"Religion / God / Theology" Essays

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Public Theology Assessment

Assessment  |  4 pages (1,249 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3

SAMPLE TEXT:

Theology

A Discussion of a Theology of Immigration for the Contemporary North American Situation

How to respond to the immigration "problem" is a question that can certainly be answered by seeking truth in scripture. The Bible is clear when it comes to the moral issues relating to immigration. Both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament contain ample references to how to treat strangers righteously. "When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God," (Leviticus 19:33-34). How to apply Biblical law to contemporary North America is a more difficult proposition. The cultural and historical context of the Bible does not necessarily or always apply to modern situations and contingencies. Furthermore, as Sider and Snippers point out, "the complex and evolving issue of the church's role in public policy is among the most challenging for twenty-first century American evangelical leaders," (5).

If the Bible is clear on matters related to how to properly care for our fellow human beings, then why is immigration a contentious political issue in the United States? The politics of immigration policy are divisive. Immigration policy is an issue that has caused many Christians to politically fight one another, in the quest for an answer. The United States is a nation founded firmly on an immigration policy that reflects Biblical truths. Even some of the more insidious chapters in American immigration history -- such as the decimation of the native population by the original settlers, and the forced immigration of countless slaves -- have been underwritten by misguided Christians. The time is ripe for a new, theologically informed immigration policy that transcends differences and unites Americans. Even those who, like the author, are temporary residents or guests of the great nation, are in the position to offer guidance and support that is rooted in religion.

One of the main reasons why immigration is a controversial issue in both Western Europe and the United States is economics. In a stagnant economy, immigrants are viewed as potential threats. Likewise, many Americans have vocally expressed fear and concern that immigrants are leaching public services. Another reason why immigration is a controversial issue is xenophobia. Xenophobic reactions to immigration are paradoxical in a nation founded by immigrants, but the fact remains that the dominant culture is white, Christian, and European. Non-whites, non-Europeans, and non-Christians are viewed as outsiders by a substantial enough number of the American population to cause a political controversy. The dominant culture is not necessarily the majority culture, either; dominant culture simply refers to the culture that possesses the greatest amount of political power. As the United States stands poised for a massive demographic shift in which whites might become the literal minority, discourse on the topic of immigration is likely to change.

For now, Ramachandra notes that opposition to immigration is "generally far more prominent than… [read more]


Religion Qualifications of the Divine Essay

Essay  |  8 pages (2,413 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 5

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Buddhism is a religion that challenges the mind to contemplate existential paradoxes. There is no Absolute Reality, but everything is Absolute Reality at the same time. Absolute Reality is Nothingness, but it remains possible to be conscious of nothingness while still being alive and in the world. Buddhism suggests that Absolute Reality is qualified by consciousness, which is why meditation… [read more]


Trimurti and the Trinity Hinduism Research Paper

Research Paper  |  10 pages (3,368 words)
Bibliography Sources: 8

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The three different bodies, heads, or faces are meant to represent the three roles of the primary god or gods, creation, preservation, and destruction. Iconic images of the Trimurti first began appearing during the period between the eighth and tenth centuries (Yaday). It is thus assumed that this was the period when the trinity became the most popular in terms… [read more]


Religion on the Surface Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (1,012 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3

SAMPLE TEXT:

In Hinduism, there is also a concept of gods becoming incarnate on Earth. The concept is called the avatar, and there are several examples in Hindu scripture that refer to avatars. For example, Krishna is one of the most important gods in the Hindu pantheon. Krishna is an avatar of Vishnu. Unlike Jesus, Krishna has blue skin and loves dancing. Yet like Jesus, Krishna is worshipped as the incarnation of a supreme deity. "Of all avatars he is the most popular and perhaps the one closest to the heart of the masses," (Das). There are, therefore, similar roles of gods in the Hindu pantheon as there are for Christianity. The Christian God is a savior who makes direct contact with human beings; but the Christian God is also a transcendent God in charge of cosmological forces beyond human understanding. The same paradox is expressed in Christian religious texts.

The creation stories of Hinduism and Christianity highlight the differences and similarities between the two faiths. Both the creation story in the Book of Genesis and the creation story in Hindu scripture refer to enormous darkness out of which God let there be light. God plays the only role in these creation stories, willing the earth and all its inhabitants into existence. Just as the Hebrew Bible claims that the Word of God was the Beginning of Creation, the Hindu scriptures claim that the sound "OM" was heard at the beginning of creation. Out of darkness, there is light; and out of primordial chaos God brings order.

Unlike Christianity, which has one complete creation myth, Hinduism has many such stories. Each story has its own symbolism and imagery. For example, one of the Hindu Upanishads uses the egg motif, which is a feminine symbol of the creation of the universe. In the Hindu Rig Veda, the creation story involves a superman, or original man like Adam in the Genesis creation story. The Hindu story of the Purusha is divided up to yield the whole of humanity -- just as all human beings are said to descend from Adam in the Genesis creation story.

In both the Christian and Hindu creation stories, a Supreme Being creates the universe. This shows that Hinduism has more of a monotheistic tone and cosmology than it seems, given the role all the multiplicity of deities plays in Hindu scripture. Ultimately, the Hindu cosmology shares in common with Christianity the belief that one Supreme God creates, sustains, and has the power to destroy the known universe. Christianity and Hinduism both feature holy trinities, but Hinduism's scripture contains a wealth of colorful stories of the escapades of multiple gods whereas Christinity's central text is about the life and death of Jesus Christ.

Works Cited

Bhagavad Gita

Bible: Old and New Testament

Das, Subhamoy. "Top 10 Hindu Deities." About.com. Retrieved online: http://hinduism.about.com/od/godsgoddesses/tp/deities.htm

"The Origins of the Universe." BBC. Retrieved online: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/rs/environment/hinduismbeliefsrev1.shtml

Rig Veda

Upanishads… [read more]


Theology Definition Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,298 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4

SAMPLE TEXT:

For this they were cast out into a world of toil, death and suffering, but even so God does not simply abandon his beloved creatures no matter that they always fall short of expectations. Since they used their free will to obtain the knowledge of good and evil, God allows them to continue making these choices and suffering the consequences.

Martin Luther insisted in his theology that Protestantism should be based solely on Scripture and faith, yet he also accepted certain traditions inherited from the Catholic Church. He knew that the Roman emperors had called all the church councils in ancient times, and that the bishops were subject to their political authority. In addition, popes, bishops and emperors were only human beings and therefore capable of error, while Luther agreed with Augustine that only the Bible was "inerrant" (Luther 217). Councils, bishops and church leaders had also frequently disagreed among themselves over the centuries, so the better policy was to base the church as closely on the Bible as possible. At the Council of Nicea, the church leaders declared that Jesus was God, and at Constantinople that the Holy Spirit was also divine. At Ephesus and Chalcedon the bishops and theologians declared that Christ was one person with both a human and divine nature, which the Protestant and Reformed churches also accepted. Luther accepted all of this because he thought the councils had based their decisions on the Bible, not because of the authority of the church fathers and bishops. He believed that Christ had risen from the dead and that the Holy Spirit had appeared in the world during the first Pentecost. Although Christ had ascended into heaven, he also promised "Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:20). Arius and the Unitarians, who had doubted the divinity of Jesus, were denounced as heretics by the councils and later by Luther. He also denied that the emperor Constantine and his family had ever been Arian Christians, but he added that "if there were no Holy Scriptures of the prophets and the apostles, the mere words of the council would be meaningless" (Luther 251).

All definitions of Christian theology have to be based first and foremost on Scripture, which is generally accepted on faith to be divinely inspired, if not literally true in every detail. In this the Catholic, Orthodox and mainline Protestant churches differ significantly from evangelical and fundamentalist Protestants. It can also benefit from comparisons with Judaism, Islam and other theological traditions, for an increased understanding of both similarities and differences in theology. This is one of many areas in which reason can be at least as important as faith experience or knowledge of Scripture in gaining a more profound insight into some of the central conflicts that divide the world today, for at least in part they are being driven by differences in theology as much as politics and economics. In that respect, the contemporary world does resemble that of… [read more]


Christian Church Acknowledges Its Missionary Term Paper

Term Paper  |  7 pages (2,633 words)
Bibliography Sources: 6

SAMPLE TEXT:

In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells his apostles: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." (28:19) He thus confers continuity to the mission which is further assimilated by the Church.

The word ecclesia translates into "a called-out assembly."

Ecclesiology nowadays is understood… [read more]


Reason, God and Religion Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,328 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+

SAMPLE TEXT:

It is indivisible and it is everything in power. It is immutable and never departs from its own nature through multiplication (1 x 1 = 1). All that is intelligible and cannot be engendered exists in it: the nature of ideas, God himself, the soul, the beautiful and the good, and every intelligible essence, such as beauty itself, justice itself, equality itself, for we conceive of each of these things as being one and as existing in itself." (Page IX)

This helps us understand how Plato used some Pythagorean views to develop his understanding of the existence of God. He also maintained that God can only be truly discerned by philosophers beause they were in a better postion to understand what he called 'forms'. These forms were again taken from Pythagorean system and referred to divinity and its various representations. Plato mainated that everything present on this earth was created in the image of one Great soul and this is how he proved the existence of God. Another important thing that both Plato and Saint Augustine propounded was the belief that God must always be presented as someone good and pious. Augustine is considered a sort of plagiarist when it comes to his views on Christianity. He took inspiration from Plato's religious views and extended them to the realm of Christianity and many are of the view that most of his thoughts are not original at all. Descartes similarly connected his views on God with knowledge. He felt that God must be a perfect being who should possess infinite knowledge or else he couldn't possibly be expected to control the entire Universe. But there are certain flaws in his philosophy, which a modern day reader would find rather confusing. Descartes unlike Plato believed that understanding of God should begin not from numerical understanding of forms but from creation of doubt. He felt that complete doubt was the one thing that could lead man to the source of all knowledge, which is God. Now that we know what Augustine, Plato and Descartes said about God, it is important to find out just how did they solve the problem of evil. If God is infinitely good and pious, how can He be held responsible for creating something as despicable as evil? Plato probably did not essentially create evil. He created good from which evil originates because man misuses the gift of free will. Augustine presented his argument in these words, "Evil has no positive nature; but the loss of good has received the name 'evil.'"(3) This was how most philosophers resolved this conflict and came to the conclusion that God himself did not create evil. But evil took birth when man defied the natural order. I firmly believe that man must base his own religious beliefs on reasons because without reasons, he is likely to lose his faith in the times of pain and suffering. This is because we expect God to be kind and perfect and thus cannot understand why he… [read more]


Religion: How Universal Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (914 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+

SAMPLE TEXT:

They all agree on two essential facts: 1) the tomb in which Jesus had been buried was found empty and the entrance stone rolled away; 2) Jesus appeared alive to his followers (Schreck 70). The Catholic church emphasized that the proclamation of God's word, kerygma, or the act of evangelization, must be folowed by an ever fuller instruction in the Christian life that contributes to the person's growth in holiness (Schreck 265). This is the primary mission of the church: "to witness in the power of the Holy Spirit to God's love as revealed in Jesus Christ, so that all people will come to know, love, and serve God, and receive the gift of eternal life" (Schreck 265).

According to Catholic theology, what is the relationship between Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition? How do they work together? Catholicism believes that the normative revelation of God, for all times and situations, comes from the Holy Spirit through the two channels of sacred Scripture and sacred tradition. The Second Vatican Council's Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation explains that "Sacred tradition and sacred Scripture from one sacred deposit of the word of God, which is committed to the church" (Schreck 120). Although, many Christians believe the phrase, 'the word of God' refers only to the Bible, Catholics understand that both the Bible and sacred tradition are God's revealed word:

For both of them, flowing from the same divine wellspring, in a certain way merge into a unity and tend toward the same end. For sacred Scripture is the word of God inasmuch as it is consigned to writing under the inspiration of the divine Spirit. To the successors of the apostles, sacred tradition hands on in its full purity of God's word which was entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit" (Schreck 121).

The Church can rule on what is apostolic and what is not, and it can rule on which traditions are apostolic and which are not, therefore, it can "rule on the canon of tradition the same way it ruled on the canon of scripture" (Akin pg). As the living Bride of Christ, the Church recognizes the voice of her husband. The mechanism by which the Church establishes the canon of tradition is the same as the way it establishes the canon of Scripture.

The same principle works in both contexts, thus, "the Church is the witnesses to both canons" (Akins pg).

Works Cited

Akin, James. "THE TWO CANONS: SCRIPTURE AND TRADITION." http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/2CANONS.htm.(accessed 01-23-2003).

Schreck, Alan. Basics of the Faith: A Catholic Catechism. Servant Books. 1987; pp. 69, 70, 89, 90, 110, 112, 120,…… [read more]


Western Religion in His Book Term Paper

Term Paper  |  21 pages (6,937 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+

SAMPLE TEXT:

Education is to be had on penalty of Sin.

