of God in Genesis Term Paper

… As the translations of the word son have shown, there are many meanings attributed to the word, but nowhere in the Bible is there any reference to a consort for God, and so, these "sons" must be human, placed on… [read more]


Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Term Paper

… The main objective of the author is to point out the path to a life of loving God and this path is available to all those who believe in Christ (5).

One of the strong point in the book is… [read more]


Christian Attitude to Other World Term Paper

… There is a strong missionary influence to Christianity as well. Christians have founded organizations to help others in many areas of the world, tempering some of the excesses of colonialism. The Christian emphasis on missionary conversion has itself opened up some missionaries to charges of cultural imperialism and intolerance of world religions. However, this accusation is somewhat belied by the ability of Christianity to be fused with local religions -- such as seen in many African religions, where local deities and Christian saints both occupy many adherents' faith structures, even if this local blending of apparently unharmonious concepts of the deity might be unfamiliar or even objectionable to the missionary's original intents.

Within its own institutionalized frameworks, Christianity has occasionally accommodated other religions. More liberal sects of Christianity, such as Unitarianism, stresses that all religions worship the same God, even if that God may take different forms in the eyes of adherents. Even more traditional aspects of the faith today stress that even if Christians may believe that Christ is the most valid form of religious faith, this does not mean that other religions do not contain truths that are spiritually valid for Christians.

But perhaps the most compelling evidence that Christianity does have expansive tendencies to embrace other world religions within its structure, as well as limiting structures within its schemas of faith, is the extent to which other religions have embraced its principles with a certain judicious care. Gandhi admired Christianity's emphasis on nonviolence. Buddhists have seen parallels between Christ's early radicalism and tolerance and their own emphasis on compassion. The trinity may stress that God is of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but these examples also suggest that the spirit of Christianity is even more than threefold like the nature of its God -- it is multifaceted and supremely plural in its most positive…… [read more]


God Term Paper

… It is here that he discovers elements to back up and support his thesis. It is through biblical stories and experiences that we learn of "and equally diverse examples from Smith's own pastoral experience, we learn the human dimension of God's guidance, the importance of the personal resources at our disposal, and what happens when we do wander off the Holy Spirit's path."

The way the book is written and the message it sends out will certainly make the reader forget his own misconceptions and will perhaps lead him to follow and recognize God's will and guidance in his actions. Written by a pastor, it is not one of those books that aim at converting you, but rather a book that discusses aspects you are concerned with.

Bibliography

http://www.gospelcom.net/cgi-ivpress/book.pl/review/code=1308

2. Harton, Merle. Knowing God's Will. 1991. On the Internet at http://www.newquaker.com/reviews/knowill.htm

3. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/083081308X/qid%3D911971407/sr%3D1-6/104-8

As expressed in an excellent review by Merle Halton, Jr. On the Internet at http://www.newquaker.com/reviews/knowill.htm… [read more]


Relationship Exists Between Difference Term Paper

… Russia,

Chechnya

Russian Orthodox Christians, Muslims

The Russian army attacked the breakaway region. Muslims had allegedly blown up buildings in Moscow. Many atrocities have been alleged.

Serbia, province of Vojvodina

Serbian Orthodox & Roman Catholics

Serb Ethnic cleansing programs have… [read more]


American History, and Political Theory Term Paper

… Marx taught that workers create products by mixing their own labor in with natural resources to make new, composite things that have greater economic value. Thus, the labor itself was a goal worth attaining. In other words, work was its own reward, and men should not attain to anything greater than the ability and opportunity to work for the greater common good.

Marx railed against the capitalist system which allowed certain individuals to rise to greater economic heights than others. For him, this process alienated workers, and was the root of what Marx called a destructive feature of industrial, capitalist life.

Marx pointed out that in his observation; workers were alienated in several distinct ways:

from their products as externalized objects existing independently of their makers from the natural world out of which the raw material of these products has been appropriated from their own labor, which becomes a grudging necessity instead of a worthwhile activity

From each other as the consumers of the composite products.

Because Marx did not recognize the mediating variable of religious ethic that gives meaning to individual life, he has to construct a belief system which was based on class envy. His approach was to tell men that their own work was their only value. Hence they should be happy working, in a communist social order which shared all things equally. For Marx, social history was only a record of past struggles between distinct social classes. Thus, in the absence of those factors which created social classed, religious ethic and the ability to make economic progress ahead of others, Marx expected social order to return, and individuals to happily become mindless robots, working for the system, rather than for them.

I believe that the role of religious ethic in public and economic life is the glue that gives men the reason to be economically prosperous, and the reasons which hold societies together, not pull them apart. The religious principles espoused by Smith, Jefferson, and Winthrop created a social foundation on which the greatest nation in the world has been built. To suggest that we can eliminate religious thought from public life and from economic behavior is to suggest that we can be our own god. Like Marx, such philosophy is destined for paged in the history books, but it will not build lasting prosperity, or success.

