"Religion / God / Theology" Essays

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Death Ritual Comparison Essay

Essay  |  7 pages (2,661 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4


Death Rituals

Death and dying are natural parts of life, just as conception, pregnancy, birth, and maturation. Yet, the cultural paradigms surround the issue of death and dying change considerably by culture, chronology, and even geographic location. Based on the last century or so in the United States, contemporary society has institutionalized, marketed, packaged, and managed the end of life.… [read more]

Islam Alms Giving Zakat Research Paper

Research Paper  |  7 pages (2,227 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


Islam Almsgiving (Zakat):

Islamic religion is characterized by various practices which were already practiced during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad. These practices include the five pillars of Islam which are the fundamental religious duties that each adult and mentally fit Muslim is required to should practice. These requirements for the perfect Islamic state were laid as a foundation by Prophet… [read more]

John 5:13-21 Passage -- John 5:13-21 "Closing Research Paper

Research Paper  |  10 pages (3,508 words)
Bibliography Sources: 10


John 5:13-21

Passage -- John 5:13-21 "Closing Exhortations"

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 and if we… [read more]

Human Development Stage Theory Essay

Essay  |  13 pages (3,589 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4


Human Development / Stage Theory

The Relation of the Stage Theory to the Christian Life

The Goals of Development and Stage Theory

The goals of human development in Christian theory can be divided into the ultimate and the intermediate. The ultimate goal is to achieve life everlasting in the company of God and Christ in Heaven (Sermabeikian, 1994). The intermediate… [read more]

Santeria Origin Essay

Essay  |  9 pages (2,767 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4



Origin of and Introduction to Santeria

Santeria is one of the oldest and richest religious traditions born in the New World. A fusion of Catholicism and the indigenous African religion Iba, Santeria literally means "the way of saints." According to Robinson (2009), Santeria traces its roots to the early 16th century, during the peak of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.… [read more]

Adam &amp Eve in Genesis vs. the Koran: Comparison Research Paper

Research Paper  |  2 pages (645 words)
Bibliography Sources: 10


Adam and Eve: Koran and Genesis

The story of Adam and Eve appear both in the Holy Quran and Bible but there are some significant differences. Even though the story is basically the same, the differences lie in the way it is told and the description assigned to each character. We find after our analysis that the story that appears in Koran is far stronger and more respectful to God and Adam and Eve than the version we find in Bible. Some of the main comparison points are discussed below

The role of Eve

In the story as it appears in Genesis, Eve is assigned all the blame. She is considered a weak person who is befooled by the serpent as she is tempted to fool Adam into eating the fruit. This is in one way highly degrading to all women because for ages, women have been accused of being the weaker sex and of being the source of all trouble simply because it is believed that Eve had fallen to temptation as part of the original sin.

However that is not how Koran presents the story or Eve for that matter. In the Holy Koran, both Adam and Eve are assigned guilt equally. It is said that they were both tempted by the Devil to eat from the tree and they both fell victim to temptation at the same time without one being guiltier than other.

2- Role of God

In Genesis version of the story, God gives Adam and Eve advice regarding the forbidden tree as they are told not to eat from that tree. In Koran on the other hand, they are told not to go even near the tree which appears to much stronger and better piece of advice because it sounds like a stronger warning than to simply ask them not to eat from the tree.

The biggest problem with the Genesis version is portrayal of God…… [read more]

Christianity and Islam, Hinduism Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,228 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4


¶ … Christianity and Islam, Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world, And, unlike Islam or Christianity, it does not have a single belief system, a central religious organization, did not have a single Prophet/Messianic founder, or a single system of law/morality. Despite this, 13% of the world's population consider themselves Hindu, most located on or near the Indian subcontinent (Knott, 2000). It is often quite difficult for westerners to understand Hinduism, not just because of the number of sects that exist within its areas of predominance, but because it does not need the formulization and intellectual overlord that many western religions seem to require. This is why, according to some, Hinduism is seen as a philosophical belief system rather than a religion -- but this is likely picking nits since it adheres to most of the formal definitions of "religion" (Michaels, 2004).

Because there is no central text, it is sometimes difficult to construct an overview of the context of Hinduism. There is controversy, for instance, as to whether Hinduism is monotheistic or polytheistic -- Hindus recognize only one supreme God (Brahman) and that all things constitute an overall unified reality, but there are then many sub-deities that reflect belief in nature (perhaps they can be compared to saints). It does appear that most Hindus believe in one of two major contexts: Vaishavaism -- Vishnu as the ultimate deity; or Shivaism -- Shiva as the ultimate deity (Bhaskaranada, 2002).

The four principal beliefs of Hinduism are dharma, karma, samsara and moksha. Dharma means duty in life. It refers to all actions, attitudes and words in life. By fulfilling one's dharma, one helps maintain the cosmic order. Karma is the belief that a person's experiences affect his or her individual actions, and the belief that every act or thought has consequences. Moksha is a state of changeless bliss and is achieved by living a life of religious devotion and upholding dharma. The ultimate reward is being released from Samsara and union with God (Brahman). This is the ultimate aim of all Hindus. Hindus believes that once someone dies, a process known as the transmigration of the soul occurs. It is also known as reincarnation, or in Hinduism, Samsara. A human soul (Atman) passes through one body to another, developing and improving karma until the atman is released from this cycle, obtaining moksha. Purposes of life are represented through Dharma, Artha (wealth or prosperity), Kama and Moksha. A person has to have wealth to uphold his dharma. If one wants to uphold his dharma, he cannot do so due to lack of wealth. Kama, in a narrow sense, means sexual desire, or enjoying the pleasures of life ("Heart of Hinduism," 2004).