The author Neusner avers that there are several forms of Judaism -- each presenting a different viewpoint based on culture and philosophy. Rabbinic and Talmudic Judaism are two of the main. (pp. 41-49) Contemporarily, secularism has taken root under the strength of Western culture. Incidentally the Torah has also undergone severe… [read more]


Jesus, God and Man Book Review

Book Review  |  3 pages (1,034 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1

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If Christ was not the God man, and he deliberately taught his followers that he was, then he could only have been a deluded megalomania who eventually died for his own lies. Such a man would not be worth of following.

If Jesus was not the God - man, and he taught his followers that he was, the other option is that he was deluded, and did not know it. In other words, the conclusion to this consideration is that Jesus was not God, and actually thought that he was. What kind of man would die on a cross for something that was not true? Such a man would not be the kind of person that would amass a following that would endure for 2000 years after his death. It would be likely, like the followers of other deluded men throughout time, that after his death, his followers would have scatters, and the sect would have died.

The third, and only other option is that Jesus was god, and he knew it, and this is the central theology he presented to his followers. This is the only reason that holds up under scrutiny of both the scriptural record, and an examination of the lives of those who followed Christ. Each of the apostles stayed true to their claims, what they believed were the claims of Christ, even though it caused them to loose their lives. Each of them carried the message to other countries, leaving their culture, families, and heritage in the middle east in order to carry out what they believed was the message, and the purpose of Jesus Christ.

In considering the New Testament, Brown identifies that from the first chapters of the Gospels, until the last words, the central theme of Jesus' divinity is clearly communicated.

Brown says "For orthodox Christians they have helped to shape the central doctrine of Jesus God and man." Each infancy narrative serves three main purposes:

To bridge the Old and New Testaments.

Present the major themes of the entire gospel.

Foreshadow the cross and resurrection.

At the end of the gospels, when Pilate asks this same question of Jesus, "Are you king of the Jews?" Jesus, in Mark 15:2, answers, "You say that I am." And in Luke 23:3 and Matthew 27:11: "You say so." Whoever has the earlier tradition, it was also an instruction in christology for Mark's community on the unity of Jesus, Son of Man, Suffering Servant, Messiah, Son of God..

At the end f his life, and the end of the gospels, the issue no longer matters... No need to keep a secret any more. He will soon be vindicated by God as the one sent by God.

A found ths book a very positive contribution to the study of Jesus' divinity. The message was clear, biblical, and thorough. At the same time, it was not written in such a highly scholarly format as would make it difficult to understand.

Bibliography

Brown, Raymond E. Jesus, God and…… [read more]


World Religions Compare and Contrast Essay

Essay  |  6 pages (2,089 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2

SAMPLE TEXT:

Among the Buddhists, Karma is a teaching a concept which explains that the past actions of humans, do affect them either negatively or positively and that their present actions may affect them in the future. Unlike other religions, Buddhism has no particular central text for universal reference on its traditions. Their scriptures alongside other texts exist in great diversity. Nonetheless, some Buddhist scholars commonly refer to VinayaPitaka together with the first four Nikayas from the SuttaPitaka as the most commonly referred core of all Buddhists' traditions (Van Voorst, 2007). Uniquely enough, Buddhists do not have a particular day of worship or Sabbath. However, there are several holy days or special days held all through the year by the Buddhists. A number of these days are celebrations of the birthdays of Bodhisattvas amongst the Mahayana traditions, and other special dates within the Buddhist calendar. One of the most significant and active celebrations happen annually in the month of May- the night of the full moon, when all Buddhists rejoice the enlightenment, birth and the death of Buddha that occurred about 2,500 years ago. They commonly refer this day as the Buddha Day.

Similarities

Regarding the commonality between Judaism and Buddhism, there exists a single similarity pertaining to what the human mind may pursue to be right or wrong. The eightfold path of Buddhism in several aspects resembles the Mosaic teachings of the Ten Commandments, which directs the human mind and thoughts in doing good or evil. The directives observed by the followers of the eightfold path include the right intention, wright speech, wright mind, right action, honest livelihood, right concentration, right mindfulness, and right effort. These aspects are also the core pillars within the Ten Commandments since it takes the human mindedness for Judaists to observe the directives given within the Ten Commandments. Wrong is comparable to evil while "right" is comparable to "good," and this is what Buddhists observe in the eightfold path just as the Judaists believe in the Ten Commandments as the veracious path of humanity. It is thereby the human mind that forbids or allows them to perform what they are to do. By these examples, it is clear to establish that what is right or wrong depends on what individuals learn or believe within a community or religion. It is feasible to assume that the human mind is the greatest entity, which conducts both 'wrong' and 'right' concepts for both the Buddhist and Jewish religions.

In conclusion, every religion has an organized set of behaviors and clergy, as well as the description of what constitutes membership or adherence, the scriptures and holy places. In this context, Buddhism and Judaism are diverse religions, which elicit a number of religious differences, but with a narrow scope of similarities. While Judaists believe in a solitary God who has control over humans' lives and revealed his commandments and laws through Moses on the Sinai Mountain to guide his followers, Buddhists do not believe in any God or gods. They observe… [read more]


Descartes' Believe in God Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (1,045 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3

SAMPLE TEXT:

43). Above all, the understanding of good and bad (conscious) formed the background factor that was considered during the processing of a given believe. For philosophers such as Descartes, it was apparently that moral right or wrong was to be shifted from the church to one's heart. Descartes tried to apply scientific knowledge to develop partners, which managed human being morality. In his experiments, Descartes attempted to prove that mediating gland H (Pineal gland) aided the interaction between body and the rational soul. In encapsulation, God made Man with a complete system to process vital choices regarding personal decisions when it came to believing or not believing in God -- so God applied science and not superstition.

Reflection

Modern philosophers will often question the validity of Descartes' ideologies. This may include the need to know the relationship between science and religion as presumed by Descartes. Seybold (2007) presents a critical assumption of science stating that it is seen as a rational process that seeks to uncover the truth within the universe (p.62). However, religion is viewed as an irrational process that is based on faith and superstition. Presently, perception and science based on reason dominates over religion, which is often considered as archaic, impractical, and credulous. In this study, Descartes proves that God exists, but scientifically. However, the religious believe which solely bestows God as one supernatural being whose authority and the process are not questionable contradicts this.

Descartes strived to prove that there is a strong sense of humanity based on intrinsic decorum and benevolence. However, this cannot be realized because of the rampant bashing of the several evaluations of religious relations like God or eternity. From Descartes perspective, God is a larger product of scientific knowledge and the utmost superior being who applies science to control what he owns. Descartes attempt to pass the message that once human beings can understand the control of God's workings (science), they will confirm, "that everything bear witness to the power and goodness of God" (Broughton and Carreiro 29). This leads confirms our perception that it is blasphemous to 'trying to examine God's operative nature'.

Conclusion

Rene Descartes' religion derived mathematical assumption on the existence of God and Science. This study has clarified Descartes' argument about the existing relationship between the two: God applies science in several instances of nature development. The archaic believe about God's creation and the universe as products of superstition and not science has been discredited.

Work Cited

Broughton, Janet and Carreiro, John. A Companion to Descartes. New York: John Wiley & Sons,

2010. Print

Kohn, Hans. The Idea Of Nationalism: A Study In Its Origins And Background. Transaction Publishers, 2005. Print

McKnight, Edgar. Jesus Christ in History and Scripture: A Poetic and Sectarian Perspective.

Mercer University Press, 1999. Print

Olson, Richard. Science and Religion, 1450 -- 1900: From Copernicus to Darwin. JHU Press,

2006. Print

Williams, Sean. The Big Picture Making Sense Out of Life and Religion. Lulu.com, 2009. Print

Seybold, Kevin. Explorations in Neuroscience, Psychology, and… [read more]


Traditions and Religious Practices Essay

Essay  |  7 pages (1,954 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1

SAMPLE TEXT:

Just like other religions, Christianity has its qualification for people managing church affairs. According to the bible, there are specific verses that deal on qualification of various leaders. Such post in the church needs devout Christians. Therefore, these posts require persons with a high degree of commitment. They need to be fully committed to Jesus Christ and to accept him as the lord and savior. This trait is built from individualistic passion for Christ (Voorst, 2006). A leader also needs to be competent. Competency refers to the ability to interpret scriptures truly. A leader also needs to be a person of good character and have conviction.

On the other hand, the Islamic religion has various leaders. Such leaders include Imams and Mujtahid. Just like Christian leaders, Muslim leaders need to be competent, have conviction and commitment. The Muslim leaders for example, Imams need to be wise, courageous, true worshipers of God and knowledgeable. Such leaders need to have adequate knowledge in interpretation of signs. One needs to have an understanding of codes and laws of the Qur'an. It is also essential for imams to be companionate, faithful and have a servant attitude.

Similarities between Christianity and Islam

Both Christianity and Islam have are similar in some respect. Both religions have a belief of a deity "God." They both support the fact that there is a force more than that of humans. It is evident that both Islamic and Christian followers understand the power of God. They, therefore, pray and praise this God expecting joy. Both religions agree to the theory that the world was the creation of God. They search for God's guidance in everything they do in life. Adam and Eve, Abaham, as well as other prophets of the Old Testament are both in the bible and the Quran. Muslims, as well as Christian's believe on the existence of the afterlife. In both religions, there is a description of heaven and hell (Voorst, 2006).

Both religions believe that God sent Abraham, Moses, David, Noah, and Jesus to perform his duties. In these religions, followers are required to follow the Ten Commandments. According to the Christian faith, Jesus was born from a virgin and his birth was miraculous (Voorst, 2006). With respect to Islam Jesus is like any other prophet. Both religions have a dislike for Satan. According to both the bible and the Quran, Satan came into the world to steal and lie. They argue that there will be a day of judgment when people will be judged according to their sins. Those who will follow the way of God will see paradise while unbelievers will…… [read more]


Postliberal Theology and Its Relationship to Vatican Research Paper

Research Paper  |  12 pages (3,627 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5

SAMPLE TEXT:

Postliberal Theology and Its Relationship to Vatican II

The objective of this work is to explore some vital aspects of the proposed topic within contemporary theology. Post-liberal Theology and Its Relationship to Vatican II.

Liberal Theologians

The work of McMahon (2009) entitled: "Liberal Theologians"

states that theologians have been impacted by not only society and churches but as well by… [read more]


Comparison of Anglicanism to Purely Reformation Theology Research Paper

Research Paper  |  10 pages (4,237 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1

SAMPLE TEXT:

Anglican and Reformation Theology

Comparison of Anglican and Reformation Theology

Among the bewildering number of Christian theologies, the Reformation and Anglican varieties have had an immense influence through the centuries. Begun around the same time in the sixteenth century's response to the dominant Roman Catholicism, both of these schools of thought and faith deviated in significant ways from the mother… [read more]


Bible: Nature vs. God Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (818 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1

SAMPLE TEXT:

Bible: Nature vs. God

There has always been much controversy regarding the concept of God and His relationship with science. Theology has practically been created as a means to have the world gain a better understanding of God without having to focus on absurd theories that can even be refuted by a child. The masses are inclined to believe that religion and science are opposite to each-other as while one puts across unconfirmed theories, the other's main goal is to only take established theories for granted. Theologians have the task of forming a bridge between religion and science, one of their main points of interest being to explain nature through God, as they claim that God cannot be explained through nature.

The world of science is determined to explain everything it comes across, with the matters that are not yet explained generating numerous debates. Scientists typically perceive nature "as a collection of inert material particles governed by external mathematical laws" (Lindberg & Numbers 169).

Thomas Aquinas, one of the most recognized theologians to discuss this matter, considered that these respective mathematical laws stood as a tool in the hands of God, as He collaborated with them and assisted them in fulfilling their mission. Theology virtually brings together scientific information and religious belief. It would be absurd and ignorant to consider that religion cannot be studied through using science or vice-versa.

Islamic scholars, Greek orthodoxy, and Protestants are responsible for generating a series of theological thoughts and can be considered to have played a major role in shaping the modern-day world of science (Lindberg & Numbers 2).

Although science and religion put across completely diverging opinions until the recent centuries, matters gradually changed and religious people came to appreciate new scientific concepts that were in accordance with particular Christian principles whereas scientists embraced a theological approach of religion and acknowledged the fact that many Christian convictions were essential in assisting society as it struggled to abandon its dedication towards materialism (Lindberg & Numbers 238).