Bibliography

Jefferson, Thomas. The Declaration of independence, Philadephia, 1775.

United States Magazine and Democratic Review,1837-1859,

R.W. Emerson, "Politics," 1844

Winthrop John. A model of Christian Charity. Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society (Boston, 1838), 3rd series 7:31-48.)1630. accessed 30 April 2004. Website: http://history.hanover.edu/texts/winthmod.html.

Smith, Adam. Theory of moral sentiments. London: A Millar. 1970. 6th ed. Accessed 30 april 2004. Website: http://www.econlib.org/library/Smith/smMS.html

Thoreau, Henry D. Civil Disobedience. 1849. Accessed 30 April 2004. Website: http://eserver.org/thoreau/civil.html.

Kemmerling, Garth. Marx and Engels: Communism. 2002. Accessed 30- April 2004. Website: http://www.philosophypages.com/hy/5o.htm.

Jefferson, 1775

Winthrop, 1630

Smith, 1759

Emerson, 1849… [read more]


Night by Elie Wiesel Term Paper

… How I sympathized with Job! I did not deny God's existence, but I doubted His absolute justice." (p. 57)

The most significant experience that turned him against God was the hanging of an innocent person, the pipel. He was the most loved figure among the angels of death that were hovering over the camps. Yet he was hanged because he was serving Oberkapo, a man who had been suspected of involvement in some explosion incident. When pipel was hanged in front of the whole camp, he stayed alive for almost half an hour on the gallows because of his light body. Elie was not only terrified, he was extremely angry with God and His claims of being just and fair. This was when he became absolutely certain that God was anything but just and he was no longer fulfilling His promises.

He was still alive when I passed in front of him. His tongue was still red, his eyes were not yet glazed. Behind me I heard the same man ask where is God now? And I heard a voice within me answer him: Where is He? Here He is-He is hanging here on this gallows..." (Wiesel 62) witnessing this incident and the gradual loss of faith all around him, Elie became certain that God was no longer with the Jewish people and He was certainly not willing to extend help. The most important passage in this connection appear on page 63 after the sad incident of hanging. This passage illustrates how Elie's once firm and unflinching faith in God had been rudely shaken by shocking incidents he witnessed in the concentration camp. He angrily questioned God:

What are You, my God, I thought angrily, compared to this afflicted crowd, proclaiming to you their faith, their anger, their revolt? What does Your greatness mean, Lord of the universe, in the face of all this weakness, this decomposition, and this decay? Why do You still trouble their sick minds, their crippled bodies?... Why, but why should I bless Him? In every fiber I rebelled. Because He had had thousands of children burned in His pits? Because He kept six crematories working night and day, on Sundays and feast days? Because in His great might He had created Auschwitz, Birkenau, Buna and so many factories of death? How could I say to him Blessed art Thou, Eternal, Master of the Universe, Who chose us among the races to be tortured day and night, to see our fathers, our mothers, our brothers, end in the crematory? Praised be Thy Holy Name, Thou Who hast chosen us to be butchered on Thine altar? (Wiesel 63-64)

Night is therefore a great book about faith, how man loses and regain it when struck by adversity and tragedy. God is the most important Jewish symbol and to loss faith in Him meant losing faith in religion itself. Elie could justify his loss of faith but luckily he survived the camp and emerged stronger and wiser.

REFERENCE

Elie…… [read more]


Hawaiian and Sandwich Islands Term Paper

… In 1755, Cook joined the British navy.

During his time in the navy, many wars occurred, and he served time fighting in Canada. There he learned the trades of surveying, mathematics, and astronomy. When the war ended in 1763, he was sent to survey part of Canada's eastern coast. Cook sailed the ocean on several voyages, but his final one landed him in Hawaii.

The outside world did not know about the Hawaiian until after Captain James Cook of the British Navy landed there on January of 1778. He had been given two ships, known as the Resolution and the Discovery. The purpose of this voyage was to find a northern sea route between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Explorers had been looking for such a Northwest Passage for more than 200 years.

Cook landed during the beginning of makahiki or the celebration that was ongoing while the islanders awaited the return of their god, Lono. The Captain and crew were greeted with great kindness and exuberation. The Polynesian people saw the ship as a symbol of the great god since it was the shape and makeup what they believed would be like that of Lono. Captain Cook was soon adorned with medals and other beautiful metals, and enjoyed his newfound fame.

He soon began to trade with the Hawaiians, and respect was greatly shown throughout each transaction. The Polynesian people looked to Cook in awe as they felt that he had divine powers.

Cook named the islands the Sandwich Islands in honor of the Earl of Sandwich, first lord of the British admiralty. The islanders continued to "worship" Cook for a short period of about four months. The women were made available for pleasures, and an abundance of food was delivered daily for consumption by Cook and his men. Cook left after only two weeks.