The ideas presented in Hinduism seem appropriate for a culture in which there are a large number of people who live in a poorer state. Because Hinduism embraces a simple, rural life, the ideas of nature as Gods, social contracts, agriculture, etc., the belief systems allow for many… [read more]

Compare Yahwist Priestly and Magician's Nephew Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,196 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


Yahwist, Priestly & Magician's Nephew

The Yahwist and Priestly traditions can be separated in the first two books of the Bible. The author of each one has a distinct intention, a distinct way of showing us God and distinct perspective on God's dealing with mankind. The Priestly narratives are called "Priestly" because they are supposedly -- or at least believed to be -- written by people who were a part of priestly circles. They were written in order to focus on the priestly tradition, offering us different types of laws and rituals as well as explanations for those laws and rituals. The Yahwist tradition, on the other hand, is believed to be Jesus' word and the work is intended to explore the relationship between God and mankind as well. The Yahwist tradition depicts God as a very good and a very forgiving God (West & Weigel 2003). The Yahwist account explores more of the human aspects of emotion and temptation. For example, in the case of Adam and Eve, the Yahwist tradition would warn the people from trying to be Godlike. Yahwist tradition would say that when man is tempted to sin, this is his impulse to try and be like God. It is an insult to God therefore. When comparing these traditions to C.S. Lewis' The Magician's Nephew, one would see the same themes of creation and destruction -- or the beginning of everything that God had created and, of course, the end. The similarities can be seen between the Priestly and Yahwist narratives and The Magician's Nephew when we look at the creation of Narnia and the destruction of Charn.

The Priestly narratives begin with Genesis and the Creation. It begins with the words "And God said…" Before this, there was nothing. The world was bleak and desolate. In The Magician's Nephew we see the same beginning when Digory and Polly arrive in Charn. Charn is desolate and cold and there is nothing there that lives besides them. Just like at the beginning, before God created everything, there was nothing of life until God gave those things life. The lion, which is all-powerful and great, begins to create Narnia. There are trees formed and animals begin to inhabit the place. The sky becomes a beautiful color blue and the sun appears to be brighter than any sun that humans have ever seen. Everything in the place of Narnia turns to beauty. The sounds are all lovely and the scents of the new creation are heavenly. There is obviously a direct reference to the creation that God made as well. In Genesis, God made everything beautiful. He created the Earth and the glorious trees, the heavens, the stars, and He created man to be like Him.

The main goal of the Priestly narratives is to illustrate God as the be-all-end-all. Without God, there is not anything. God gave life to even the smallest creatures on Earth. He made light out of darkness, and turned the cold nothingness into a… [read more]

Separation of Church and State Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (734 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


Separation of Church and State

Seperation of church and state

The genesis of Puritanism in America was marked by the fleeing of the pilgrims and puritans from the intolerant Anglican Church of England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Their main objective was to obtain religious freedom and they were ready to pursue this even at the expense of their own lives (Schuldiner, 1994). Ironically after establishing themselves in this colony they amalgamated their political institutions with their religious faith and further treated all non-conformists with deep intolerance. They attributed their success in settling in America to God's approval further ascertaining the sanctity and divinity of their way of life. The conclusion was that no other religious expressions were to be tolerated, theocracy.

The ratification of the constitution of America on June 21, 1788 pushed for the separation of church and state (Fray, 2004). The founding fathers argued that those who believed in the Godly ratification of their political policies were against democracy and the most dangerous citizens. There were four major trademarks of theocracy that made it dangerous. First, theocrats claimed absolute truth which meant that it was not necessary for them to consider any other points-of-view. Secondly, they claim these "truths" are divine and thus are better than any other expression. Thirdly, any goal that is projected and is considered ideal justifies any means to achieve it. Lastly is the casting of political decisions in the framework of a holy war (Fray, 2004). These were practices that could only prevail at the time when citizens were not enlightened and had absolute belief in religion. The American constitution was written at the age of enlightenment, during this period there forces that were already competing religion. One of those forces was science which was rapidly replacing religion as the dominant force in the lives of people. People started viewing religious leaders like other leaders and would question any wrongdoings; this was contrary to the earlier ages when religious leaders would be followed blindly (Ziff, 1873).

This change in the attitude and perspective of citizens towards religion made the founding fathers like Thomas Jefferson to believe that the church and state should be separated. Essentially they wanted the end…… [read more]

Africa Thesis

Thesis  |  26 pages (8,160 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


African Beginnings

Africa was the beginning

Africa was the beginning: Afrocentric and multicultural views


The problematics of the Afrocentric or African orientated approach to an understanding of religious and biblical texts is a cause for concern among many theologians and historians. There is the stance and perception that the Bible and biblical scholarship has been biased by a mainly… [read more]

Investiture Struggle and Give Its Effects Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,812 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


¶ … Investiture struggle and give its effects. What was really at stake?

