Study "Religion / God / Theology" Essays 936-990

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Second Vatican Council Research Paper

… Vatican II

A Survey of the Second Vatican Council

Vatican Council II stands out as unique in the Catholic Church's near 2000-year history. From 1962 to 1965 the massive council met in Vatican City to update the Church's stance on… [read more]

Mel Gibson's the Passion Essay

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

Works Cited

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

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

Catholic Voices Data Analysis Data Analysis Chapter

… " (Allen, 2010) It is stated that what is needed is "to reflect on this experience, how well it went and what we can learn from it, and then think about the future. Of course, the future will require funding,… [read more]

Comparing Islam to Judeo-Christian Beliefs Essay

… ¶ … Islam to Judeo-Christian beliefs

Islamic Beliefs vs. Christian Beliefs

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


Main Beliefs of Islam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Pascal and Giussani the Roman Term Paper

… " Why does he know that it exists? Because the existence of that thing is implied in the dynamic of his person. (116)

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

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

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

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

Taoism and Later World Religions Essay

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

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

Groome's Shared Christian Praxis Essay

… Education

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

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

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

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

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

Wesley John Wesley Was a Brilliant Theologian Term Paper

… Wesley

John Wesley was a brilliant theologian who lived from 1703 to 1791. He lived his life as an Anglican minister and was an early leader in the Methodist movement, first while he was at Oxford University, then while he… [read more]

Death Dying and Bereavement Essay

… Surviving the Death Experience

Rituals in Human Life and Death

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

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

The Role of Religion

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

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

Saint Thomas Aquinas Essay

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

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

Works Cited

Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica. Online at:

Soccio, Archetypes of Wisdom (8th edition)., "Jakob Schegk.", "G.E.M. Anscombe." [read more]

Aquinas' 4th Proof Essay

… Thomas Aquinas and the Gradation of Things

Thomas Aquinas and the Gradation to be Found in Things

This paper addresses the fourth proof of the existence of God given by Thomas Aquinas and discuss the efficiency of Aquinas' style. It… [read more]

Holy Spirit in the Book Acts Term Paper

… Holy Spirit in the Book Of Acts

The purpose of the Book of Acts was to offer a history of the early church with a focus on the Holy Spirit and how it is the "life principle" of the Church… [read more]

Old Testament Deuteronomy CHP 10 Research Paper

… Deuteronomy, Chapter 10

According to biblical scholars, chapter 10 of the Book of Deuteronomy was written on the fortieth year of the exile of the people of Israel. The chapter is also one of the most important parts of the… [read more]

David Hume William James Contrast and Compare Theories Term Paper

… David Hume/Williams James

William James (1842-1910) was one of America's most notable philosophers, however, his work went beyond the boundaries of philosophy (Schick & Vaughn 2009). Born in New York City to a theologian father and the elder brother of… [read more]

Witness of Preaching Book Report

… Witness of Preaching by Thomas G. Long Note: the book is based on the idea that ministers and preachers are called from within the church instead of being sent to it from the outside world. Based on this, the entire… [read more]

Descartes and Skepticism Is the Definition Term Paper

… Descartes and Skepticism

Skepticism is the definition where each and every aspect of one's knowledge -- including belief of one's reality is questioned. Determined to investigate the source and truth of his knowledge, Descartes determined to start by doubting all… [read more]

Jesus and Mohammed Essay

… Jesus & Mohammed

More than any two religions on Earth, Christian and Muslim traditions share striking similarities (George, 2002, p. 20). At a time in our global society when Muslims as a group are viewed unfavorably because of the actions… [read more]

Deutero Pauline and the Pastoral Epistles Essay

… Theology

Pseudoepigraphy is a term of Greek origin meaning literally false writing; the term is used to refer to a "false attribution of authorship" or "falsely attributing a writing to someone different from the actual author," (Just 2009). The practice… [read more]

Beliefs and Tenets That Comprise the Hindu Essay

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

Joyce's Ulysses Claude Rawson Research Paper

… Giordano Bruno is referenced by Ellmann as the source for Joyce's notion of a sort of mystical "coincidence of contraries" (Ellmann 54) almost like Blake's similar "Union of Contraries" in "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell," but exemplified in this… [read more]

Christian Transformation: The Evolution of the Architecture Research Paper

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

Over the course of a thousand years, the architecture of the early Christian churches underwent an… [read more]

Religious Site Visitation Interview

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

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

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

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

God Given Rights: Understanding America Essay

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

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

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

Religious Culture in Korea Term Paper

… Religious Culture in Korea

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

Exegesis Luke Essay

… Exegesis Luke 12:16-21

The Parable Of The Rich Fool

exegesis of luke 12:16-21


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

A rich man lives like there is no tomorrow, only… [read more]

Death Ritual Comparison Essay

… 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… [read more]

Islam Alms Giving Zakat Research Paper

… 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… [read more]

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

… 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… [read more]

Human Development Stage Theory Essay

… 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… [read more]

Santeria Origin Essay

… Santeria

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… [read more]

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

… 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

… ¶ … 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… [read more]

Compare Yahwist Priestly and Magician's Nephew Term Paper

… 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… [read more]

Separation of Church and State Essay

… 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

… 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… [read more]

Investiture Struggle and Give Its Effects Essay

… ¶ … 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… [read more]

Global Learning Site Visit Essay

… ¶ … 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… [read more]

Global Learning Site Visit Essay

… 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… [read more]

Great Theologians Book Review

… ¶ … 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… [read more]

Catholic Education in Australian Primary Schools Developing Essay

… 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

… 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,… [read more]

Global Business Cultural Analysis of Russia Research Paper

… 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… [read more]

Buddhism and Confucianism Essay

… 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… [read more]

People and Many Churches Term Paper

… ¶ … 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… [read more]

Personal Religious Biography Journal

… 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… [read more]

Symbols Relating to Garden Essay

… 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

… 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,… [read more]

Biography on Edward Robinson Research Paper

… 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… [read more]

Hindu Views Term Paper

… 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

… 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… [read more]

Humanities Preamble: The Changes That Are Perceived Research Paper

… Humanities


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… [read more]

Absolute Truth Claims Journal

… Evil

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… [read more]

Egyptian Influence on Judaism and Christianity Thesis

… 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… [read more]

Book of Acts Is the Fifth Essay

… 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… [read more]

Exegesis of Ezekiel, Chapter Term Paper

… ¶ … 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… [read more]

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