Life returned to normal after Cook's departure. The Polynesian Chiefs returned to the island, and overthrew the rule of the commoners. The people fell back into their normal roles in a classified society. They continued to worship by offering sacrifices to their gods and goddesses, and visit the temples for purification. Cook's presence as Lono solidified the god's existence and sealed the belief system of the Polynesian people.

Cook returned to Hawaii for the winter of 1978 during the month of November. Within just a few months, his men and the islanders had become frustrated with each other, and on February 14, 1779, he was killed in a quarrel between his men and the Hawaiians. Cook's ships tried to continue the voyage, but little more was accomplished. The ships returned to England in 1780.

While much of the early history is based upon oral accounts passed down through the generations, fact became meshed with fiction creating a factional mythology. The Polynesian culture is a mixed facet of great and historical legends. Stories will continue to be handed down from the old to the young in the traditional manner of storytelling or in the movement… [read more]


Jesus Gerd Theissen and Annette Term Paper

… "Historical criticism of the Gospels and the story of Jesus has long neglected archaeology and territorial history," (181).

The "Activity and Preaching of Jesus" is examined by Theissen and Merz in Part Three. Chapter Eight addresses Jesus as a charismatic,… [read more]


Catholic Church Public Policy in Spain and US Thesis

… As I previously mentioned, the Spanish population is religiously homogeneous. Roman Catholics compose of 99% of the population, while the remaining 1% of the population is composed of those belonging to Jewish, Protestant, Muslim, and Buddhist faiths. In relation to… [read more]


Bhagavad-Gita and Dante's Inferno Term Paper

… In contrast to making individuals aware of their sinful deeds through this fear, the Bhagavad-Gita is a concept that provides one with a path to reaching God without fearing any repercussions if one chooses not to avoid sin. In accordance with the Bhagavad-Gita, "The self embodied in the body of every being is indestructible"... (Miller, 1986) and so, if one chooses his or her path, s/he will go down it, either enjoying it or suffering in it forever. An individual therefore is responsible for the fate s/he chooses. Also, since "The whole universe is pervaded by my unmanifest form; all creatures exist in me, but I do not exist in them." This means that individuals can become similar to god, but he cannot become similar to them. From this, emerges the concept of "demi-gods" (Miller, 1986). These are actually individuals who follow the scriptural injunctions faithfully, as opposed to asura or demons who do not follow the principles laid down in the scriptures (Miller, 1986).

Though according to the above quotations from the Bhagavad-Gita, it can be seen that there is similarity between Dante's Inferno as far as the text refers to 'demons', but there is also a difference observed in the way that religiously devout people are viewed. In Dante's Inferno, it is written that "Charon the demon, with the eyes of glede," will 'beckon' to those who do not believe in god (Dante's Inferno. Canto III).

In the Bhagavad-Gita, devout individuals are called 'demigods', while in Dante's Inferno there is no such term written. In addition to this, there is also no mention of how exactly one is to act in order to reach the ultimate truth or the Supreme. However, in the Bhagavad-Gita, it is written that in order to reach the Supreme, "karma, fruitive activities, devotional service and yoga principles, and devotional service" are necessary (Miller, 1986). Essentially, it can be said that the Bhagavad-Gita Provides man with a path to follow, and aims at preventing one from falling into paths that would not be seen as godly.

References

Miller, Barbara Stoler.The Bhagavad-Gita: Krishna's Counsel in Time of War. New York: Bantam Classics, 1986.

Alighieri, Dante. Dante's Inferno. 2004. Available at http://www.online-literature.com/dante/inferno… [read more]


Gross and Falk Women's Experience Term Paper

… (Gross and Falk, 2000) Of additional noteworthiness in DeLee's life is that her husband worked along side her. She is not subjugated to his power, nor left behind in events organized by others. She truly, as someone taken from his side, walks beside him, as co-workers for their betterment of their own family, and the children of those who will follow.

Much of the feminist theology seems to triumph in breaking traditional understandings by creating new arguments, or promoting new ideas to stretch the boundaries of religious life. However, the efforts of these women, and others mentioned in Gross and Falk's book were not consumed with desires to break religious tradition. They were committed to their religious beliefs, and walked with those beliefs into the culture to change the culture around them. These decisions are admirable whether the person is male or female. With a commitment to religious principle, cultural barriers often fall, including sexist stereotypes.

Bibliography

McCormick, Patrick. A library of one's own: feminist theology not only has helped women recover their voices and their stories, it has called the church to recover the feminine face of God.

U.S. Catholic; 4/1/2002.

Gross, R. Buddhism after Patriarchy: A Feminist History, Analysis, and Reconstruction of Buddhism. New York: State University of New York Press, 1993

Falk, N, and Gross, R. Unspoken Worlds: Women's…… [read more]


Buddhism Is a Worldwide Religion Term Paper

… Change is both inevitable and painful, and we ease the pain to the degree that we can avoid attachment.