The beginning of the second millennium saw divergences between the Catholic Church and secular powers intensifying, given that Church officials were no longer willing to accept the sin of simony. Cardinal Peter Damian of Ostia's letter to Henry IV of Germany regarding the conflict between the king… [read more]

Global Learning Site Visit Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,260 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


¶ … Religious Worship -- Visit to a Synagogue

Observations in Alternate Religious Worship

My visit to another religious service consisted of attending synagogue services on the Jewish Sabbath or "Shabbat" at the Bet Briera Or Olom synagogue. The name of the synagogue means "House of Choice Light of the World." My girlfriend and I attended a Conservative service at the synagogue that caters to both Conservative Jews and Reform Jews, largely a reference to their relative degree of adherence to Jewish religious law. Among Jews, there are Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform sects that vary in their practice from the extremely strict adherence of the Orthodox to the minimally or "ceremonially" observant Reform Jews. Generally, Orthodox Jews do not worship at synagogues that also hold services for Conservative or Reform Jews.

Just as in the case of the Catholic services with which I am familiar, there appeared to be a significant social component of the services. There were many greetings and conversations between people who have apparently known one another or been members of the same congregation for a long time. Once the services started, my girlfriend and I were separated because men and women occupy separate sides of the synagogue during services. Their respective sections are also shielded from one another's view by a curtain.

One of the first things I noticed about the ceremony itself is that it focused substantially on the actual Torah (Jewish Bible). In Catholic worship, the priest reads from the New Testament, but there is no direct attention to the physical embodiment of the Bible itself. In the Jewish services, the entire Torah is actually paraded out with considerable reverence and ritual. The scrolls were approximately four feet long and wrapped in felt covers and topped with very ornate silver caps. A rabbi carried the scrolls through the isles to give the worshippers the chance to reach out and touch it gently with their fingers, after which they kissed their fingers that had touched the sacred scrolls. When the scrolls reached the pulpit, they were carefully uncovered, blessed, and unrolled by several helpers.

It was explained to me that all of the individual chapters in the Five Books of Moses are read in chronological order, one chapter every week during the Sabbath services. During the Bar Mitzvah ceremony marking the thirteenth birthday of males, the Bar Mitzvah service consists of that individual taking the podium and reading the chapter for that week's service instead of by the rabbi. The Torah is not so much read as it is sung; apparently, this is a practiced skill involving reading the coded symbols printed among the passages. During the reading, various members of the congregation were permitted to come up to read portions of the service. Nobody actually touched the pages; instead, they used a long thin apparatus called the yad (Hebrew for "hand") that had a small metallic hand with a pointed finger at the end to track their place. The pages are advanced by carefully… [read more]

Global Learning Site Visit Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,215 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


global Visit -- Impressions of Judaism From a Synagogue Visit

Introduction to Modern Judaism and Worshipping Practice

This project consisted of a visit to the house of worship of an alternate religious group; in my case, I selected a Jewish synagogue because my own heritage is Roman Catholicism. The site visit consisted of a Friday night "erev Shabbat" service at the Bet Briera or Olom synagogue. "Erev" is the Hebrew word for "night" and "Shabbat" means the Sabbath. I learned that when used as a prefix before a holiday (or Sabbath), "erev" means the night before, much the same way Christians regard the evening of December 24th as Christmas Eve. The first part of synagogue's name, "Bet Breira" translates to "house of choice" and the second part, "Or Olom" in Hebrew translates literally into "light" (or) for the "world" (olom).

The synagogue caters to two types of Jews: Conservative Jews and Reform Jews. Among modern Jews, there are three styles of religious worship and practice: Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform. They correspond (respectively) to degrees of strictness and adherence to the literal teachings of the religion. Generally, all Jews celebrate the same major holidays and share the same underlying beliefs and philosophies. However, there is a wide range of adherence (and non-adherence) to the worshiping aspects of the religion. Among Jews, the Orthodox communities adhere very strictly to the ancient biblical rules without any modern interpretation to accommodate contemporary life.

The Bet Briera or Olom synagogue maintains both Conservative and Reform services but no Orthodox services. Generally, Orthodox Jews view both Conservatives and (especially) Reform Jews as non-observant Jews and they do not worship in synagogues that also cater to Conservatives and Reform Jews. Orthodox Jews worship amongst themselves and maintain extremely strict dietary laws; they also conduct traditional "brit milah" (covenant of circumcision) in the home and performed by a "mohel." In addition to strictly observing the rules of "kashrus" according to which many foods are considered "un-kosher," Orthodox Jews typically maintain entirely separate kitchen counters, utensils, and sinks to separate milk-based foods from meat-based foods. I am told that their synagogues are much less social in nature and very focused on intense worship. I learned that this practice originated from the teachings of ancient Rabbis and passed down through the Talmud (a sacred text of Jewish law and Biblical interpretations) against ever eating the "meat of the mother" together with the "milk of the lamb."

Both Conservative Jews and orthodox Jews conduct their ceremonies entirely in Hebrew but Conservative and Reform synagogues also provide Hebrew/English versions of prayer books as well as those that also feature Hebrew spelled out phonetically in English for worshippers who do not read Hebrew but wish to participate in the shared prayers. I found that feature very helpful in appreciating the joint prayers and the English translation supplied historical context for some of them.