In spite of the fact that it was impossible for them to ever accept certain concepts promoted by Christianity, numerous individual stressing the importance of science came to the conclusion that humanity needed religion as a means of strengthening its connection with morality, given that religion was one of the main factors for which the masses could understand the difference between right and wrong. Scientists reached a phase where they associated God with morality, considering that…… [read more]


Interpretation of the Bible in Roman Catholic Theology Research Paper

Research Paper  |  7 pages (2,201 words)
Bibliography Sources: 10

SAMPLE TEXT:

¶ … Bible in Roman Catholic Theology

Interpretations of the Bible in Roman Catholic Theology

There is much controversy regarding the Roman Catholic Church and its relationship with the Bible. Roman Catholic scholars expressed their support toward liberal interpretations of the text, but most of them influenced the masses in accepting interpretations that did not go against Roman Catholic principles.… [read more]


God's Holiness Doctrinal Term Paper

Term Paper  |  15 pages (5,176 words)
Bibliography Sources: 30

SAMPLE TEXT:

God's Holiness Doctrinal Essential

I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, . . . And they were calling to one another:

"Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."

"Woe to me!" I cried. "I am… [read more]


Martin Luther John Calvin Pascal Essay

Essay  |  7 pages (2,421 words)
Bibliography Sources: 7

SAMPLE TEXT:

Luther, Calvin, Pascal

The three main premises of Reformation theology include: 1) the sole authority of Scripture; 2) Justification by faith alone; and 3) the priesthood of the believer. These were also the three main premises that steered protestants away from the Catholic Church. In Martin Luther's text, he integrates these three elements to respond to one of the dominant… [read more]


African-American Women and Womanist Theology Research Paper

Research Paper  |  15 pages (4,573 words)
Bibliography Sources: 30

SAMPLE TEXT:

African-American Women and Womanist Theology

Religion has been a strong part of the black culture since the beginning of time. Upon migration to the United States, religion and the church was a source of survival, especially for black women. Black women theologians practiced throughout the Civil Rights Movement, the responsibility to exercise racial uplift and social responsibility as the core… [read more]


Spiritual Cultural Competency Essay

Essay  |  6 pages (1,548 words)
Bibliography Sources: 10

SAMPLE TEXT:

¶ … Buddhist Theology

As a Buddhist, I believe that I should be compassionate towards people of other faiths and recognize them as suffering beings first, before seeing them as people of other faiths. Second, I believe I should learn as much as possible from the doctrine and practice of other faiths as a cultivation of my own faith. Third,… [read more]


Christian Theology Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,398 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3

SAMPLE TEXT:

Christian Theology

We cannot adequately represent the fullness of God within the confines of human language and discourse. The author is correct to assert that it is a difficult activity to address the concept of God. God is beyond the realm of human contemplation, yet, at the same time, our experiences allow us to frame God in terms of our own understanding and beliefs about the nature of things. This leads to inadvertent misrepresentations of the divine. Changes in human experience modify the misrepresentations of God; modifications improve the picture of God but can never complete capture the reality.

The languages employed by religions to speak of God are severely limited in their ability to hold and transfer the content that is necessary to represent God. This is a necessary weakness of religious discourse, since religious discourse draws its symbolic content for expression from the experiences of the humans creating that discourse. When we speak about God, we are immediately aware that any statements made are woefully inadequate as representations of deity. Language is both the vehicle that opens us up to the things of God, and simultaneously hides the complete truth about God from inspection due to its limitations.

We may even go further, Taylor asserts that for much of theology, God is the logos, and when we speak, we are relating to an aspect of God (596). The logos or word is an expression of God and contains aspects of God. The immediate conundrum may be the process by which humans are able to excise the truth of the "Logos" from the ordinary and common language that is employed to capture and express infinite concepts.

Theology, which is the study of God, is therefore delving into a mystery using tools forged by individuals who have never seen the mystery. Accurate knowledge of this mystery is unattainable via the mechanisms that are available at present. The mystery that is God must therefore provide the understanding of the mystery and this understanding requires that eternal truths and immortal concepts be transferred to mortal and frail creatures. To accomplish this transfer requires that the content of the message be altered or downgraded so that those who lack the capacity to apprehend it in its original form can comprehend it. While we may apply thought to understand what is revealed, care must be taken not to digress into the path of natural theology giving supremacy to reason at the expense of revelation (Matthews 101)

This downgrading of the content of the mystery does not influence the mystery itself. We may term the downgrading process revelation. The designed and initiation of the revelatory process is accomplished by God. In the revelatory process, some of the depth and indescribable elements of the divine are lost. They cannot be translated into human language, thought or experiences. The gulf between the human thought and the immortal God is a gaping chasm. This chasm is never quite bridged by language.

The process of making the mystery accessible… [read more]


Scholars of Religion Tend to Avoid the Term Cult Essay

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Cult vs. Religion

Contemporary religious scholars tend not to use the term cult in their works unless referring to a dangerous and sociological unhealthy organization. This is primarily due to the pejorative definition with which the term is now used. In a very strict sense of the word, though, the difference between a cult and a religion is often in the eye of the beholder, of the manner in which that particular society views the organization, and what the societal mores are for that particularly time. In fact, in most modern academic studies, cult is a sociological term, while new religious movement becomes a theological phrase (Lewis, 2004).

One could reasonably argue that many world religions exhibit clear cultish behaviors, although most do acknowledge temporal authority (e.g. The code of law, etc.), and most hold their own leadership accountable for the psychological impact of their teachings on younger people. Most also at least acknowledge that there have been dissenting view points, and, at least in the modern world, are more open to allowing this dissention to be discussed. Cult behavior is easier to understand by identifying certain characteristics that tend to be typical of modern cults:

Zealous and unquestioning commitment to a messianic leader (alive or dead)

Unquestioning devotion to a belief system and ideology

Seeing this ideology as the only truth, and law

Punishing doubt and dissent and frowning upon any questioning

Use of mind altering practices to suppress doubt

Allowance of the leadership to dictate how members should think, act, work, worship, and live.

Relatively elitist philosophy, placing itself above the rest of humanity as the only true way

Mentality that engenders a complete polarization of society (us. Versus them)

Leadership believes it is not accountable to any earthly authority

Utilitarianism to the extreme (ends justify the means)

Preoccupied with recruitment and earning funds

Refuses to allow members to leave group or abide by societal rules (Lalich and Langone, 2009).

Clearly, religious scholars want to distance themselves for observations that might place their religion away from spirituality and more into the public perception of the Jim Jones Guyana incident. Another way of thinking about the subject might be to establish degrees of fervor -- at least in the modern world. This, of course, could be argued with historical using the Inquisition and other organized purges. However, the popularization of the word "cult" now has meanings so complex and secular that it would be impossible to use in scholarly writing without inviting criticism.

Definitions

Cult -- in contemporary terminology, a cult is a group that forms together to form practices which are considered to be relatively pejorative by reasonable members of society. This is a post-1980s definition, somewhat subjective, but indicative of the way modern society uses the word in most styles of communication. Cultish does not mean a group of likeminded individuals, then, it minds like-minded individuals that share certain proclivities and beliefs that may be anti-social or harmful (Lewis, 2005, 3-6).

Rather than being a total antithesis… [read more]


Psychology and Theology Article Critique

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Psychology and Theology

The overall role that religion will play on human psychology has been hotly debated over the decades. Where, both proponents and critics will claim that religion can have a positive or negative effect upon the individual when they become older. To determine the underlying effect that this will have someone requires: examining how religion can have an effect on the self-esteem of an individual. This will be accomplished by looking at a study from the article Meaning, Purpose and Religiosity in at Risk Youth. At which point, it will be clear as to the role religion is playing on the self-worth of individuals when they become older.

Over the last several decades, the role of religion and its influence upon young adults has been constantly debated, among psychologists as well as theologists. Where, the underlying influence of religion on the psychology of an adolescent; will play a role in determining the levels of self-esteem that an individual will have. This is significant, because this is the heart of the debate between the two sides. Where, those who are supporters of the religious viewpoint will claim that teaching children the values of right and wrong will reflect upon them in adolescence. At which point, the lessons that they learned and their belief in God will help them to have a more balanced view on life. While, many critics will often claim that those who are saying religion will have a positive influence on the adolescents are: missing the fact that religion has done little if any good for the world. A good example of this view point can be seen with comments from Karl Marx where he said, "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness." (Cline, 2010) This is significant, because it shows how the critics believe that religion will have little if any effect upon adolescence. To determine the underlying effect that religion will have upon the psychology of adolescents requires that you examine relevant research on the subject from: the Journal of Psychology and Theology. This will provide the greatest insights, as to the overall role that religion will play in the development of self-esteem.

Summary

To determine the role that religion will play in the development of adolescents; means that we must examine the underlying effect of religion on the different individuals. This is accomplished by conducting a random survey and then comparing the different research results, from the Journal of Psychology and Theology. In the article, Meaning, Purpose and Religiosity in at Risk Youth, researchers were searching for the impact that religion will have on at risks youth. Where, they would analyze the responses of 45 male and female at risk high school students, through a series of interviews. During the process of… [read more]


Religious Diversity Essay

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Religion

Workshop: Missiology for a New Era

Remaining true to the Gospel in the midst of religious diversity and pluralism can be challenging for young ministers. Crises of faith are far too common in the midst of the schisms that emerge even between Christians. Intolerance can be one of the greatest poisons not just to faith, but to spiritual healing,… [read more]


Substance Abuse and Theology Essay

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Substance abuse and theology: The controversy over the role of religion in AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous)

To recover from an addiction, must you believe in God? For many people, this is not simply a theoretical question, but also a legal one. Many addicts are required to attend regular treatment programs, but some of the major therapeutic approaches, such as AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous) require the addict to surrender his or her will to a higher power. Atheists and even some believers reject this idea. The U.S. courts have agreed: in 2007 a federal appeals court ruled that NA "has enough religious overtones that a parolee can't be ordered to attend its meetings as a condition of staying out of prison" (Egelko 2007).

Although the organization is not explicitly Christian, both AA and NA state in their 12 steps that participants must acknowledge that only "a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity" and make a promise to "turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him" while offering prayers and meditations upon sobriety (Egelko 2007). Also, AA and NA demand strict adherence to their credos -- individuals cannot pick and choose which of the 12 steps they would like to perform, and in what order. Although the organization is accepting of people who 'fall off the wagon,' it demands a commitment to trying to achieve all 12 steps -- a commitment many atheists and agnostics refuse to give and allege is a violation of their constitutional rights. In the case of the 2007 decision, a Buddhist "objected to religiously oriented drug treatment in prison, sued state officials over the issue and told Hawaii parole authorities just before his release that he would object to any condition that included a treatment program with religious content" (Egelko 2007). Merely because a citizen is convicted of a crime does not mean that they forgo their rights to freedom of religion:…… [read more]


Can God Be Known From Nature Term Paper

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God and Nature

Jesus performed His miracles to reveal God's truth and to inspire faith. Thus, the miracles recounted in the Gospels provide ample testimony to the numerous ways God acts in the world. McGrath outlines and explains several different ways God acts in the world. The most fundamental way God acts in the world is also the most primordial: through the act of creation itself. God also acts in the world by not acting at all: as explained by the philosophy of deism. McGrath also explains how God acts through secondary causes, indirectly as with "double agency," (p. 96). Finally, Dog acts also through what McGrath describes as "persuasion," or "process thought," (p. 96). Process thought suggests that God acts not only decisively but persuasively in the world while still allowing for the free will of individual actors. As McGrath points out, "the God of process thought seems to bear little relation to the God described in the Old or New Testament," (p. 98). Nevertheless, process thought, secondary causes, deism and multiple types of generative power can all be used to explicate New Testament miracles performed by God's Son.

Described in John 2, the miracle of water into wine illustrates at least four of the ways God acts in the world. First, it is important to point out that the miracles Jesus performs in the New Testament cannot be considered outside the context of Christianity. In other words, the very fact that God's son performs miracles like turning water into wine is an emblem of the way God acts in the world. God deliberately acts in the world through Jesus, acting as both demiurge and as redeemer in Christ. McGrath notes that both concepts of God as demiurge and as redeemer explain how God acts in the world at the moment of creation. Christ can be conceived of as an emanation of God in a poetic way, but not in a literal way because as McGrath points out, "that the act of creation rests upon a prior decision on the part of God to create," which emanation "cannot adequately express (p. 115-116).

The miracle of water into wine is performed by God indirectly through his only Son, Jesus Christ. When Jesus is considered as Lord, the miracle can also be conceived of as a direct action of God in the world. The multifaceted and complex analysis of the miracle of water into wine demonstrates the efficacy of God acting in the world through secondary causes. Even when Jesus is considered to be a divine actor, there are intermediary causes involved in the miracle. For example, the family holding the wedding invites Jesus. Their decision to invite Jesus might have come from some inner prompting from God. Jesus's mother attends the wedding too, and intervenes by nudging Jesus. She tells him, "They have no more wine," thus suggesting to Jesus that He should do something about it (John 2:2). Until that point, Jesus had not intended to act; it was… [read more]


Evolution of Religion in America Essay

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Evolution of Religion in America

There have been numerous historical works on the Great Explorers, Columbus, DeSoto, Cortes, Pizzaro, etc. But one thing that emerges from their accounts of the New World was that North America was populated sparsely and by groups of unorganized "tribal" cultures with no written language, no large architectural monuments, and no advanced civilization. However, new… [read more]


Religions of the World Essay

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Pluralism in the World's Religions

The idea that there is but one path that leads to God is absurd given the wide array of different religions and billions of followers who believe that their own religion or set of beliefs is the correct way to God. The definition of God and the path that takes a human being toward it/him/her depends on the person and the religious movement. God and religion is defined differently by different people, and this subjectivity lends a sort of multi-faceted approach to finding the path that leads a person to a higher power. Since many religions believe they exclusively are the only true and correct path to God, logically they cannot all be correct. But they all define God or the path to enlightenment quite differently, so it is possible that since they have defined God and the correct path, that the only way to follow that particular path is through their own exclusive methodology and set of beliefs.