Not being attached also allows us to remain in the present, perceiving and enjoying things as they are now without the encumbrances of past experience placing resistance to change on what we experience. Buddhism also emphasizes moderation in all things, and for this reason it is sometimes called "the middle way" (Grow, 1996).

While the concept of attachment affects every aspect of life, so does another principle of Buddhism -- the interrelatedness of everything. Buddha broke a person's experiences into five components (called "skandhas"): material experience, or "rupa;" perceptions ("samjna"); sensations ("vedana"); psychic ("samskara"); and consciousness ("vijnana") (Columbia Encyclopedia, 2004). Buddha taught that all things exist in relation to other things and that nothing exists in isolation, and thus, that we are interdependent on each other and the world around us, and that others and the world around us are interdependent on us.

Although Buddhism emphasizes being fully conscious of the present free of the encumbrances (attachments) of the past or anticipation and desires regarding the future, he also taught the importance of living a good and moral life through the concept of karma. Buddha teaches a belief in reincarnation. Our karma in this life, the sum of the good and bad we have done, decides what kind of life we have in the future. In this way Buddhism appeals to some former Hindis from the lower castes in the Hindu religion, because by living a good life now they could expect to have a better life in the future.

Meditation is an important tool in Buddhism. However, although meditation is learned in quiet and calm settings, its goal is that the person will first achieve heightened awareness (consciousness) during private meditation but then be able to achieve it in daily life activities, being fully in each moment (Grow, 1996). This is another demonstration of how Buddhism permeates daily life, because the goal is to experience everything one does fully. If one is petting the dog, then one should pet the dog experiencing it through all five skandhas.

Buddhism is an ancient religion focused more on personal development (while rejecting any form of self-centeredness). Its beliefs are complex, and those who want to become Buddhist will need a teacher just as people get instruction in many other religions, such as Judaism and Christianity. It might particularly appeal to those who want to feel at one with nature or who are concerned with the materialism of modern life.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Columbia Encyclopedia. "Buddhism." The Columbia Encyclopedia. New York: columbia University Press, 2004.

(Columbia Encyclopedia, 2004)

Grow, Gerard.…… [read more]


Langston Hughes Term Paper

… This salvation would come from repentance, knowing that Jesus performed the ultimate sacrifice: his life for the sins of man. To have repented for one's shortcomings would mean that Jesus' ministry was not in vain. At the end of the day, Langston, racked with guilt, wept for having deceived his aunt, uncle, the preacher and the entire congregation that had invested in his salvation. One can safely say that on that day, Jesus touched Langston.

Bibliography

Hughes, Langston, Hugh H. Smythe, and Mabel M. Smythe. An African Treasury: Articles, Essays, Stories, Poems. New York: Crown, 1960.

Robinson, J.H. Original Sin: The Adam and Eve Meme. Tparents. org, 2001. Accessed February 16, 2004. Available from http://www.tparents.org/Library/Unification/Talks/Robinson/Robinson-Original_Sin_Meme.htm.

SundaySchoolessons.com. Jesus' Promise Comes True with the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit. SundaySchoolessons.com, 2004. Accessed February 17, 2004. Available from http://www.sundayschoollessons.com/jprom.htm.

West & MacRae. I Have a Dream a Tribute to Martin Luther King. sound recording. West & MacRae, 1994.… [read more]


Women Involving in Religious Issues Term Paper

… In my opinion, criticizing women as part or member of a religion is an unfair practice. We are all sons and daughters of God, who, in His heart, are equally loved. Each of us has our own morals and values to share. The many female saints that we have in the past and in the present should be enough vindication for women to have equal rights in religion. It is only fitting to recognize women in religion similar to how they have been recognized in some parts of the Bible, such as the role of Mary Magdalene and Mary the Mother of Jesus.

Nowadays, the role of women in religion still brings out issues that cause different religious assemblies and conferences. One, perhaps, that has been an issue is the participation of women in priesthood. Because the norm and standard in religious matters that we have come to know from the past is that males dominate religious vocations, the desire of women to become part or leaders of religious organizations is sometimes deprecated. We must realize, however, that there are many women who have played important role in the achievement of many religious works. Mother Teresa, for instance, had devoted much of her life in helping the needy. Her religious works have been acclaimed and admired by people around the world.

Women and religion, if made an issue, is equivalent to gendering religious works. I believe that exploring religious vows is not an opportunity for men alone, but an opportunity to all.

Bibliography

Lewis, Jone Johnson. Comments on Genesis - Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

2003. Women's History. 07 Jan 2004. http://womenshistory.about.com/library/etext/blwomansbible02a1.htm

Women and Religion.

Sacred Text. 07 Jan 2004. http://www.sacred-texts.com/wmn… [read more]


Erasmus Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam Term Paper

… The forcefulness of his assessment of the Church made this work a regular admission when someone attacked the practices of the Catholicism. The work was so highly received that there were forty editions in the Erasmus life time.