The prayers made many references to the nature of God and the debts owed to God by worshippers; they also… [read more]

Great Theologians Book Review

Book Review  |  9 pages (2,727 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2


¶ … Great Theologians

The purpose of the present paper is to review in depth Gerald R. McDermott's book "The Great Theologians, A brief guide." The first part states the author's basic thesis while analyzing the targeted audience. Its purpose is that of understanding if the author succeeded in meeting his goal. The second part is an analytical summary focused… [read more]

Catholic Education in Australian Primary Schools Developing Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (804 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Catholic Education in Australian Primary Schools

Developing effective and continually relevant curricula presents a challenge to all educators, administrators, and education officials regardless of subject matter, age level, and group aptitude. The issue of religious education presents some special challenges, however, as fostering an open learning environment where religious doctrines and beliefs can still be taught with a fair degree of certainty can at times appear an impossible attempt at producing incompatible results. Yet through careful planning and a deep understanding of the subject matter to be taught in religious education, this task can be made far simpler. This paper briefly examines ways in which Catholic schoolchildren in Australian primary schools can receive a full and proper religious education that is also incorporates full engagement on the part of the students in the learning process and a true element of self-discovery as well.

The Religious Curriculum in a Catholic School

The primary learning objective of religious education in Catholic schools is to promote the religious literacy of students, allowing them to take part in their communities, both religious and secular, in a manner that is informed with Catholic values and beliefs (Brisbane Catholic Education 2003). This objective is broken down into four areas: Scripture, Beliefs, Celebration and Prayer, and Morality, with the understanding that though each of these areas is highly interrelated they can more easily be studied separately (BCE 2003). This also helps instructors to more easily construct curricula that promote religious literacy.

Established Catholic curricula for primary school education include yearly learning outcomes that further assist instructors in their creation of lesson plans and in developing their modes of instruction. Essentially, these learning outcomes consist of ever greater abilities to observe, retain, and utilize textual information, beginning with the recognition of key figures and events and progressing through the ability to make connections between textual events and issues encountered in the students' own lives (BCE 2003). This eventually culminates in the ability to recognize and classify not only different textual elements, but also different types of religious texts and determining their importance in relation to each other and the wider Catholic and secular worlds (BCE 2003). Essentially, a Catholic curriculum for primary school students leads them from a basic appreciation of religious texts and their stories and lessons to the ability to critically analyze, question, and utilize these texts in ways that inform both their religious thinking and attitudes as…… [read more]

Glossolalia, or Speaking in Tongues Research Paper

Research Paper  |  15 pages (4,590 words)
Bibliography Sources: 15


Glossolalia, or speaking in tongues, is a vocalizing (sometimes writing) of speech-like syllables as part of religious fervor or practice. It is controversial, even among the religious; some consider it to be meaningless ramble brought on by a euphoric state, and others part of a holy language. The word itself is a compound of a Greek verb (lalein, to talk,… [read more]

Global Business Cultural Analysis of Russia Research Paper

Research Paper  |  16 pages (4,614 words)
Bibliography Sources: 15


Global Business Culture Analysis of Russia

Global Business Cultural Analysis of Russia

What are the major elements and dimensions of culture in this region?

Over the last several years, conducting business in Russia has been very challenging. Part of the reason for this, is because the country has been undergoing tremendous changes since the downfall of the Soviet Union. What… [read more]

Buddhism and Confucianism Essay

Essay  |  8 pages (2,460 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


World Religions

Buddhism & Confucianism

There is a great distinction that can be made between a religion and a philosophy. A religion has to do with death, the afterlife, and god while a philosophy only talks about what one should do during life. An instance of a philosophy would be Confucianism. This was founded by the Chinese philosopher, Confucius. A… [read more]

People and Many Churches Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,522 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


¶ … people and many churches that want to dictate how a Christian thinks and that try to state that only people who share a very narrowly conscripted view of Jesus can be Christians. I find that view to be very arrogant, because it presumes knowledge of God's intentions that no human can ever really have. This view of Christianity… [read more]

Personal Religious Biography Journal

Journal  |  6 pages (1,781 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


Personal Religious Biography

Growing up in a religious culture makes it virtually impossible for people to be unaffected by the religion supported in their community. My personal experience with religion is a complex one, given the fact that Catholic communities are extremely religious and most Catholics go through great efforts in order to behave in accordance with the principles promoted… [read more]

Symbols Relating to Garden Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (604 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Garden Symbology: The Tree of Life

Few images are more universal or could be said to conjure a more positive association than the Tree of Life. An idea that has traceable roots to importance for a broad array of cultures, the Tree of Life is remarkable for its importance to both theological and secular ideologies. This is because it represents a continuity of life that is embraced by religions, sciences, and philosophies alike. (Nakate, 1) It is thus that we find this image particularly resonant and familiar, with roots stretching beneath the soil and branches reaching up toward the sky. Its implications as an analogy for the past, present and future of human experience draws an immediate emotional connection as well.

Nakate (2010) reports on this connection as having distinct implications relating to theology throughout history, noting that "The Tree of Life symbol meaning represents different qualities/virtues like wisdom, strength, protection, beauty, bounty and redemption. It is also considered to be the symbol of 'Creator'. The tree is associated with the creator because it provides protection, supports abundant fruit production and thereby, regeneration. This analogy can also be used to describe the life of humans." (p. 1)

Indeed, for this reason, the Jewish, Christian, Buddhist and Baha'i religious traditions all include some particular interpretation of the Tree of Life, with most directing this discussion toward a relationship between man and God, but also between Earth, sky, nature and humanity. Interestingly, the breed of tree selected for the Tree of Life image will often differ according to the geographical and meteorological context of the cultural tradition. For instance, Nakate offers, the pagan faith practices by the ancient Egyptians projected the Acacia tree as having a role in the emergence of Isis and Osiris. In Buddhist practice, the banzai plant which is readily present…… [read more]

Experimental Study of the Effects of Distant Intercessory Prayer on Self-Esteem Anxiety and Depression Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  6 pages (2,177 words)
Bibliography Sources: 9


Intercessory Prayer

"Religion and spirituality are not consistently addressed in medical school curricula, and even may be considered inappropriate teaching subjects. However, physicians are beginning to recognize the role of spirituality and prayer in the healing practices of their patients, as indicated by conferences sponsored by the National Institutes of Health" (Friedman, et al., 1997).