Swami Vivekananda remarks about different paths taking men to God is very romantic. For some, there is no set way to God. For others, the only way is their way, and this feeling of romanticism and idealism is not compatible with that particular world view. Vivekananda's own world view comes to modern students through the lens of a 19th century Indian Hindu revivalist (Hopfe and Woodward). He helped to create the foundation for other great Indian religious and philosophical leaders like Gandhi and Bose. The Hindu belief structure has had a profound impact on Indian culture. While Hindu prophets have spoken of the idea that there are many ways to God, and that there is no one clearly defined path to him/her, Hindus do believe that their religious path is the most direct way to a higher power. They believe in a particular set of habits and behaviors, just like other religions, that followers must strictly adhere to in order to achieve a higher understanding of their world and their role as a human being. This religion is arguably the world's oldest, but it also does not profess any form of "hell" or negative punishment for non-believers. For Hindus, their religion is the best way to God for them, but the fact that other humans may chose better paths for themselves is a certainty.

Buddhists believe that by following a specific path, a follower can achieve enlightenment and ultimately commune with a higher power. The Buddhists tradition is built around the teachings of Siddhartha Guatama, who in the 5th century BCE became enlightened himself through the understanding of suffering and its effects on the human condition (Hopfe and Woodward). The Buddhist tradition argues that the only way to enlightenment, or the highest commune with a higher power, is through their own well-defined structure of giving up all belongings and understanding that life is suffering, and that all material…… [read more]


Religion Comparison Religions in Ancient History: Similarities Essay

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Religion Comparison

Religions in Ancient History: Similarities and Differences

According to Smitha, biologists have dated the earth, as well as the sun, as 4.55 billion years old, a planet that was formed by the gravitational pull of different elements. Scientists claim that life began with two important acids -- DNA and RNA. After millions of years, what started as microorganisms… [read more]


Philosophy of Organized Religion Essay

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¶ … Philosophy [...] philosophy of organized religion and its appeal to people. Organized religion and philosophy seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum, but in reality, many philosophers were also men of faith. Some opposed the idea of organized religion and its effect on society, while others embraced it. Their views are still relevant today, and they indicate just what an emotional subject organized religion can be for many people.

Many philosophers, who can be scientists and logicians at heart, decry organized religion and belief in God, feeling they are not logical or based in fact. However, many other prominent philosophers embrace the idea of faith, and acknowledge their own faith in God. Immanuel Kant, a foremost philosopher had his own ideas about God and religion. He says, "I had to deny knowledge in order to make room for faith." He thus proposes what has come to be known as his 'moral argument' for God and the immortality of the soul. In connection with this argument, he also develops the concept of 'moral faith'" (Rossi). He also believed people were safe in assuming they would have immortality after death, where they can continue to seek moral perfection (Rossi).

Kant also believed that humans must have moral faith to keep living a morally consistent and motivated life, and that God and the notion of immortality go hand in hand with moral faith. Humans need the motivation and the idea of living a moral life in order to gain a reward, and faith helps them attain immortality while pointing them down a moral path. However, many other philosophers argued against Kant's theories. Author Rossi continues, "The moral argument has also been criticized as an effort on Kant's part to transgress, in the name of the moral use of reason, the very limits he had set to the theoretical use of reason in the first Critique" (Rossi). However, Kant is not the only well-known philosopher to argue for organized religion and faith in God.

John Wesley, a theologian and philosopher had different ideas about organized religion. Another writer notes, "Wesley understood very well the direct causal relationship between religious beliefs and productivity. He also understood well that wealth accumulation could weaken religiosity in terms of both beliefs and participation. Wesley concluded that economic growth was detrimental to religion" (McCleary). Wealth accumulation can be detrimental to religion in a number of ways. First, those who are extremely successful financially tend to spend more time in productivity and work than in leisure activities; thus, they have less time for organized religion and services. They also may not perceive an economic value spent in participating in religious activities, because they can be time consuming and take up valuable leisure time, something that most successful businesspeople do not have a lot of to squander.

In addition, most entrepreneurs and financially successful individuals tend to have better educations, and studies indicate that those with higher levels of education tend to have fewer ties to organized… [read more]


Existence of God on Using Arguments Thesis

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Existence of God

On Using Arguments to Establish the Case for God

McCloskey states in his article that the problem with most theists is that they come to believe in God based on other factors and reasons other than proofs alone.1 He may be referring to subjective factors like faith and personal evidence, which he possibly might abandon as true… [read more]


Relate Religion and Science Thesis

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¶ … Religion and Science

Science & Religion an Introduction

Science and religion, though seemingly in constant conflict and contradiction of one another still tend to coexist in the modern world with only limited conflicts. Most people, including the majority of scientists themselves report some belief in a higher power and many in the U.S. purport that this higher power… [read more]


Religion Is a Multifaceted Social and Psychological Thesis

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Religion is a multifaceted social and psychological phenomenon. The world's religions function on the level of custom and tradition as well as on the level of art and literature. Belief in God is only one aspect of a religious system of belief. Religion informs politics, morality, and social norms too. Although I was born into a Catholic family and am familiar with many Catholic traditions, I do not consider myself a religious person. I do not base many of my decisions on religious doctrine. Nevertheless, Catholicism is a part of my ethnic and cultural heritage. One of the most valuable roles of religion is an emblem of culture and identity. Respecting the diversity of the world's religions is a crucial part of respecting other human beings.

The role that religion plays in my personal life is relatively minimal compared with some of my peers. Nearly nine out of ten Americans believe in God, and most Americans value religion's role in their personal and social lives (Stone 2009). My personal beliefs do not on their own form a religious system because many of my core beliefs are secular humanist in nature. Deity is not integral to my views on ethics, morality, family, friendship, or even science. If I were to start my own religion, it would incorporate as much from my secular ideology as from a theological one.

Like most people, I initially acquired a religious belief system from my parents, who were in turn influenced by their family and culture. I have studied religion as a system of theological belief and I have studied religion also as a historical and sociological phenomenon. Religion has been inextricably embedded into most cultural traditions, so that beliefs in and about God are sometimes inseparable from political ideology. In fact, theology and political leadership can be dangerously entwined with one another. Religion not only plays a role in cultural traditions and customs but also in a means to maintain social control.

A belief system that is rooted in religion can too easily become dogmatic, rigid, and authoritarian. One that discounts the importance of religion in human culture runs a similar risk. The traditions that derive from religion bind us to our families and our ancestors. When we neglect religious traditions, we run the risk of not learning from the past. Religious traditions are filled with symbolism and other mental cues that help guide human thought and behavior. If nothing else, religious traditions create opportunities for familial and social interactions.

Beliefs about nature and the environment can be strongly influenced by religion. Religions that view nature as sacred create an environmental ethic, whereas religions that view nature as a tool for human advancement commodify the environment. Having been exposed to both points-of-view, I am able to understand why some people feel obligated to protect the environment and others do not. Thus, religion can inform a wide range of social and political issues.

Religion also informs social values and norms. Values related to sexuality, marriage, childrearing,… [read more]


Religion Is One of the Most Debated Thesis

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Religion is one of the most debated issues in the present, with some people considering that it is crucial for our well-being. In contrast, others believe it to be just something that people invented in their search for divinity. Hinduism is among the oldest religions is the world, and, unlike other religions, it does not follow the typical religious pattern as it doesn't have a founder, nor does it have a single holy book. The religion has most of its followers in India and the majority of Indians are devoted to it.

Hinduism dates back before our common era when the Indus Valley Civilization had received influences from Darvidians and Aryans. Instead of having just one book as most religions have, Hinduism has several books such as Bhagwad Gita, the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, the Vedas, the Upanishads, and the Puranas. Besides from having several holy books, Hinduism differentiates itself from other religions through the fact that it promotes other values. The religion is largely based on the fact that it teaches its followers how to live and how to advance through life with their minds pure.

Hinduism followers had initially been separated into castes which determined the exact position that people had in the Indian society. As people evolved and education intervened, the differentiation gradually disappeared and everyone became equal.

Hinduism does not just have followers in India, as there are Hindu people spread around the world, with a large community being present in the U.S. The worldwide number of people that are devoted to Hinduism is estimated at about one billion while the number of Hindu people living in the U.S. is believed to be close to a million. The U.S. Hindu community is strong and there are several temples where they can gather in order to bring homage to their gods.

2.Hindu people living in the U.S. face a greater probability of contracting a severe disease than those in India do. There are several reasons for the occurrence, but some of the most crucial are the stress of living in a foreign country and the fact that they prefer traditional medicine in favor of modern one.

In spite of being aware of the reasons for which they catch a disease, Hindu people mostly believe that the disease is owed to Karma. Communication is difficult between elderly Indians and U.S. doctors because the former can barely speak English. Hindu people generally are not likely to cooperate with doctors in finding a cure for their problems because they don't trust modern medicine. When they are close to dying, Hindu people believe that they should not try to recuperate because they would intervene in the ways of Karma, which presumably makes death inevitable. The whole family needs to support the dying person as he or she gives their last breath.

3.Family members gather around the dying person in order for he…… [read more]


Hockey Seen as a Religion Thesis

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Hockey Seen as a Religion

If the question is, do Canadians treat hockey as a religion, the following might help solve that mystery.

Olivier Bauer, a Swiss theology professor was so struck by the team's followers that he teaches a course at the University of Montreal on the "Religion of the Montreal Canadiens."

For a lot of people, the Canadiens truly function like a religion," said Bauer, 45, co-editor of a book about the Canadiens as religion that shows a giant team jersey draped around the Mount Royal Cross on its cover. "Some fans build their lives around the team. They adopt its values. They recognize that in order to win, you need to suffer" (Tomesco).

Some take that literally. Bauer said fans tell him they climbed the 100 steps at the city's Saint Joseph's Oratory on their knees seeking divine intervention on behalf of the Canadiens, just like the pilgrims who do it with hopes of miracles (Tomesco). He's serious. They really do.

When Maurice Richard died in 2000, thousands of admirers jammed the cobblestone streets outside Notre Dame Basilica in the city's old section during his funeral Mass. He lay in state at the team's downtown arena for a day, and 115,000 people filed past his open casket.

An NHL player in the United States can work his way through a slump without being pilloried by the media, while a coach can survive a losing streak, work toward a better team and stick to it until the plan is achieved. No such luxuries are available in Canada. The reason being, quoting an observation from Brian Burke, the Anaheim Ducks General Manager, who, during his team's 2007 Stanley Cup victory over the Ottawa Senators, said: "I mean hockey is not a sport in Canada. Everyone knows that. it's a religion" (Sibley).

Now, granted there are a hundred different definitions of the word "religion." Webster's New World Dictionary (Third College Edition) defines "religion" as "any specific system of belief and worship, often involving a code of ethics and a philosophy. And what is the meaning of worship? Merriam-Webster's online dictionary defines it as "extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem" (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary).

So, do the Canadians have "a system of belief and extravagant admiration for an object of esteem that involves a code of ethics and a philosophy?"

Is that hockey...or what? No one can deny that Canadians love, admire, and believe in their hockey teams -- at almost any level. Does hockey involve an object of esteem? That would be the players and their incredibly athletic, artistic performance on the ice night after night. Is there a code of ethics involved? Well, sort of. I mean there is one; it may not always be followed to the "T," but you can't say either the players or the game itself is not ethical. and, finally, does hockey have a "philosophy," which, again according to Merriam-Webster, means "the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of… [read more]


Worshipping With Community Is Necessary Part of a Faith Relationship With God Thesis

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Religion

The word religion is derived from a Latin term meaning "to bind," (Dictionary.com). Therefore, the essence of religion is binding individuals to God as well as to their communities. Without communal worship, religion is expressed in solitary prayer and meditation. Prayer and meditation can be integral parts of a religious practice but are only components of what is essentially a social endeavor. In fact, religion has long served a sociological function in human cultures and can never be divorced from that role.

Worshipping with a community is a necessary part of a faith relation with God for the following reasons. First, worshipping with a community expresses cultural solidarity. Second, worshipping with a community creates emotional and mental power that cannot be created alone. Third, worshipping with a community enables honesty, humility, and self-awareness. Finally, Christians especially need to worship with a community because of the nature of the faith as it is expressed in the Bible.