Erasmus's greatest victory against his religious antagonists came through his edition of the New Testament which was published in 1516. As with most of his works, subsequent editions of the New Testament were published in 1519, 22, 27 and 35. His complete dissatisfaction with the Vulgate, the existing Bible being used by the Catholic Church, led him on a quest to find the true word. Erasmus searched throughout the libraries and manuscript collections available for an original biblical text.

The humanists of his time followed the belief that the Catholic Church through medieval copyists had altered the Vulgate in numerous ways. "That the text of the Vulgate was not stainless had been acknowledged by Rome itself as early as the thirteenth century." (Huizinga, Erasmus of Rotterdam: With a Selection from the Letters of Erasmus) The New Testament by Erasmus was at the time considered an outstanding piece of dedicated humanist research. This work only enhanced his popularity and social status. Although today's scholars have discovered a great many errors and incorrect interpretations by Erasmus, his New Testament did brought out the flaws in the Church's Vulgate.

The church was suddenly in a position of having to explain issues like the sacrament of penance which had obviously been an addition by copyists. Erasmus's New Testament was the precursor for Protestant reformers who then saw there was less need for the established church's pompous ritualistic approach to the study of God. The Testament also can be citied as the basis for the Lutheran New Testament and for the King James Version of the bible.

In conclusion, Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam has been called one of the greatest scholars of not only his time but of all-time. In his lifetime he challenged the convention of the current religious powers and seemed to come away with a knockout. Through his craft he became an extremely influential spokesman for those disenchanted by the existing church. His wealth of knowledge made him a very well respected guest to the leaders of his time. Erasmus had the ear of kings, emperors, popes, and any true leader which made him a star among stars. His work 'Praise of Folly,' a satirical observation of the behavior of the ruling religious oligarchy opened the door for liberal Catholicism and Protestantism. Even by today's standards, Erasmus has been considered as an apostle of religious toleration.

Works Cited

Cantor, Norman F. "The Idea Of A Christian Commonwealth" Commonweal, Vol. 119 November 6, 1992.

Erasmus, Desiderius. Erasmus in Praise of Folly. London: Hans Holbein; Reeves & Turner, 1876.

Huizinga, Johan. Erasmus and the Age of Reformation. New York: Harper, 1957.

Huizinga, Johan. Erasmus of Rotterdam: With a Selection from the Letters of Erasmus. New York: Garden City Books, 1952.

Johnson, Paul. "God and the Americans"… [read more]


Religion and Urban Landscape Social Term Paper

… Orsi describes urban and religious space availability in New Jersey as an opportunity where "private rituals" are accomplished. Thus, the relationship between rituals and private and public spaces encourage individuals to 'preserve' their self-identities and assumed roles despite lack of social interaction in the American society. Gradually, as the individual begins to assimilate and interact with people having similar characteristics and beliefs with him/her, private rituals transform into public rituals, creating social networks and communities within the area. This section explicitly shows the book's primary or central theme: how religion is interrelated with physical space, whereby social and cultural experiences are either strengthened or weakened.

In effect, Gods of the City by Robert Orsi highlights how people of different nationalities and races interact socially through their physical space. Because of the causal relationship between social and physical space, immigrants construct their meanings of their social experiences, particularly religious acts, as the effect of physical space. Religious acts may be performance or practice or both, where performance is a religious act committed by the individual and practice as a social ritual performed by communities and societies. Thus, religious performances are conducted in physically restricting or limiting spaces, while religious practices are accomplished in public spaces. It goes without saying that bigger physical spaces result to bigger, more cohesive social networks, while smaller physical spaces result to private rituals only, with limited and less cohesive social networks within the society.

In sum, urbanism in American society has the power to influence the creation of social networks, especially religious communities. As what was illustrated in this essay, religious practices and performances performed by individuals and societies (respectively) result to the development of self-identities, nationalism, assimilation, and acculturation of individuals and their communities in America. Orsi's book provides a holistic perspective of the different religions and communities existing within the contemporary American society, such as the current state of religions and societies of immigrants and how American urbanism and society contributes to the assimilation and acculturation of immigrants as they begin interacting with their new society.

Bibliography

Orsi, R. (1999). Gods of the City: Religion and the American Urban Landscape. IN: Indiana University Press.… [read more]


Christology Book Review Term Paper

… The apostles taught that in Christ, there was neither bond, nor free, Jew of Gentile, male of female. Pentz makes a good point as she ways that authority can be used for someone, with someone, or against someone. In the case of Christology, the scriptural example is that authority is most often used for, and with men and women. But the experiential example within the church is that authority is most often used against women, and for and with men.