How much is really known… [read more]

Biography on Edward Robinson Research Paper

Research Paper  |  8 pages (2,897 words)
Bibliography Sources: 6


Edward Robinson, 1794-1864) was an American biblical scholar. Robinson is often called the "Father of Biblical Geography," and was one of the earliest religious scholars to systematically and professionally catalog numerous sites and establish the Bible as a verifiable archeological map. He was born in Connecticut and graduated at Hamilton College and New York, moving to Europe to study at… [read more]

Hindu Views Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (860 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Hindu Views

The concept of God is perceived differently by each religion, and while some only worship one God, others offer their praise to more. Given the fact that there are a series of deities in Hinduism, Gods are seen and worshipped in a variety of ways depending on each individual and on his or her guiding principles. Based on their affinity toward a form of deity in particular, Hindus can virtually be categorized into three groups, "Saktas who worship a Mother Goddess, Saivites who worship the god Siva, and Vaishnavites who worship the god Vishnu" (15).

When considering the general perception expressed by Hindus with reference to a divine being, there are three roles that people believe their God should have. The Hindu God is apparently governed by the power of creation, by the power of protection, and by the power of destruction. While certain Hindus can believe that the God they worship has a humanoid form, other go as far as considering that their God can be characterized through a diverse range of elements.

As regards their role in Hinduism, while a number of upper class Gods are associated with a greater role; other divine beings are believed to have less important responsibilities. Apparently, the deities who are less influential are not given access to several privileges enjoyed by the higher caste.

Women are paid little to no importance in most religions, with deities principally being related to a masculine form rather than a feminine one. Hindus respect women because of the numerous contributions they bring to society. Even with the reverence women enjoy in Hinduism, their main role is linked to that of assisting their husbands in various missions. Apparently, up until the nineteenth century, when the Hindus started to be influenced by Western culture, women were considered to be equal to men, as they took part in important religious ceremonies without being impeded by their gender. Consequent to the changes experienced in the Hindu society however, women gradually lost their influence up to the point where they started to be perceived as servants.

The Indian territory has given birth to several religions and whereas some can be traced to the moment of their creation, matters are more difficult when considering Hinduism, as it apparently involves a collection of Indian religions. The term Hinduism was coined by British invaders mainly because of the fact that a large number of Indians lived in the vicinity of the Indus River. Hindus prefer to use the title Sanatana Dharma instead, which means the eternal religion.

Hinduism has its roots in…… [read more]

Redemptive Role of the Black Church Dissertation

Dissertation  |  50 pages (16,899 words)
Bibliography Sources: 12


Black Church

The Redemptive Role of the Black Church

Abstract (to be inserted when project is completed)

Table of Contents (preliminary)

The black church holds a special place in African-American culture that differs from the role of the predominantly white churches. Much of this is due to cultural traits that inspire closeness in African-American society. A shared history of struggle… [read more]

Humanities Preamble: The Changes That Are Perceived Research Paper

Research Paper  |  8 pages (3,154 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3




The changes that are perceived from one generation to another often are the result of technology and information changes and the access to various types of information. The changes in the way information could be transmitted and displayed have changed very rapidly with the technology explosion. While scientific treatises and political debates can be argued out on the… [read more]

Absolute Truth Claims Journal

Journal  |  4 pages (1,250 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2



For Christian theologians, one of the most troubling questions is the presence of evil in the world. If God is good, and the world is good, how can the world God created contain evil? One possible solution that has been offered is that evil is like the 'hole in the doughnut,' or the absence of good. For example, walking past a child starving in the street without a second glance is evil, because of the lack of compassion shown to the child. To be good would be to feed the child, and to try to eradicate the forces that produced that child's poverty.

The absence of good, however, also means that there must be an absence of God, and if God is everywhere, how can God exist in the presence of evil? The presence of some demon might explain the presence of evil, but if God created the entire world, than He created such demonic beings and actions, even in his infinite wisdom.

For others, such a passive definition of evil provides little comfort. Evil does not 'feel' like an absence: evil often has a highly active presence, as in the case a child being abused, or in the ultimate example of evil in the modern world -- genocide. People have even committed horrible crimes in the name of 'good.' To be evil might be better described as working against the presence of goodness and therefore against God, and acting as a destroyer of His creation, principles, and life itself. The ultimate act of evil is shutting out the goodness of another living being, whether in the form of another human or an entire race of individuals.

My own personal definition of evil is similar to that of the 'hole in the doughnut' of goodness theory, but slightly more subtle. Evil is the inability to see yourself in the eyes of others. Evil is the anti-Semitism of the Nazi, evil is murder and the silencing of life. Evil is allowing poverty and inequality to exist, ignorance, and violence: evil is saying I have more of a right to live in the goodness of creation than yourself.