Worshipping with a community expresses cultural solidarity. By connecting with like-minded people, worshippers become proud of their heritage. Religion has always been an integral part of a culture, an aspect of cultural or ethnic identity. In some cases, religion transcends ethnic identity to serve as a unifying force between what would otherwise be disparate communities. For example, Christianity unites people from all regions of the world, from Asia to Africa to the Americas. Worshipping with community members affirms cultural pride and identity, but also solidifies the knowledge that individuals are part of a larger human race. Community worship offers the opportunity to accept and revel in diversity.

Worshipping with a community creates an emotional and mental power that…… [read more]


American Dream vs. God Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  9 pages (2,814 words)
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American & God's Dream

The American Dream and God's Dream: Are they Compatible?

Americans love to talk about the American dream. In fact, the belief that anyone in America can become a success is at the very heart of what it means to be American and feel patriotic, even if different Americans have different ways of defining that success. However,… [read more]


Augustine City of God Research Proposal

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City of God Augustine

Though the context of the "church father" Augustus is historically associated with his life and times, 354-430, his influence was not significant until later. This observation is true of all his works, as one by one they were adopted as secondary doctrine to scripture but mores specifically the City of God, where Augustine, among other things,… [read more]


Science and Religion the Challenges Term Paper

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Science and Religion

The challenges that are frequently thought of as inherent to religion and science are actually responsible for the development of greater understanding. Most people of faith presume that the understandings of the natural world will be offered to us by God as we need them. This being the case it is also fair to say that most people of faith presume that such understandings will be offered to them through legitimate and accepted means, i.e. from the church or at the very least a rogue representative of the church. This is why when scientific discoveries such as those furthered by Copernicus and Kepler during the middle ages and early renaissance were often greeted with fear and rejection. In addition, the Copernicus model for the universe challenged long held beliefs about the origin and he make up of the universe, and more importantly man and earth's place within it. In Copernicus' time the authority in which a new scientific idea must be voiced and to some degree agreed with was the voice of the church.

Scientific truth is largely determined by authority and this has always been so. Today, any new idea must be supported by the weight of existing authorities and expressed in their language. The more radical the idea the more necessary it is to blunt its impact by emphasising its similarities with shared traditions. While he was writing De revolutionibus orbium coelestium, Nicolaus Copernicus was aware of both the radical nature of what he was suggesting and the need to communicate it in a way that would be both comprehensible to and respected by his readers. (Hanman, 2007, NP)

Yet, the ris very little question that Copernicus was vividly aware of the need to bring his idea to the forefront through a systematic and sensitive manner, as to most effectively communicate without being illegitimated.

The faithful, and mainly those in the know, believing the Ptolemy earth centric plan of the universe were disturbed by the Copernican model which allowed that the planets traveled in a circular path around the sun and the Kepler model which conceded that there was an equation to figure the trajectory of a planet and the path was more elliptical. The average person is likely to care little which is the truth or if the long held assumption of faith that the earth is at the center of the universe is confronted and yet the church cared a great deal, as it made no logical sense that the "chosen" creation of God would be relegated to an object that was not central to the known universe. The new "science" of the universe then became a conflict between accepted belief and scientific discovery. (pp.7-8)

The validity of the science is clear, though it may not have been at the time to all who looked upon it because it was so contrary to accepted tenants about the value of the human race and God's creation of it and the earth. The calculations and… [read more]


Science and Religion There Is Great Distance Term Paper

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Science and Religion

There is great distance between the concepts imposed by science and those brought by religion. In many aspects they contradict each other or differ in the answers given to historical questions that man has tried to answer from the beginning of history.

The establishment of scientific debate started in the middle ages (McGrath, 1998) when the western… [read more]


Politics and Religion Term Paper

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Politics and Religion in Medieval Europe

This work will research the Christian Church during medieval life which was the center of the individual and community life. The major political figure during this time in history was the pope. This work will provide a very detailed description of this circumstance of life. The culture was consumed by their religion and political life, and individual's salvation was a major worry. A precursor that gave the landscape of medieval politics was the fall of the Roman Empire.

The Medieval Period, commonly known as the 'middle ages' was a period of approximately 1,000 years in European history. This period is also referred to as the 'Dark Ages' because during this time western Europe was tormented by barbarians resulting in the loss of classical civilization. A new civilization formed during this time which fell under the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. The kingdoms that followed the Roman Empire were not stable ones. This period was one that witnessed the decline of trade and commerce.

I. THREE 'ESTATES' of MEN

There were three classes on individuals in society at this time or three "estates of men -" (New Standard Encyclopedia, 1986) which included: (1) Nobles; (2) Clergy; and (3) Common People. Each of these estates had their appointed roles within society. The role of the nobles was of government while the clergy's role was the worship of God and focusing their attention upon the religious needs of man. The common people were working peasants, craftsmen and merchants whose labor supported the 'privileged' upper classes. During this time:."..even the wealthiest nobles and clergyman lacked the common comforts of modern life. The peasants usually lived on the verge of famine." (New Standard Encyclopedia, 1986)

II. AUTHORITY of the CHURCH

During this period of time, practically everyone in western Europe were members of the Roman Catholic Church which owned large holdings of land and as well made the provision of formal education to the people. The people in the Medieval era generally "accepted the church's authority unquestioning, though often violating its rules." (New Standard Encyclopedia, 1986) the authority of the Church was believed by many to be overbroad in that, as noted in the work of Peterson and Brunn, et al. entitled: "The Appearances of Medieval Rituals: The Play of Construction and Modification" notes the act that during the Carolingian period through the Catholic reform of the later 16th century the church adopted and adapted new forms of ritual practices including "dramatic liturgy, new devotional images, literary forms, types of artistic representation and music." (2004)

III. INQUISITION & HERESY

The work of Hamilton (2003) entitled: "Religion in the Medieval West" stats that while religion "was central to medieval life and…… [read more]


Religion of Consumerism Versus Lakota Using Phenomenological Approach Term Paper

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Religion of Consumerism

Consumerism is the term used to describe a person who equates their happiness with the act of purchasing and possessing material things. (Barber, 2007). Lakota is a Native American tribe from the Great Planes area. (Christafferson, 2001). The Lakota Indians lived, and still do live, simple lives that focus on the connection to nature. In modern day, consumerism has evolved into a form of a religion. The difference between Consumerism and Lakota is that consumerism takes the person further away from their natural roots.

What does it mean to be human?

Every individual and community answers the question of "what it means to be human" or "what is the meaning of life" differently. These differences in answers stem from each individual's personal beliefs and morals. These beliefs and morals in turn stem from that individual's history and culture. Thus, religion plays an important role in answering this question. At the most basic level, the religious person would answer that the purpose of being human is to "do onto others as you wish to have done onto you." However, as society becomes less and less religious and consumerism increases in importance, this foundational rule, the golden rule, is being replaced with an individual focused definition as to the meaning of life, one that holds the purpose of life as to consume as much as possible, at all costs.

What is the basic human problem?

The basic human problem is finding the answer to the first question, or what it means to be human. Because there is not one universal answer, there ends up being competing answers, mostly individualized answers. The basic human problem is coming to terms with how to deal with these many different meanings and learn how to live with them instead of living in conflict against them.

What is the cause of the problem?

The cause of the problem is that the religion of consumerism has taken human outside the traditional cycles of good and bad, birth and death, and harmony vs. disharmony. By contrast, consumerism simply creates the problem of "what don't I have that I should have." Unlike other religions, which create a connection to either nature (Lakota) or a divine being, consumerism makes a connection between the individual and the artificial. Instead of seeking…… [read more]


Religion Augustine: Divine Grace and Free Will Term Paper

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Religion

Augustine: Divine Grace and Free Will

One of the Doctors of the Church, St. Augustine's teachings have been profoundly influential since earliest times. In particular, St. Augustine expounded upon the relationship between Divine Grace and human Free Will and the roles that the two did, or did not play, in the achievement of individual human salvation.

The argument represented… [read more]


Religion Versus Science Term Paper

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Religion vs. Science: the issue of cloning and stem cell research

The debate about religion vs. science is one that has been ongoing since the start of the industrial revolution and the inception of modern science. In the late Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries as science began to advance, many of the accepted religious issues and beliefs about reality were put into question.

This meant that many the fundamental beliefs and worldviews of religion were also questioned and doubt began to creep into Western civilization about the validity of religious perceptions of reality and life. This questioning attitude and doubt was accelerated in the Twentieth Century. The two World Wars that occurred during this century also caused people to question traditional religious views.

However this decline in religion was balanced in second half of the last century by a questioning of the views and assumptions of science. Many artists and thinkers began to state that the scientific view of reality was flawed and limited. Therefore the contemporary situation generally in the world is characterized by a continuing debate and conflict between those who support the scientific world view and those who view life from a more religious context. On the one hand many scientists view religion as "unproven" and more of a myth than a reality. "...religious experiences are mere delusions and... God might be nothing more than a hallucination..." (McGillion) On the other hand many religious people and theologians view scientific thought as ignoring the higher ethical and religious values which they consider to be the essence of what it means to be human. "They believe that the naturalistic bias of science is in fact atheistic, and that if we don't change science, we can't believe in God." (Goldenberg S.)

This debate affects many issues and especially socially contentious scientific discoveries and theories. One issue that has caused a great amount of debate and contention in recent years is the issue of cloning and stem cell research. Cloning techniques represent one of the most innovative scientific developments of this century. At the same time this new technology clashes on many levels with the religious views and established perceptions that are still a strong part of modern society.

One the one hand and from a scientific viewpoint, cloning and stem cell research is viewed as a very positive development for humanity in general.

Scientists and those who support the scientific view, see stem cell research as a possible cure for many diseases that has to date been incurable. This includes diseases such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's diseases. Parkinson's disease is a "...very common neurodegenerative disorder that affects more than 2% of the population over 65 years of age. (Stem Cell basics) The lack of Dopamine in the brain is considered a central cause of Parkinson's disease. New methods are being used by scientists to produce dopamine neurons form human stem cells. This has led to the possibility that "...the successful generation of an unlimited supply of dopamine neurons could make… [read more]


Son of God Term Paper

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¶ … Son of God -- a lasting light and a lasting controversy

Son of God, last your light." "The Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost." The phrases pertaining to the notion of Jesus as the Son of God have become a familiar part of Christian culture, from Christmas carols to the punch lines of jokes, as well as part… [read more]


Theology - Critical Analysis George Macleod's Description Term Paper

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Theology - Critical Analysis

George Macleod's Description of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ

Theology - a Critical Analysis

George MacLeod stated of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ that:

simply argue that the cross be raised again at the center of the marketplace as well as on the steeple of the church. I am recovering the claim that Jesus was not… [read more]


World View on My Religion Essay

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Personal Reflection on Religious Perspective

Worldview

I was raised in a Christian family but I have always been bothered by the degree to which different Christian faiths maintain that they represent the only "correct" interpretation of the Gospel and that other Christian faiths are "wrong." I have always found it particularly offensive that some specific Christian sects believe that other fellow Christians are not eligible for eternal salvation at all. Generally, I appreciate that the Christian worldview incorporates secular concepts of benevolence and charity and I have always tried to make sure that my personal lifestyle choices and decisions are consistent with this Christian worldview.

Personal Beliefs about God and Religion and the Sacred-Secular Dance

As an adult, I have chosen not to affiliate with any specific church or Christian sect because I believe that God values all of us equally regardless of exactly how we choose to express our religious convictions. In my opinion, the relationship between the individual and God is a highly personal relationship and that private prayer or communication is much more spiritual and meaningful than ritualized prayers and customs.

It seems to me that the shared ritual of religious services actually detracts from the spiritually meaningful quality of the communications between believers and God because group songs, dances, and other rituals often become the focus of religious worship instead of the actual connection between the individual and God. Whereas it is very difficult for a single individual communicating directly with God to become distracted or to focus on extraneous or superficial aspects of that dynamic, the practice of group prayer (especially those involving complex musical components) often seems to take precedence over communal forms of religious worship. In that respect, private individual prayer seems much less susceptible to distraction and superficiality to me than many forms of contemporary religious services.

Christianity in Relation to American Society

In my opinion, it is a fundamental mistake for Christians to lobby for secular laws that reflect Christian religious beliefs. It seems that many Christians believe that secular laws should be consistent with their religious convictions, most notably in connection with issues such as contraception and abortion. On one hand, my Christian beliefs do prohibit certain forms of contraception and all forms of abortion. However, I recognize that when it comes to very early-term abortions, (such as where fetal development is at the zygote stage before any human characteristics have developed), the moral issue should be entirely separate from the religious issue. That is because the central basis for objecting to abortion (at this early stage of fetal development) is a religious belief that human life begins at conception.