The final authors spear to get lost within the theories about Christ, rather than studying Christ himself. James Robinson devotes his essay to discussing non-canonical books and the scholarly theories of contribution to the gospels rather than the gospels themselves. Robinson says "Jesus did not need to be deified in order to receive the honor he deserved" (Robinson, p. 111) In other words, the creation of the deified Christ by the early church was an unnecessary expense of divisive sectarianism. Cobb sums up the Christological approach to Chris. After being a part of deconstructing the traditional theology of Christ, He says "any attempt to fix the meaning of Christ is doomed to arbitrariness and artificiality. Even in the New Testament there is fluidity in its use. In the course of Christian history this fluidity has expanded. Christ is a living symbol, not a proper name of a common noun." (Cobb, p. 141)

Davis, Stephen (ed.) Encountering Jesus: A…… [read more]


Transcendence and the Kabalistic Idea Term Paper

… Human beings cannot really know what the divine being is like, and in no way can one begin to compare or assume similarity between humans and the divine. Transcendence may be observed in the living western religions. In the mystic view of Ra'bia, it is observed that there is a need for observing a distance between human beings and the divine so much so that believers are not even supposed to take the name of the divine. This relates to the first type of transcendence. The kabbalistic idea of the En Sof relates to the second and third type of transcendence because of the fact that it considers the nature of the divine as something that focuses on the world's structure at a deep cosmic level. This perhaps holds on to the understanding that human beings cannot really decipher God's form, but can only know that he exists and that the world is a result of His actions.

Conclusion:

It appears that the forms transcendence existing in western religions explains that human beings cannot really know what lies beyond human perception. It is the distance (transcendence) which human beings realize that they are at from the divine that leads them to understand the existence of the divine. This also reinforces the fact that it is futile to dispute the existence of the divine because transcendence puts rationalization in the dark.

Reference

Jews, Christians, Muslims: A Comparative Introduction to Monotheistic Religions, By John Corrigan, Frederick Denny, Carlos Eire, and…… [read more]


Thomas Cranmer as the Archbishop Term Paper

… Cranmer further scandalized the Catholic traditionalists by eating meat on the eve of important religious feasts.

However, despite making powerful enemies, Cranmer remained protected from heresy charges by King Henry VIII. In 1543, Cranmer produced a replacement to the Bishop's… [read more]


Women Called to Witness Term Paper

… But, often these women themselves were not liberal in their personal lives, as they viewed themselves with the thought that men and women were fundamentally different. This led them to the concept that women were superior to men in moral… [read more]


History of Judaism: From Biblical Term Paper

… Then, after he had destroyed them in a flood, he was sorry that he had been so impulsive. And he promised never to do it again. And in order to be sure that he wouldn't forget, Yahweh put a sign up in the sky, a rainbow, as a sort of divine mnemonic device.

Finally, in the Tower of Babel story, humans try to establish themselves and make a name for themselves. Yahweh is disturbed by this activity and seeks to confound their efforts so that they will not threaten him. In this heist successful.

The "piety of early Israelite families projected on to the patriarchs is not yet the real beginning of the history of Israelite religion." In the turmoil of the exodus a unique bond was formed between Yahweh and a large group. Other religions knew of such a bond only between the god and an individual or a small group. When the group under Joshua entered Canaan, the land was already seething with social change and liberation: "The religious traditions of liberation which they brought with them made an essential contribution toward stimulating and channeling it and creating a social order which for more than a century secured a life for the population of the hill- country in the greatest possible freedom." (Clifford, Richard, A History of Israelite Religion in the Old Testament Period, vol. 1: From the Beginnings to the End of the Monarchy.(book reviews). Vol. 56, Theological Studies, 09-01-1995, pp 566(2).)

Under the monarchy, the national consensus over the form and values of society, which had developed in the wake of the exodus, collapsed. The religion of the larger groups went into different and sometimes conflicting positions that could no longer be held by society as a whole but only by groups within it, e.g. The official theology of king and temple, the theology of resistance groups, and in between various accommodations to traditional Yahwism and court/temple religion. With the downfall of the kingdom in 587, the official theology ended and the resistance theology was adopted as a new "official" theology. The religion of the Deuteronomy reform is interpreted by summarizing the whole religious tradition under a single concept, which ensured the survival of Israel when there was no longer a unified state to hold things together. In place of king and cult there now was the Torah accompanied by a pervasive legal stamp. (Nahum Sarna, "Understanding Creation in Genesis" in Frye, Is God a Creationist?, pp 155-173.)

According to Genesis, all humanity is descended not just from Adam and Eve, but more specifically, from Noah and his sons. Therefore, all humanity, Jews and non-Jews, are of common descent, biologically (and hence spiritually) distinguished from any other creation by their creation in the divine image. The rabbis understood that God had communicated a specific set of expectations to this pre-Israelite humanity, expectations that hold for all its descendents. The nations (goyim) fulfill God's will and are considered righteous when they accept what the rabbis term the… [read more]


Myths Myth of Marriage Term Paper

… I experience this sensation each time I gaze at ancient stones or monuments. Last August, I visited the ruins of Corinth in Greece. My daughters were busy taking funny photos of themselves draped over the various statues and engraved stones, and fellow tourists walked through the ruins in a hurry to escape the heat. Yet I could only stand mesmerized by the ancient inscriptions, contemplating the fact that St. Paul had once preached here. I completely forgot the heat as I looked at the old stones; I also thought about the spirituality connected with this important place of historical and religious import. I have visited ancient sites in China that glorify the Buddha. I have seen ancient Aboriginal paintings in Australia, which speak of the lifestyle and spirit of the ancient Aboriginal people. All of these sacred ancient sites do lift me out of my mortal life to something that lightens my spirit and gives me a feeling a hope and meaning. It is a connection with the same spirit and immortal, invisible energy that has inspired so many in the past to do great things.