Definition: Religion

For many individuals from Western culture, what constitutes religion seems obvious: it is Christianity, Judaism, Islam, or perhaps a smaller, break-off sect of one of these major faiths. But viewing religion as an enclosed category of society is a relatively Westernized concept. In many so-called primitive cultures, religion is a part of everyday life. Rituals are both sacred and civic -- paying homage to the nation's gods is political and spiritual. Religion is a communal system of rituals and ethics, not just a personal belief in the divine. This was the case in ancient Rome, where there was no clear distinction between worshipping the gods of the city, and a citizen's civic obligations.

Religion seems to convey within its structure an enclosed network of beliefs and assumptions about the world. Yet several of the world's so-called major religions, including Buddhism, Daoism,… [read more]

Egyptian Influence on Judaism and Christianity Thesis

Thesis  |  14 pages (3,930 words)
Bibliography Sources: 8


Egyptian Influence on Judaism and Christianity

Egyptian influence

The issue of the relationship between Egyptian cultural history and the histories of Judaism and Christianity is one that is mired in controversy. This controversy is also linked to various interpretations of the Biblical texts and to the view that has emerged in recent years that the Bible is more myth and… [read more]

Book of Acts Is the Fifth Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,602 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Book of Acts is the fifth book of the New Testament of the Bible, following the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It is widely believed that the apostle Luke wrote this book. It was written after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and chronicles the many miracles and wonders that were done by the apostles after Jesus' death as… [read more]

Exegesis of Ezekiel, Chapter Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,389 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


¶ … God has given his Prophet Ezekiel a clear foresight o the peoples miseries. He gives Ezekiel the insight into the people's offenses and wickedness for which God befalls judgment upon them. Ezekiel's visionary experience occurs in the prophet's house during a consultation session with the elders of the Diaspora communities. As the story is counted, it seems that the state of trance (the Hand of Yahweh") came over Ezekiel suddenly, without preparation or solicitation. In the vision, a heavenly been appeared to Ezekiel and took by the hairs of his head.(Block During this religious visionary experience the spirit of God Then transports him and sets him down in Jerusalem. Just as in our dreams we may experience other places while never moving from our beds so too does Ezekiel; physically he is bound to the reality of exile in Babylon, but in his dream, he becomes a visitor in the holy city that once was his home. Ezekiel finds himself standing in the outer court of the temple in Jerusalem, at the s pot close tot the northern entrance to the inner court; it was through this entrance that the king and royal family passed into the inner court to worship. Standing there is aware of the awesome Glory of God, just as he had been in his first vision on the plain. There he is instructed to look to the north and see the "Image of jealousy" (verse 5). An image would provoke jealousy for according to the first commandment "He is a jealous God." As such it would refer to the image of Asherah, the Canaanite goddess of love. Such an image of has been placed in the temple in the past (2Kings 21:7), and though it was removed in Josiah's reformation, it may well have reappeared in the last sad days of the temple's history prior to its destruction. Ezekiel is also privy to the information that by Israel's actions, they have driven God away and with him his protection. There are three striking features of this first installment of Ezekiel's vision. Two things were present where there should only be one. The Glory of God was there but so was the image of the false deity and immediately there is a sense of the incongruous. As mercury and water will not mix, no more would the worship of Israel's God mix with that of other gods. From a biblical perspective, a true temple has room for only one god. If two are present, one or the other will leave. If the false god remains then the true God will leave. At the sight of the image, Ezekiel perceives immediately that the first of the Ten Commandments was being broken; that commandment prohibited the recognition of any other god other than the Lord God. The first commandment expressed the fundamental principle of faith, that of absolute commitment and faithfulness to the God of Israel. When that commandment is broken, the entire foundations of faith are… [read more]

Hermeneutic Interpretation of Matthew 22 34 38 Research Paper

Research Paper  |  5 pages (1,757 words)
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¶ … Hermeneutical Interpretation of Matthew 22:34-38

One of the biggest challenges of any reader of the Bible is having an appropriate understanding of what precisely one is reading. For although a plain reading of any scripture is satisfactory much of the time for day-to-day application-though this is arguable as well-there is much to be said for having a thorough… [read more]

Premodernism Is Defined as Possessed by Authority Term Paper

Term Paper  |  8 pages (2,489 words)
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Premodernism is defined as possessed by authority and dominated by tradition. The term is broken down as having two other meanings which include: defined as a spirit of truth; the truth is taught through religious institutions under the leadership of religious leaders and defined as the ultimate reality; reality is spiritual and influences the circumstances in the natural physical world.… [read more]

Theological, Interpersonal and Political Roots Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,349 words)
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Theological, Interpersonal and Political Roots of the Protestant Reformation and the Resulting Catholic Reformation

'a man cannot be justified by faith alone.' This notion of Martin Luther caused one of the most seismic shifts in the history of Western Europe. After Luther broke from the Catholic Church, human beings were no longer simply Christian -- they were either Protestant or Catholic. And the contrasting notions of Protestantism and Catholicism were far different than those controversies which had distinguished the schism of Eastern and Western Orthodoxy. Protestantism represented an entire shift in worldview, from a religion that was defined by a Church hierarchy to a portable religion that was 'of the book,' or defined by the individual's relationship and his or her personal sense of faith in God.