Certainly, Christians should be free to maintain that belief. However, to lobby for laws prohibiting early-term abortions for non-Christians is nothing short of imposing our religious beliefs on others. In principle, it is no different from Catholics lobbying for laws prohibiting anybody (i.e. non-Christians) from eating meat on Fridays; for that matter, it is no different from a Jewish majority… [read more]


Religion Each of the Variations of Christianity Essay

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Religion

Each of the variations of Christianity presents significant beliefs about the concept eternal life. Following death, Christians honor the idea of heavenly life, and spiritual immortality in the kingdom of God. The weight of the Christian attitude toward death, and the importance of its promises, is validated by the reality of Christ's resurrection (Kramer: 142). There are three main… [read more]


Spirituality Conundrum Research Paper

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Spirituality Conundrum

The Conundrum of the Chaotic Nature of Life:

The Human Need to Make Sense

Playwright Edward Albee once said "Man is a creature who tries desperately to make sense out of an irrational and chaotic universe" (Thoughts About). Cartoonist Scott Adams once said "Nothing defines humans better than their willingness to do irrational things in the pursuit of… [read more]


Personal Views on Religion in American Society Essay

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Personal Views on Religion in American Society

Religion is not a reliable way of making decisions or of determining right from wrong. Religious values are largely arbitrary because they reflect the views and beliefs of the people who created them. If there is any doubt about that characterization, one need only look at the sheer number of different religions that exist and at the diametrically opposite beliefs and values that many of them espouse. Objectively, it is fundamentally impossible for the conflicting beliefs of any two religions to be true. While it is understandable why religious teaching may once have been necessary to control human behavior, in the modern era, there is no longer any need because modern societies have formal laws and the necessary authorities and mechanisms to control human behavior and deviance as necessary for the benefit of society. Today, religion promotes unnecessary antagonism among people and also undermines genuine appreciation of objective morality and ethics.

Religion is an important factor in my voting choice only in one sense: I cannot trust the judgment of or take any candidate for political office seriously whose political philosophy is based in religion. On one hand, every person (including politicians) has the right to maintain any religious values or beliefs they may choose. On the other hand, to whatever extent those values or beliefs relate to matters of social policy, it is a form of imposing religious beliefs on members of a society built on the fundamental concept of religious freedom. Perhaps the best example is that raised by early-term abortions and (especially) by contraception via the so-called "morning after" pill. The crux of the political objection to abortion and to contraception are religious beliefs pertaining to when human life supposedly "begins." Early-term abortions and (especially) any contraceptive method that actually prevents a pregnancy from occurring violate no objective moral principle. A zygote that is only days or hours old cannot sense pain…… [read more]


God Science and Imagination Essay

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God, Scince, And Imagination

Selective Sight

The state of imagination that Wendell Berry discusses in his essay, "God, Science, and Imagination," is certainly a powerful one, as the following excerpt readily shows. "As the word imagination itself suggests, it is the power to make us see, and to see, moreover, things that without it would be unseeable. (26)" The gift of sight (even to those who are literally blind), and the ability to see things that are otherwise not visible, is certainly a powerful one with many potential uses that can cause a lot of benefits -- if used wisely. It is the question of those uses, especially when concerned with the effects of religious dogma and scientific fundamentalism which the author writes about in the same essay, that is most important. Specifically, is it possible to use one's imagination to gain an accurate enough representation of the world, or does the use of such imagination merely limit its viewer to an ideal paradise where he or she only sees that which he or she wants to, and not that which actually exists? The answer appears to lie somewhere between these two extremes.

When considering Alan de Button's essay, "On Habit," one is able to truly see how powerful the imagination, and the mind that empowers it, is. In fact, these two tools allow its author, who makes a concerted effort to note his surroundings (which he typically ignores) on a walk to a train station, to perceive a whole host of things that he was previously unaware of, as the following quotation proves. "Under the command to consider everything as of potential interest, objects released latent layers of value. A row of shops which I had known as one large, undifferentiated reddish block acquired an architectural identity. (63)" This quotation affirms that the human mind can see that which it determines itself to see. As such, it would appear to be possible to escape the trappings of religious fundamentalism and merely view concepts of God and religion without being moved by such strict views, which the following quotation from Berry, in which he discusses the use of the imagination through literature to provide an understanding of things beyond literal human sight, indicates. "As for the afterlife, it has been imagined by Homer, Vergil, the biblical writers, Dante, and others, with the result that at least some of us, their willing heirs, have imagined it also. (26)" This quotation proves how it is possible for people to see things that cannot be seen with the imagination -- which is just an extension of de Button's idea that people see what they want to see.

Therefore, it can be granted that people can live within a state of open mindedness or of imagination. The danger, of course, is in giving up the perception of what is going on in…… [read more]


Religion Christianity and Islam: Religions of Abraham? Essay

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Religion

Christianity and Islam: Religions of Abraham?

Although religious scholars have come to no definitive conclusion as to whether Abraham is the "father" of the three predominant religions practiced in the world today, there are those that posit because of the time in which Abraham lived, and the fact that the three major faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam came after, that because he is the physical ancestor of the religions he has been credited with that title. Nevertheless, despite the scholarly debate both Christianity and Islam, respectively have differences and yet some commonalities in tradition, practice and belief.

Beliefs

Islam and Christianity, although different religions, do have some commonalities as articulated in the scholarly and faith-based literature. Christianity, as does Islam, tracing their roots back to Abraham, considered by many to be the father of the three major religions (Lowenthal 24). In Islam, Ishmael is considered the first son of Abraham and the second son is Isaac. Both Islam and Christianity are monotheistic religions prophesying a belief in a one true God (Games & Coren 144). Moreover, both faiths extol belief in God's prophets or messengers of the word of God, as well as revelation, scripture, the importance and centrality of the religious community and the resurrection of the dead. The issue of community is particularly important as both Islam and Christianity have a dimension of communitarianism: what the church is to the believers in Christianity, the 'umma' is to Islam. For Christians and Muslims alike, there is a great level of accountability to the community (Goddard 1). It goes without saying that both Islam and Christianity are world religions. In addition, both faiths believe in submission to the God. The definition of Muslim is one who submits to God'. There is also the belief by Christians and Muslims that God is a just, jealous, merciful and forgiving God.

Practices

For both Christianity and Islam, prayer is a central tenant of the faith. In doing so, both Islam and Christianity facilitate the communication of man with their God through the practice of prayer (Lowenthal 69). Although the regiment of prayer and the positions of prayer may be executed in a different manner, both faiths posit that believers are to come before God in humbleness and humility and through the course of prayer clarity with regard to one's purpose in life can be achieved (Goddard 4).

Moreover, both Islam and Christianity believe in the word of God being delivered by way of apostles and messengers through a prescribed book. For the Christians it is the Holy Bible and for Muslims the Holy Qur'an. Believers of both faiths are encouraged to subscribe to these devout written works for information, guidance, and examples of right living. Use of the Bible and the Qur'an, respectively, are utilized in private prayer and worship as well as in communal teaching (Games & Coren 143).

In addition, Christians and Muslims ascribe to a moral code of conduct that has many similarities. For example, both teach that faith… [read more]


Religion Outline the Early History of Hinduism Book Review

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Religion

Outline the early history of hinduism. How did the gods and rituals brought by the Aryans blend with native religions to produce classical hinduism?

Hinduism is a byproduct of Aryan Brahminism with the incorporation of ideas from other religions. The foundation for Hinduism was laid during the Vedic Age, when Vedas or Brahminism was the dominant religion. Before Hinduism emerges as the dominant faith, Buddhism enjoyed a long period of supremacy. During this era, Buddhism influenced the traditions of Hinduism. Buddhism declined due to the rise of the Gupta Empire which placed Hinduism as the preeminent religion of the subcontinent (Hopfe & Woodward 74-121).

Define the Rig-Veda, the Upanishads, and the Law of Manu. Show how these three bodies of literature demonstrate basic Hindu religious concepts.

Hinduism has a variety of different works; the oldest is the Vedic literature. The Vedic literature is an assortment of stories, songs, and ceremonial instructions that the Aryans created before and during their arrival in India. The largest of this collection of literature is in the four Vedas -- the Rig Veda being the oldest. The Upanishads are philosophical scriptures that serve as the basis for many schools of Hinduism. They teach in order to break the cycle of rebirth and death human beings must realize the self-realization that the atman, or true self, is the same as their Brahma or transcendent self. This causes release from the cycle of life and death. The Law of Manu is a body of work that is said to be the words of Brahma, the deity. It serves as the authority on Dharma, or one's personal obligations depending on an individual's social status (Hopfe & Woodward 74-121).

3. Discuss Jainism and Buddhism as heresies of Hinduism. What was the fate of these two religions in India? Elsewhere in Asia?

Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism share common routes from the Vedic tradition. Yet, each religion is unique. Jainism neither accepts nor denies the existence of gods, declaring that human perfection is the ultimate end of life (Hopfe & Woodward 122-133). Perfection is achieved through karma and is determined by an individual's present life. This religion teaches that all forms of life have souls including inanimate objects. Buddhism like Jainism preaches enlightenment and holds the belief that anyone can reach enlightenment (Hopfe & Woodward 134-162). These two religions are at odds with Hinduism because it defies the caste system by preaching anyone can be enlightened not just the social elite and shunning the religious rituals and ceremonies once performed by Brahmins (Hopfe & Woodward 74-121). These two religions are not as prominent in India as they once were. Buddhism's decline saw the rise of Hinduism. However, Buddhism is a major religion in other parts of Asia and successfully spread beyond India.

4. What central lesson must Arjuna learn from his conversation with Krishna in the Bbagavad Gita?

The Bhagavad Gita is one of the 18 books in the Mahabharata, an epic which is a major part of Hindu tradition.… [read more]


C. S. Lewis Reading Mere Christianity Term Paper

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Lewis Christianity

Creation, Evil and Science in Christian Faith

Christianity is based on certain principles of unbending faith. Within these principles are a wide variance of interpretations and approaches to observance. However, among the universal themes of the religion is a sense of assurance that the conditions of faith are not based on belief but based on knowing certain unshakeable… [read more]


Religions of Rome Throughout History Book Review

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This meant that there were times when Sol was practiced by the occult (because it was not supported through government policies). When this occurred, it meant that other influences began to have an impact on Sol. In this case, the ideas of the Syrian sun god were intertwined with the current one. This created a new version of Sol that would be practiced during the reign of Emperor Aurelius. These different elements are important, because they are showing how the author believes that there were other factors that had an impact on Roman gods.

The Broad Theme from the Chapter

The broader theme from the chapter is that the various Roman religions were known for borrowing from other cultures. This is because they were taking the best ideas from society and incorporating it as a part of their own culture. Once this took place, is when various influences would have an impact on religion and its practices. Over the course of time, this affected the way that gods were seen and their status in Roman society. The deity Sol is a good example of this by taking the sun gods from Greek and Syrian cultures. These were used to create a deity that was worshiped regularly throughout the empire.

Conclusion

Clearly, Roman religion was influenced based upon assimilating various ideas and traditions. This is because of the attitudes of openness when studying new cultures that were conquered by the Roman armies. As they would bring these ideas back with them and slowly integrate these practices into religious philosophy. Sol was the classic example of this by taking Greek and Syrian beliefs to create a new kind of deity. As a result, this is an indication of how it has shaped the Roman's philosophies and ideas.

References

Sol in the Roman Empire, 1 -- 30.

Beard Mary. Religions of Rome. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

Goldhill Simon. Being Greek Under Rome. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2006.

Mary Beard, Religions of Rome (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 167 -- 363.

Sol in the Roman Empire, 1 -- 30.

Sol in the Roman Empire, 1 -- 30.

Simon Goldhill, Being Greek Under Rome (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 134.

Sol in the Roman Empire, 1 -- 30.

Sol in the Roman Empire, 1 -- 30.

Sol in the Roman Empire, 1 -- 30.

Mary Beard,…… [read more]


Relevance or Irrelevance of Religion in Our Society Term Paper

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Relevance of Religion in Our Society

Relevance or Irrelevance of Religion in our society

Religion has been linked by several scholars to be an instrument that brings about mental peace and satisfaction to the members of the society. Many scholars agree that there is a need for a secular way that brings this peace of mind. However, all answers lead… [read more]


Roman Religion Although the Ancient Term Paper

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"

Aeneas marks this altar as specifically Roman according to not only the city's religious tradition, but also its cultural tradition of dress of mythical history. One can see a possible motivation for this intentional linking when considering the other figures depicted in the Ara Pacis' friezes, and particularly the image of Augustus. The procession of which Augustus is a… [read more]


Religion in Women's Issues Term Paper

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¶ … God has been and always will be male.