8. Subject: Experience of Life

Myths are clues to the spiritual potential of human life. Campbell states, "We're so engaged in doing things to achieve purpose of outer value that we forget that inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it's all about." I have learned through these readings that life is more than mundane, material existence. Myths help place life in context.

9. Subject: On Perfection

Bill Moyers states, "I love people for imperfections. Perfection would be a bore, wouldn't it?"

Joseph Campbell replies, "It would have to be. It would be inhuman. The umbilical point, the humanity, the thing that makes you human and not supernatural and immortal -- that's what's lovable. That is why some people have a very hard time loving God, because there's no imperfection there. You can be awe, but that would not be real love. It's Christ on the cross that becomes lovable."

This conversation helps me overcome my own tendencies to expect perfection from myself and others. The beauty of life is indeed found within its flaws.

10. Subject: The beginning of religion

Campbell states to Moyers, "The Shaman may translate some of his visions into ritual performances for his people. That's bringing the inner experience into outer life of the people themselves.

Moyers asks, "This was the beginning of religion?"

Campbell: Personally, I think that's how religion began. But that a guess. We don't really know."

I appreciate Campell's exploration of the origin of world religions. He also discusses the virgin birth, which entered into the Christian tradition by way of the Greeks. The Gospel According to Luke is the only gospel that contains some reference to a virgin birth; Luke was a Greek. Moreover, Campbell and…… [read more]


Oldest and Most Widely Practiced Term Paper

… Enlightenment is summarized by freedom from the cycle of death and rebirth -- known as the wheel of samsara.

The trappings of the material world are viewed as hindrances to enlightenment. Therefore, various restraints and observances (yamas and niyamas) are recommended. These include such practices as meditation and yoga. Purification, either mental or physical, is a strong tradition of Hinduism. The Hindu lunar calendar contains a plethora of holidays and festivals on which to worship various gods. Emotional devotion to the gods, or bhakti, is a main path toward spiritual liberation. Therefore, Hinduism contains both community-based and individual spiritual practices.

Hinduism contains a rich tradition of epic stories such as the Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Bhagavad-Gita. These texts contain stories and teachings of the Hindu pantheon and introduce the reader to Hindu cosmology and ethics. Wars and battles are not uncommon in these stories, in spite of the doctrine of ahimsa.

Because of India's rich historical and cultural landscape, Hinduism has traditionally remained a flexible, tolerant, adaptable religion. The invasion or peaceful introduction of other cultures and faiths to Hinduism did not dilute Hindu teachings but rather embellished them. Offshoot religions like Buddhism also influenced Hindu thought, metaphysics, and spiritual practices. However, within the last century politics has undermined Hindu tolerance for other religious groups as power struggles with Christians and Muslims in India continue to plague the subcontinent. Nevertheless, with its tapestry of tales and immense historical relevance, Hinduism remains a popular, accessible, and colorful world religion.

Works Cited

Aiyar, C.P.Ramaswami; Dutt, Nalinaksha; Wadia, A.R.; Mujeeb, Pal; Dharm M., and D'Souza, Jerome. "An Introduction to Hinduism." Hindusim. The Gazetteer of India, Volume 1: Country and people. Delhi, Publications Division, Government of India, 1965. 11 June 1997. 3 July 2003. http://www.uni-giessen.de/~gk1415/hinduism.htm#intro.

Hinduism: The World's Third Largest Religion." About.com. 3 July 2003. http://www.religioustolerance.org/hinduism.htm.… [read more]


Education in America the Seventeenth Term Paper

… They actively supported the efforts of their leaders in order to establish "a city on a hill" or a "holy experiment," whose feat would show that God's plan for his churches could be realized effectively in the American wilderness. Entrepreneurs… [read more]


William Blake's Milton-Transformation Term Paper

… Blake was trying to stay true to his own beliefs when he wrote this poem and thus offered a clear explanation of why he opposed Miltonic Christianity. John Milton has been loved and admired by millions of his unique poetic skills but critics have often attacked his religious beliefs. The reasons for this criticism have already been mentioned above. Blake's poem was grounded in those reasons and his vision of Milton offered a better version of not exactly original John Milton but the views that he supported and advocated in his works.

References

Edward Robert Friedlander, M.D, WILLIAM BLAKE'S MILTON:

MEANING AND MADNESS, Department of English Literature, Brown University, 1973, revised 1986

Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful. (New York: Oxford UP, 1990 [1757]) pp. 63-4.