The Renaissance's emphasis on individuality can be at least partially to 'blame' for the growing dissatisfaction with the Church. Catholic rituals, with their emphasis on the external trappings of worship and the growing political influence of the Pope, bishops, and the clergy had caused many members of the newly empowered middle classes to chafe at the Church's domination of almost every facet of society. But because of its enforcement of orthodoxy of people's views, dissent seemed impossible, until an Augustinian monk named Martin Luther published his 95 Theses, critiquing the Church's theology and its practices.

Luther was particularly disgusted by indulgences, whereby individuals could buy (with money or with good deeds) a reprieve from the suffering of purgatory for themselves or their loved ones. Luther's primary objection to the selling of indulgences was not the crass materialism of the practice, but the fact that it forgave individual sinners for a deed through payment, and did nothing to change the soul of the believer. "Luther's Theses, which outlined his theological argument against the use of indulgences, were based on the notion that Christianity is fundamentally a phenomenon of the inner world of human beings and had little or nothing to do with the outer world, such as temporal punishments" (Hooker 1996).

For Luther, some of the most significant passages in the Bible were those written by the Apostle Paul, who was attempting to define Christianity as a religion in which believers did not need to engage in the practices of the Jewish nation to be Christians. Luther wrote that piety and an open heart was the source of justification. God gave grace to the believer, not as the result of payment with specific actions or importuning a saint, but because of God's inexplicable good will. "Luther understood righteousness as a gift of God's grace. He had discovered (or recovered) the doctrine of justification by grace alone," just as the persecutor Saul was struck by God and became redeemed in Jesus (Whitford 2005). Luther, while still a monk, was haunted by his sense of unworthiness. How could a believer 'prove' that he was worthy of God, in the face of God's spiritual perfection? His only solution was that God's "acceptance is based on who one… [read more]

Isaiah Delivered the Jubilee Message Essay

Essay  |  10 pages (3,410 words)
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Isaiah delivered the Jubilee message to the people of God who are now free from captivity, restored, and exalted, culminated in the message of Jesus. This message, delivered in Isaiah 61:1-11, gives hope to the oppressed, images of a new land, and a song of rejoicing for those that have been in exile. Throughout the text, Isaiah draws upon the… [read more]

Voting Behavior Term Paper

Term Paper  |  10 pages (3,585 words)
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Voting Behavior

Religion has continued to play an important role in the politics and society in the contemporary world which is characterized by ideas that are interconnected. In fact secularization theories have been found to be wanting in comparison to the influence of religion in politics. The mass influenced that is present in the religious grouping has an overarching effect… [read more]

Faith and Learning: Together Essay

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Faith and Learning: Together Again for a Foundation of Truth

In Foundations of Christian thought: Faith, learning, and the Christian worldview, Mark Cosgrove reiterates that the Christian worldview is predicated upon faith. He succinctly and aptly describes ethics as "Absolutes in right and wrong [that] come from the absolute character of God as revealed in the Bible and the person of Jesus Christ." (Cosgrove, 2006, p. 138). He further reminds us that the Christian worldview is not antithetical to learning. Rather, faith and learning are inextricably intertwined. Accordingly, through reading Cosgrove's words, I began to understand the process by which my own worldview had come into being. While I have always understood that without my faith in God, I would not attain real knowledge, morality, or reality. However, the world in which we live, constantly has places knowledge and learning in a competition with faith. Cosgrove's conclusion that faith and learning are compatible processes has always been a notion in which I pondered; however, I did not necessarily know if my instinct was correct. Indeed, Cosgrove's words have given me the courage to see faith as the underlying basis from which I can then attain knowledge, a sense of morality, and a true vision of reality. No longer do I have to give up faith to have learning as they are, in fact, not diametrically opposed forces.

In "An Exploration of Religious Knowledge" by Michael Gleghorn, Gleghorn explores the means by which we can attain true religious knowledge, even in the face of those whom seek to prove that there is no such thing as religious knowledge. According to evidentialists such as W.K. Clifford a belief is rational only if it meets one of two conditions: (1) the belief is basic; or, (2) the belief is based upon supporting evidence. According to well-known and respected theologian Dr. Alvin Plantinga, the belief in God is a basic belief; and, thus, the belief in God or faith in God is part of the very foundation of human knowledge. To Dr. Plantinga, we all have what John Calvin called sensus divinitatis which is that innate sense or feeling that a divinity exists. If you have this, then you have a basic belief and there is then no need for supporting evidence (Gleghorn, n.d.). In my experience, on numerous occasions, I have felt sensus divinitatis such as when a stranger holds a door open for a person in need or when a friend calls out of the blue to see how I am. To some, these moments might seem insignificant; however, to me they establish and reaffirm my belief in God and that God's hands as well as God's love are involved in our daily lives. If this provides what Dr. Plantinga says is the foundation of one's "basic belief" in God so as to make my belief turn into knowledge, then I would definitely assert that I have the knowledge based upon my faith that God does in fact exist.

Moral thinking and… [read more]

Longstanding Tradition of Hindu and Its Impact on Modern Cultural Elements of Indian Society Term Paper

Term Paper  |  10 pages (3,703 words)
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Longstanding tradition of Hindu and its impact on modern culture elements of Indian society.