In Imaging God, the authors discuss how people conceive of God and how that image, for most Westerners, is that of a white male. However, the authors suggest that even contemporary people may conceive of God as female. Moreover, there is significant historical evidence of goddess worship in a wide variety of societies, with the majority of that worship focusing on the image of the Earth or the heavens conceived as a goddess or multiple goddesses. "Archeologists have discovered relics of worship to her among the cultural remains of people as disparate as the ancient Babylonians and pre-Christian Celts, at sites as distant northern Iraq and southern France, and dating as far back as 25,000 BCE (Renzetti et al., 2012, p.338). Therefore, the suggestion that God has always been and always will be male ignores what is known about the historical worship of goddesses. Moreover, while some people might dismiss the worship of female deities as archaic, polytheistic religions with deities of both genders flourished even during the same time that the world's current major monotheistic religions began to spread across the globe.

2. Compare and contrast the religious traditions of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity with regard to the issues of women's roles in each religion.

Islam, Judaism, and Christianity are all Abrahamic religions, and, as such, share some significant cultural and traditional values. Unfortunately, in many circumstances, these cultural and traditional values have been very unfavorable to women. In modern times, this is not always the case, as less orthodox branches of all three major world religions can be very inclusive of women. However, traditional and orthodox denominations in those religious groups are still restrictive of women. Orthodox Jewish women are still prohibited from reading the Torah during a religious service, being religious leaders, sing in the synagogue, and men and women have to remain segregated during religious services. Likewise, many Christian…… [read more]


Religion Comparing the Catholic Essay

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The church property, material representations of the religion, and anything that is connected with God, Jesus other church is deemed to be sacred, and worthy of respect. Therefore, this is an all-encompassing religion, which impacts on the lives of the followers in many ways.

Part 2

Examining the Wiccan religion, talking to an individual's follows this path indicates some interesting parallels as well as some significant differences. Wicca is a relatively new religion, which the followers early date back to roughly the 1950s, founded by Gerald Gardner and Doreen Valiente. However, while the religion itself is relatively new, the foundations were based on much older traditional beliefs associated with a respect and reverence for nature and the concept of duality. Rather than simply one God, as seen Catholicism, Wiccans believe that there is a God and a Goddess, which may be worship through many different aspects manifestations.

The basic belief system is based on the concept of power of nature and the need for respect to the world around us and lives in harmony with nature, so that man is not seen as the most important creature on earth. Furthermore, there is also the concept of natural justice or karma. The belief system means in strongly with the ethical aspects of the religion, where respect and consideration should be given to all living things.

The community aspect is important, but is noted to be relatively small in the region that is relatively fragmented with no single central hierarchy. However, there is a sense of community not only with other Wiccans, but also with other followers of different pagan past. The general approach is an acceptance of a world in which there can be many different religions, and where all religions as well as living beings should be respected. The concept of sacredness also reflects this broader approach, where the entire world and the manifestation of nature are deemed to be sacred. However, there are some specific sacred sites, related not to religious stories, but due to past use. For example, many Wiccans would hold in esteem the ancient stone circles found in Europe.

The role of myths within this religion is far more important. Myths form the central tenant of many of the stories, and represent the different aspects of the different God and Goddess, often telling stories of man's interaction with gods, and the way in which the Gods themselves evolved. Rituals can be divergent, depending upon the individual coven practicing as rituals, but will usually involve the costing of a circle, the calling of quarters to represent different elements and paying homage to the God and Goddess. Just as seen with the Catholic Church, there are also Wiccan rituals that mark different life-cycle stages. The material expression of the religion is seen in many areas; with the potential use of different symbols, such as a pentagram as a necklace, figurines of different aspects of the God and Goddess, as well as an individual alter in the Wiccans home.… [read more]


One Nation Under God Term Paper

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God

One Nation Under God

Harris)

One Nation Under God

I am assuming that every school child in America today during a typical school day has at one time or another had to cross his or her heart with the right hand and recite with the rest of the class the Pledge of Allegiance. The original pledge represented democracy at… [read more]


Christianity the Christian Religion Sprouted Term Paper

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Christianity

The Christian religion sprouted from the Jewish tradition and its origins begin with the first year of the common Gregorian calendar. While Jesus Christ cannot be accurately called the founder of the religion, his teachings and the writings of his apostles form the backbone of Christian theology and ideology. Jesus of Nazareth and his followers claimed he was the Jewish Messiah, a claim which led to the political upheaval eventually causing his crucifixion by the Romans. The crucifixion of Jesus and his resurrection became fundamentals symbol of Christianity.

Over the course of the next several centuries following the death of Jesus Christ, Christian theology and discourse became canonized in the Gospels of the New Testament. Thus, the main sacred texts of the Christian religion were penned not by Jesus but by his apostles. Paul of Tarsus had perhaps the greatest influence on forming Christian theology. Christianity underwent many doctrinal changes as the religion shifted from an underground cult to a state religion in Rome and other parts of Europe and Eurasia. The politicization of Christianity caused it to become the dominant world religion in Europe. Theological and political disagreements led to the schism between the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches in 1054 and later to the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century.

Like Judaism, Christianity is a monotheistic religion, believing firmly in the existence of one Supreme Deity. However, the divine nature of Jesus Christ poses a metaphysical conundrum. While some Christians cannot support the division of God into three, many Christians believe in the divine trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Holy Trinity does not preclude Christianity from being a fundamentally monotheistic religion, however, as the Absolute God manifests in the three different forms.

All Christian peoples, whether Catholic, Protestant, or Eastern Orthodox, base their traditions and teachings on the Gospels of the New Testament as well as the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament. These are the basic scriptures of the religion. Catholics rely heavily on the divine authority of the Church in Rome and view the priesthood as intermediaries…… [read more]


Religions Throughout the World Term Paper

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¶ … religions throughout the world. It is interesting to look at Hinduism and determine its origin, absolute (god), scriptures, world view, problem for man and its solution, and the view of the afterlife and how to attain it. It is also important to look at four philosophical combinations of agreements and disagreements that would encourage or prevent one from following the religion.

Understanding Hinduism

Hinduism was introduced to India in 1500 BC by the Aryans. The initial phase of Hinduism was "early Brahmanism, the religion of the priests of Brahmans who performed the Vedic sacrifice, through the power of which proper relation with the gods and the cosmos is established. The Veda comprises the liturgy and interpretation of the sacrifice and culminates in the Upanishads, mystical and speculative works that state the doctrine of Brahman, the absolute reality that is the self of all things, and its identity with the individual soul (unknown, Hinduism)." Yoga practices and the fully developed theistic elements are outlined in the later Upanishads.

Post-Vedic Hinduism "in all its forms accepts the doctrine of karma, according to which the individual reaps the result of his good and bad actions through a series of lifetimes. There is also the universally accepted goal of moksha or mukti, liberation from suffering and from the compulsion to rebirth, which is attainable through elimination of passions and through knowledge of reality and finally union with God (unknown, Hinduism)."

Hindus look upon the problem of who has access to God in a universal way. According to their beliefs "every man, woman and child has the same direct access to God through his or her own efforts (Mugilan)."

Philosophy

There are philosophical ideas which can result in one following or rejecting Hinduism. An early Hindu school of philosophy "analyzed reality into six categories: substance, quality, activity, generality, particularity, and inherence. It taught that the universe is made up of nine kinds of substance:…… [read more]


Comparative Religion Term Paper

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¶ … Religion

The Impossible Dilemma

What religion would you be," the question asks, "if you were not the religion that you are?" The idea of the question is to provoke students into writing about the differences and similarities between their own religion and other world religions, and to pick the "next best" religion. There is a fundamental problem with… [read more]


Judaism's Origin, God, Scriptures, Worldview, Problem Term Paper

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¶ … Judaism's origin, God, scriptures, worldview, problem and solution for man, and the view of the afterlife and what it takes to attain it. The paper then gives an evaluation of Judaism and lists four philosophical combinations of agreements and disagreements that would encourage or prevent one from following the religion.

Judaism is thought to have begun as Samaritanism although Samaritans today do not consider themselves as Jews. Religious historians think that around the first cetury CE there were original Jewish sects called Pharisees, Sadducces, Zealots, Essenes and Christians. It is believed that upon the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. The sects vanished. Christianity survived by breaking away from Judaism and thus becoming its own religion. The Pharisees survived and became a form of Rabbinic Judaism or what we know today as Judaism.

Religious Jews believe that the Biblical patriarch Abraham was the first Jew. The concept is that Abraham was the first to proclaim the folly of so God promised him that he would have children. The first was Isaac who was to inherit the land of Israel, at the time called Canaan. But according to the bible, God gave Isaac's son Jacob the name which means Isreal and thus dedicated his descendants to be his nation. The scriptures say that God sent Jacob and his children to Egypt where they became enslaved. God then sent Moses to recover the Israelites from slavery to lead them to Mount Sinai wherer they received the Torah and eventually on to the land of Isreal.

The world view regarding Judaism is complicated because Judaism does not easily fit into our common Western categories such as religion, race ethnicity or culture. The reason for this is because those who consider themselves Jews understand the nature of Judaism to represent the religion as more in terms of the four thousdand year history of its followers. Jews have had a tumltous time during this four thousdand year stretch. As a whole, Jews have experienced the likes of slavery, anarchic self-government, thocratic self-government, conquest, occupation, and exile. Add the fact that Jews are divers group with a wide spectrum of nationalities they have been influenced by such as the Egyptions, Babylonians, Persians and many other ancient cultures as well as modern movements such as the Enlightenment and many modern forms of nationalism. Some historians proclaim that the world view of the Jew disrupts all classifications of identity because the religion can not be considered national, genealogical or technically, not even a religion.

The problem for the followers of the Jewish faith is based on the philosphies strict unitarianism or the belief in one God. For Jews, God is seen as eternal and the creator of the universe and therefor the source of all that is morale. To God alone man should offer prayer and therefore any belief that an intermediary is somewhere inbetween man and God has traditionally been considered heretical. There can be no middleman…… [read more]


Faith, Theology, Belief, and Spirituality? Term Paper

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In other words, natural science depends upon notions of observed events and evidence. In contrast, theology proves things about God based on its own, enclosed set of terms within a tradition. In Catholicism, this might be according to the accepted doctrine of the Church -- for instance, is it, according to the Catholic Apostolic tradition, theologically correct that the Pope is infallible? Although one cannot prove this with a scientific experiment, one can use past doctrines and texts to argue this proposition as theologically valid within a Catholic tradition. (Hodge, 2002)

"Well, but I'm not religious, I'm spiritual." How often has this sentence been uttered, in one's hearing, in modern America? Type in 'spirituality' into any Internet search engine, and immediately a flood of pages proclaiming self-help gurus' most sound doctrines and dogmas at a click of the mouse come to view -- along with advice about finding one's own personal guardian angel. This is in marked contrast to performing a similar action with the term of 'theology,' which tends to shift one to Catholic web pages and encyclopedias.

The nonaffiliated website hyperdictionary notes that "although spirituality is a prominent feature in American cultural life, few topics are more ambiguous or misunderstood," as spirituality is as difficult to define as the Holy Spirit of the Christian Trinity, the nature of the spirit of life that is supposed to infuse all of human kind, or of getting in touch with one's inner, spiritual as opposed to worldly self through psychology. Spirituality seems vague, referring to the unseen rather than the proven or likely or even hoped-for. But interestingly enough, the online dictionary defines spirituality both as a concern with things of the spirit, but also as property or income owned by a church, its medieval definition. Spirituality is thus of the unseen spirit or humanity's inner self, yet also once referred to the physical ways the church manifested itself in the world, in terms of property, if one looks at both potential contradictory meanings. Synonyms given by the dictionary are not only "otherworldliness" but also church property. (Hyperdictionary, "Spirituality," 2005)

Spirituality thus, on a church and on a personal level is what one 'owns' in one's relationship to God, whether one's inner self, or during the Middle Ages, the physical holdings of a particular order of religious folk. Today if one says one is spiritual it may mean one believes in a religion, or simply that one wishes to penetrate beyond the accepted realm of daily life and apply psychological, religious, or yes, theological doctrines to one's life. Even if one does not believe in 'the spirit' one may believe in spirituality's benefits, and even if one does not subscribe to the theological science of God, one may wrestle with the value of faith in the unseen.