Thorpe, James, ed., Milton Criticism: Selections from Four Centuries, New York, 1950.

Johnson, Samuel, "The Life of Milton," 1779

Blake, William. The Complete Poetry and Prose of…… [read more]


Islam Religion in the Arab Term Paper

… Shiite Muslims honor Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, and Ali's descendants, whom they believe should be the leaders of the Muslim community. Shiah comes from the Arabic phrase shiat Ali, meaning supporters of Ali. The majority of the… [read more]


Bad Experience With a Priest Term Paper

… Apparently, the rules that the common people have to follow regarding sins such as gluttony, do not apply to priests. Nothing about the Prior appears to be spiritual, and his zest and zeal for life apparently revolves around the things… [read more]


Everyman and the Song Term Paper

… But to his dismay all of them refuse to assist him in his problem, despite their strong promises. Saddened by everyone's act Everyone turns towards his Good Deeds, which is week. When asked the reason for his weakness, Good-Deeds replies,

Yea, sir, I may thank you of all;

If ye had perfectly cheered me,

Your book of account now full ready had be. (Everyman, Line 500).

Even though the amount of Good-Deeds is less compared to Everyone's other friends, but he decides to council and help Everyone through this complicated journey. Besides Good-Deeds, even Knowledge proposes to help Everyone. Everyone is overjoyed and learns to arbiter correctly what actually matters to the health of the soul facing death. At the grave the qualities of flesh i.e. Strength and Flesh also fade away.

In the end, only Good Deeds help Everyone enter into heaven, coupled with the assistance of Knowledge, by means of Confession and Priesthood. Hence, by experience and Christian ideals, Everyone learns that no worldly material can help a man enter into heaven except for a man's good deeds and knowledge.

It is believed that The Song of Roland like other medieval chansons de geste, was passed orally among wanderers before it was actually written down. The story in The Song of Roland was believed to be a historical truth by jongleur's medieval audience. The story is a typical representation of the struggle between good and evil. The Christian Franks led by Charlemagne are considered to be good whereas, the Muslims led by Marsilla and Baligant represent the evil side.

The Song of Roland transforms Roland into an epic hero. He is viewed as a role model among all knights during the crusades. His character demonstrates boldness and high temperament. These personality traits of his win him much recognition and criticism among his friends. Roland is Charlmagne's nephew and most trusted soldier since he has conquered a great number of lands for him. He is such an important person to Charlmagne that Ganelon, Roland's stepfather promises the Saracens that Charlmagne will lost the battle if Roland is not their by his side.

Roland from the very beginning refuses to negotiate with the Saracens. To him war against the Muslims and Islam is not merely a battle, it is a religious obligation. Even though Roland is chivalrous, he is unwise and imprudent. He decides to face his and his friend's death rather than blow the oliphant early in the battle at Rencesvals. He does not bow down to his enemies and will remain loyal to his faith and his religion. While dying he lifts his right hand glove, which is a gesture of a vassal's fealty to his lord and the angel and saints come down and accompany his soul to the heaven. Roland is dead, his soul with God in Heaven (The Song of Roland, line 177).

When the heroes of Everyman and The Song of Roland are compared, it is obvious that only those people will abode heaven… [read more]


Religion in the Bible Term Paper

… God, through Christ our Savior, is teaching His own (for the most part) what it means to be in relationship with Him and with others. The underlying ethic in Jesus' teaching in the Sermon on the Mount is love: love for our heavenly Father and love for people. As we have seen God, in His love for us, allows us to come face-to-face with our sin, to be confronted by it. This of course is to bring about deep repentance and restoration of the love between the parties involved.

HENOTHEISM AND MONOTHEISM

In the Book of Genesis, when God is creating the world, the bible refers to God as he and then as they. Is there one God or more than one god? This might refer to henotheism. Henotheism is the worship of only one God, while acknowledging that other gods exist. In Genesis, many gods are accepted but0 only one is chosen. The people who wrote that part of Genesis probably believed that their neighbors gods existed, but they weren't as worthy of worship as their God.

On the other hand, Monotheism is a word coined in comparatively modern times to designate belief in the one supreme God, the Creator and Lord of the world, the eternal Spirit, All-powerful, All-wise, and All-good, the Rewarder of good and the Punisher of evil, the Source of our happiness and perfection. The ancient Hebrew religion, promulgated by Moses in the name of Jehovah (Jahweh), was an impressive form of Monotheism. Monotheism taught by Moses offers a strong proof of its Divine origin. At a time when the neighboring nations representing the highest civilization of that time -- Egypt, Babylonia, Greece -- were giving an impure and idolatrous worship to many deities, we find the insignificant Hebrew people professing a religion in which idolatry, impure rites, and a degrading mythology had no legitimate place, but where, instead, belief in the one true God was associated with a dignified worship and a lofty moral code.… [read more]

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