The longstanding tradition of Hindu and its impact on modern cultural elements of Indian society

Basics of Hinduism

Hinduism is the world's oldest religion and the third largest. It is a rich collection of hundreds of spiritual and philosophical traditions throughout Asia for more than 5000… [read more]

Death of Greek Polytheism in the Face of Christianity Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,160 words)
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Polytheism and Monotheism

Christianity and the Decline of Polytheism

Years ago, A.D. Nock wrote in his important book on conversion in the Greco-Roman world, "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church: the death of Socrates created the type of wisdom and virtue standing in heroic opposition to a world which can kill but which does not have the last word" (Nock 194). This statement illustrates the persuasive power of the image of sacrificial death for a cause. The Romans were tolerant polytheists. Yet they looked at Christianity with suspicion due to its refusal to make oaths and sacrifices to the emperor cult. This disrupted traditional pagan religion. The new emphasis on dedication to one God alone was subversive. The main argument of this paper is that the willingness of Christians to face martyrdom was a powerful symbol to polytheists of the monotheistic concept. It was the practical model of sacrifice that, when combined with other factors such as moral change, new social associations, and the ability to escape fate through belief in a single God, made monotheism appealing. Martyrdom was not the only factor, but this paper will show how the dynamics of challenging Roman "idolatry" through suffering created the conditions for the demise of paganism and the rise of Christian monotheism.

Polytheism was the thriving form of religion prior to Christian monotheism. In his exhaustive study of ancient Greek religion, Burkert shows the structure of polytheistic belief. He defines polytheism to mean that "many gods are worshipped not only at the same place and at the same time, but by the same community and by the same individual; only the totality of the gods constitutes the divine world" (Burkert 216). This belief in multiple divinities shows how without contradiction the Greek mind was able to conceive of supernatural power as multiple. They did not feel mental tension when faced with the thought of many gods. This polytheism expressed itself in various ways. For example, Burkert says that "at festivals of the gods, sacrifice is regularly made not to one god but to a whole series of gods" (Burkert 216). In addition, a sacred place usually belonged to one individual god, but statues of other gods could be erected in it as well and prayer was offered to many gods. People used magic, initiation, and purification ceremonies to different gods. There were families of gods and god pairs (e.g., Zeus-Hera). The gods interact and associate, each with special realms and powers. The various gods gave name to the calendar months based on major festivals. Burkert explicitly emphasizes these festivals as organizing the religious and communal life of ancient Greeks.

Roman religion during the formation of Christianity continued the pagan polytheistic tradition. Roman civilization had its temples to various gods with images of god and rituals. North writes, "Rituals marked all public events and celebrations" (North 44). People endowed nature (water, trees, etc.) with divine forces and lower gods. Mattingly says, "There are the Fortunes, Tuxai, Genii,… [read more]

Catholic Religion Second Vatican Council Roles for Women Research Paper

Research Paper  |  4 pages (1,257 words)
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¶ … Second Vatican Council and the Role of Women

The second Vatican council of the Roman Catholic Church took place from 1962 -1965 and symbolized the church's readiness to make changes in accordance with the state of the modern world. This conference was attended by 2,600 bishops and is considered the most influential religious event of the twentieth century. The council discussed and ratified 16 doctrines including the "Dogmatic Constitution of the Church." This is considered one of the most important of the doctrines in modern Catholicism and "proclaimed the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Mother of the Church." (H. Daniel -- Rops, 1962). It was defined by Pope John II in Apolstotic Letter Muliers Dignitatim, that the church considered motherhood and virginity to be major vocations of woman. Throughout the doctrines, the roles of the woman were clearly defined. In the council's outline it was noted that an alter girl would be permitted to collect offerings, proclaim scripture, except gospel, and lead congregational choirs. A woman may also play approved instruments and be seen as an usher throughout services. In addition to identifying woman's roles in the church, the council began to expand its role in communal affairs.

The council often referred to as Vatican II, called for a spiritual awakening which helped to include the affirmation of fundamental truths found in religions other than Catholicism. It also examined the different faces truth can be demonstrated through, for the common good of all. Diversity in practice and language, in an attempt to reach more people, was implemented and there was great emphasis placed on the duties of the different members of the clergy. This resulted in establishing the hierarchy of the modern church. The different positions and duties of parish officials were elaborated upon within the doctrines of the Vatican II. The council was a culminating event which took the church into the modern secular and religious world.

There are many positions found throughout the church parishes. The duties and responsibilities of each are specifically outlined and described as the following. A theological professor of a seminary is one who has a background in biblical studies, church history and philosophy. Secular universities have a very limited theology department, therefore studies in scripture and biblical authority are often found in seminaries.

The Parish Administrator is responsible for all clerical and bookkeeping work throughout the parish. They prepare appropriate financial statements, reports for the diocese and act as a liaison between the parish and outside groups. The Parish Administrator coordinates the calendar of events and reports and maintains communication for the vestry. This is generally a paid position and most parishes' require a minimum of a bachelor's degree in a related field. Although this is still a male dominated field, in recent years some women have taken over this role in various parishes throughout the country.

A Parish Council member attends all meeting and trainings as a representative of the parish. They evaluate and recommend prospective programs to implement. They… [read more]

Holy Saturation Research Paper

Research Paper  |  11 pages (4,689 words)
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Holy Saturation

The traditional, or Orthodox view, is that the church is a necessary medium between the laity and God, and that without the church and the hierarchy of clergy, the congregation would be unable to attain the wisdom of God. They saw the coming of god's kingdom as a literal event. They also saw it preposterous thought to separate… [read more]