None of these words -- belief, faith, theology, or spirituality -- are inexorably interrelated, but like it or not, one comes into contact with all of them, on a daily basis. Even he or… [read more]


Religious Group's Statement William James Term Paper

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"

Those very Israelites, according to the article in the Economist which paraphrases the Book of Mormon, "split into two tribes, the fair-skinned Nephites and the dark-skinned Lamanites." In good time, the Nephites "were wiped out, but the Lamanites survived," the Economist article continues; and the Lamanites became the Native Americans who were encountered by the westward expanding European colonists… [read more]


Comparative Religion Term Paper

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¶ … Religion

Sacred Music and Literature

Through-out time, mankind has sought words from God(s) and both found and recorded their answers with sacred words. These words have, since the advent of written language in each culture, made their way into sacred scriptures. Yet before there were scriptures, these words were recalled in sacred songs -- oral traditions of poets… [read more]


Religion Color and Sound Term Paper

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Religion -- Color and Sound

Music, Proportionality, and Religious Experience

Within the dominant strains of the Western Judeo-Christian-Islamic religious tradition, the experience of mystical communality or community with God is often considered, ineffable or inexpressible in words. Even in verbal theological terms such intense communality or harmony with God is thought of as untranslatable into relative verbal terms. Because the mystical experience is defined as a loss of ego, and a coming together or oneness with the divinity, the spiritual ideal is most often expressed through the imperfect metaphor of visual or aural harmony. However, because of the naturally divisive nature of debate and verbiage, there has been great debate since the Renaissance exactly how to define such 'harmony' and if a definition harmony is possible on a musical or a visual level on a cross-cultural level.

For the Renaissance astronomer Kepler, visual or aural harmony was virtually commensurate. Harmony was defined as when things worked together mechanically and existed in a state of mathematically perfect balance. Through harmony, l apparent opposites, like the mortal and the earthly and the divine and the unearthly could work together in a state of mutual understanding. They might not merge, but together they could, in balance form 'one entity.' The mathematical, emotive yet physical, and balanced system of music most perfectly embodied such perfection, in Kepler's view. Unlike the often-unbalanced nature of a material and purely mechanical function, or the physical mechanical demands required for human, temporal survival, musical pleasure was simply the perfect, physical reflection of existing natural proportions and was thus common currency and commonly understood, on the same terms to all peoples. This was why music was the perfect metaphorical expression of mystical harmony, and in music there was no possibility of translation, in either music or, its 'perfect' counterpart, mathematics.

Kepler may have subsumed the concept of musical and visual harmony into a discussion of proportionality, but Hazrat Inyat Khan of the Islamic rather than the Protestant tradition, bifurcated the musical and the visual, stressing that music was superior because it did not create reflections or misrepresentations of life in one's head, it simply 'was.' Like life, music was of motion rather than fixed and of stasis like art. Of course, the Arabic and Islamic tradition forbids physical representations of the divine, hence the greater predominance of music in the tradition.

In contrast to this harmony of Khan that denied the ability of art to provide visions of balance, Aldous Huxley stressed the physicality of images to give a sense of the mystical and communal experience. Huxley expressed his concept of the visual and the mystical with an example of a vase of flowers. In his vision, each flower was important simply because each flower simply exist, each flower was unique and separate, yet in balance, along the lines of Kepler's vision of perfectly balanced oppositional forces in a state of harmonic discourse.

It should be noted that there was an aural as well as a visual component to… [read more]


Abrahamic Religion Term Paper

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Abrahamic Religion

Comparing and Contrasting Interpretations of the Sacred (God) within Three Abrahamic Religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Although the Abrahamic faiths of Western Asia began with the same monotheistic concept of the sacred (that is, of one God, as opposed to the multiple gods of, say, the Greeks, the Romans, or ancient Nordic civilizations), they eventually developed very different, respective, beliefs about how, exactly, to worship and have a relationship with the God they all believed in. I shall explore, analyze, compare and contrast some of these key differences.

Within the Jewish holy book, the Old Testament, the first of five books is Genesis. Genesis 1-9 describes God's creation of the Earth in seven days; the Garden of Eden; Adam and Eve's expulsion from the Garden of Eden; the births of Adam and Eve's sons Cain and Abel; Cain's killing of Abel; and God's punishment of Cain, representing God's direct intervention into human affairs, by God's placing of a mark on his head: to both stigmatize Cain in life, and keep him from death. Genesis describes how by day seven, the earth is created. For example:

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (Genesis 1:1-1:3, the Old Testament, p. 56)

Tone and content of the Old Testament imply an all-powerful male God who hopes for (but often does not receive) unconditional human love, loyalty, faith, and obedience. Jews of ancient times created a temple of worship in Jerusalem. When that temple was destroyed by the Holy Roman Empire, other temples were built elsewhere, eventually worldwide. However, prayer practices, rituals, and relationships of Jews to God remain similar to ancient times. Jews today, like then, may pray to God either in a temple (synagogue) or privately. In Orthodox Judaism (though not Conservative or Reform Judaism) the sexes are segregated for prayer, as they were in ancient times. It is unclear if this practice helps or hinders worship, but perhaps (both now and in ancient times) such segregation aided/aids concentration). Jewish services are led by a Rabbi (Hebrew for "teacher"), a spiritual leader of a Jewish congregation. During services on Friday nights and Saturday mornings (Saturday is the Jewish holy day; Sunday is the Christian one) the Torah (Hebrew for the Old Testament) is removed from the ark where it is otherwise kept, unrolled, and a portion of it read aloud by the…… [read more]


Shintoism Is a Religion With Strong Indigenous Term Paper

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Shintoism is a religion with strong indigenous roots. Because it developed as Japan developed into a unified culture, its ties to Japanese culture are strong. It is markedly different than many religions because it has no set of laws its followers must follow, and no concept of punishment for sins. It is a religion of many major and minor gods,… [read more]


Faith/Religion as Most Religious Philosophers Term Paper

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Faith also assumes a certain definition of God. For some people God is anthropomorphic, usually male or paternal in nature. God is also conceived of as being omniscient, all-powerful. A common trait ascribed to God is goodness, which is why many agnostics struggle with reconciling evil with the existence of God. If, however, an individual is willing to stretch his or her concept of divinity then faith becomes increasingly possible. For example, if I believe that human beings are the cause of their own suffering then I do not need to blame God for not intervening. Moreover, if I believe that God has a higher plan for people, then I can have the faith to understand that not all our prayers will be answered by a loving God. Therefore, faith can be cultivated in spite of suffering and evil. The non-propositional type of faith assumes that human beings possess a great amount of personal freedom and free will. Because of free will, human beings create conditions of suffering and evil; God is not responsible for rescuing human beings.

Another aspect of faith includes morality. For example, Immanuel Kant proposed that God exists largely to make human morals meaningful. Based on the fact that human beings often act immorally and create their own suffering, it is entirely possible that Kant is correct. Without divine authority, human beings might be worse off than we already are. Finally, I foresee the crux of the issue resting on the difference between subjectivity and objectivity. Thinkers like Pascal take a mainly objective approach to God, whereas faith must also be highly subjective. Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard stated that faith is a function of "the infinite passion of inwardness," (179). Kierkegaard phrased his philosophy of faith as a balance between objective and subjective perceptions of God. The miracle of having my son sparked my faith because birth bridged objectivity and subjectivity. On the one hand I held in my arms living, breathing proof in the power of creation, of the infinite love that dwells within the human spirit, and of the miracle of life. I felt that faith in God could logically account for my feelings, as it made more sense to me to believe than disbelieve. I also felt that some objective and solid truth must exist in order to account for the many things human beings do not understand about creation. However, related to faith in God, objectivity wears thin. For the most part, I feel that even the most objective truth related to God is really subjective in nature because of the lack of concrete evidence of God's existence. No amount of logical proofs or arguments can adequately persuade an atheist to believe in God because faith depends on a subjective emotional response. Similarly, when I feel personal spiritual faith, I feel emotionally uplifted, not intellectually stimulated. Therefore, I would classify my personal view of faith as being partially non-cognitive as well as subjective: faith is an emotional experience, part virtue, part reasonable… [read more]


What Is Religion? Term Paper

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¶ … religion?

In Frederick Streng's discussion of the concept of religion across cultures, societies, and individuals, it surfaced that one of the working definitions of religion is "means toward ultimate transformation." This definition of religion as a means toward ultimate transformation can be interpreted into various meanings because of the different contexts in which religion is applied.

As what Streng elaborated in his analysis, "...in religion, interpretive concepts are more problematical. Therefore we are suspicious of the adequacy of the dictionary's definition of religion." This was stated as a reaction to the prevalence of religion as multi-faceted, subject to various interpretations because of the differences of people in culture -- their values, traditions and beliefs. As was explicated in the passage, religion can be based on a belief in a deity; it can also be based on an activity or personal belief that one strictly and firmly adheres to; and it can also be a way of life. Ultimately, each manner of interpreting and defining religion has a primary goal in mind: that is, "to reach a state of being that is conceived to be the highest possible state or condition." agree with Streng when he proposed that this is the primary objective that people subsist to in believing in a specific form of religion. For me, religion can be any form of personal philosophy that one strongly believes in. Moreover, religion is anchored on the objective that people want to achieve the highest possible state or condition. Thus, religion can be any kind of belief that the individual perceives as his/her primary means of achieving the feeling of ultimate fulfillment or self-realization and -discovery.

The religion I was exposed to was based on a deity, a metaphysical entity that has always been the "individual" whom I constantly seek for help and talk to in times of difficulties and challenges in my life. However, over time, I have come to realize that I do not have to strictly follow the traditional practices I used to do in order to show my faith to my religion. Thus, I began exercising my religion in the most comfortable and effective way I can: by continually talking and confiding my problems in a "greater power," which I perceive to be a force and formless entity. It does not matter whether this force has power or not; what is important is that this force has the power to make me feel better and relieve me of my worries in life.

My changed perception about religion was…… [read more]


Western Religions Given the Remarkable Diversity Term Paper

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Western Religions

Given the remarkable diversity within each Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, it seems silly to generalize about the broader differences between the three "religions of the Book." Yet even though Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all stemmed from the same geographical area and to an extent, the same ideological and theological foundations, the three religions of the Book have diverged… [read more]


Pastoral Theology Ministry Term Paper

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Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz

An Analysis of the Theology of Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz and Its Relation to Evangelical

Poverty

There are many people in the last 150 years who have sought to embrace what is today called the virtue of evangelical poverty. Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz is one of them. In her own words, Isasi-Diaz states, "I am an activist-theologian, and for… [read more]


America a Christian Nation? Article Review

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Vitale) The litmus test for the issue of whether the government is establishing religion was made during a 1971 Court decision, now called the Lemon Test. This test says that in order for any policy to be constitutional, it must: 1) Have a non-religious purpose; 2) Not promote or favor any set of religious beliefs; and, 3) Not overly involve the government with religion. Thus, the decision is whether customs are secular in nature, or religious. This also holds true for education in the sense that religions (note plural), religious artifacts, and philosophies, are a significant part of World History. In the educational system, as long as they are taught with a focus on facts and not dogma, the Court believes there is still the requisite separation (Lemon v. Kurtzman).

It is not really possible to definitively argue whether America is a Christian nation and have all sides agree. In terms of Civil Religion, there is no real agreement of the term, thus not agreement on principles and how they apply. For most, Civil Religion implies that a merging of the concepts, symbols, and sentiments of religion can be used for political purposes. Because there is such a wide divergence in viewpoints about actual religious practices, Civil Religion in America fuses certain traditions, certain actions, and even certain beliefs that overlap religiosity and political and civic pride. When we sing "God Bless America," or recite the "Pledge of Allegiance," we are, in effect, saluting a secularization of religion based on tradition (Pierard and Linder).

Truly, America does seem to operate primarily on the ideals of Christianity. Freedom is a central principle of the nation. Classic American philosophies, even in the 20th century, like Dr. Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream speech, various inaugural addresses, and even certain foreign policy statements all form the belief that there is a combination of values and justice, and that civil religion and pragmatic Christianity can exist in tandem and cooperate. Some leaders will be more religious than others, some will be more focused on Christianity as a basis for their decisions. But beyond the initial rhetoric, over time we do find that texts communicate a sense…… [read more]


Providence Debate According to J Research Paper

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Calvin rejected the traditional theology in favor of Protestant simplification.

Arminius was more cautious: he recognized the need for further study, and intimated a return to the doctrine of the Church Fathers.

Finding an Alternative: A Reconciliation of the Two Views through Scripture

The operation of Providence in man's daily life has been duly noted in Divine Scripture. As Leslie… [read more]


Holy Trinity Christianity Promotes the Image Essay

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Holy Trinity

Christianity promotes the image of God as being divided into three distinct forms: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In spite of the fact that each of these concepts is meant to put across particular attitudes, they are brought together under one form: God. Orthodox faith is primarily focused on presenting the church as one of… [read more]


2013 Max Points: 180 Write Thesis

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It is within this premise that Escobar meets with Pannenberg and Moltmann on a similar level, subsequently, a different one. While Moltmann wants theology to relate to experiences of life, Pannenberg does not thrive on the same issue, or rather, he does not seem to mark it as that relevant. In his understanding, the Scriptures serve to anticipate a giving… [read more]


Religion in Indonesia Islam Essay

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Religion in Indonesia

Islam in Indonesia

Islam was largely the dominant faith in Indonesia with the largest tally of adherents that constituted approximately 87% of the total populace in 1985 (Kipp, 2002 p. 78). This heightened percentage of Muslims in the Indonesian dispensation made the nation the greatest Islamic nation globally in the epoch of early 1990. Most islands and… [read more]

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