Study "Religion / God / Theology" Essays 56-110

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Religion Christianity Started Essay

… Luther's edicts had established an emerging faction of Christianity that denied vehemently the papal authority. With the denial of Papal authority came the avowal of a new type of worship and new vision of Christianity. In accordance with Protestant theory, the individual believer can come to know God without the intervention of a priest. Scripture is to be read and studied by the individual, regardless of Papal authority.

The Reformation had a more significant impact on the social and political affairs of Europe than on its theological life. Disavowal of Church authority paved the way for the Enlightenment and the age of humanism. Religion had a stranglehold on European social life for centuries. The people demanded a more egalitarian state of affairs with a worldview built on reason instead of superstition. Thus, the evolution of Christianity since the Reformation has been a continual tug of war between fundamentalism and progressivism.

Works Cited

Augustine. City of God. Retrieved online: http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=AugCity.xml&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=2&division=div2

Calvin, John. Institutes of the Christian Religion. Retrieved online: http://www.reformed.org/master/index.html?mainframe=/books/institutes/

The Chronicle of St. Denis, I.18-19, 23. Retrieved online: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/496clovis.asp

Gregory VII. Dictatus Papae, 1090. Retrieved online: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/g7-dictpap.asp

Luther, Martin. Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, 1520. Retrieved online: http://history.hanover.edu/texts/luthad.html

Noll, Mark A. Turning Points. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.… [read more]


Apophatic Theology Essay

… Theology

Explain apophatic theology and why a person must have ignorance before they can enter into communion with God

Apophatic theology is a religious philosophy predicated around union with God. On the surface, this may not seem drastically different from… [read more]


Is There a God? Thesis

… ¶ … God Exist?

The question of whether or not God (or gods) exist is probably as old as the concept of divinity itself. The different ways of answering this question, however, developed over different periods of time. The three main ways of looking at this question are through revealed theology, natural theology, and the philosophy of religion. The first of these theories is the simplest to explain and understand, and possibly the oldest, making it a good place to start.

Of the three theories mentioned above, revealed theology is the most closely aligned with pure faith.

The basic tenet of revealed theology is that the existence of God can be proven only through special revelations such as the Bible and the Koran. Faith in the veracity of these texts -- or, more often, a particular text -- is central to the idea of reveled theology. Logic, on the other hand, is largely antithetical to the idea of revealed theology, as the texts are taken as the true word of God or his trusted emissaries at face value, and any probing of these texts would therefore be sacrilegious. According to this theory, God's word is proof of his existence.

Natural theology takes much different view of the subject. The term "natural" refers to the use of pure rationality -- man's "natural" resource of logical thought -- to determine the existence of God. No special revelations or any other evidence is considered by natural theology, but only the use of reason is applied to the question of God's existence. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, this route can provide more certain knowledge of God's existence, but it cannot provide the "saving knowledge" that the revealed theology of Christianity (and many other religions) promises. To him, then, the use of pure reason in the consideration of God was not fully adequate. For others, though, this rationality was even more widely applicable.

The philosophy of religion is very similar to natural theology…… [read more]


Science and Religion Term Paper

… Science and Religion

How exactly is the movement known as "Deism" motivated by the scientific discoveries of Isaac Newton? That is, precisely what aspects of Newton's mechanistic worldview offer support to advocates of Deism?

Both science and religion have attempted… [read more]


Religion How Could God Term Paper

… Religion

How could God do this, and how have the Jews coped with this question after the Holocaust? Their reactions have been diverse, from denunciation to acceptance - and they linger on today.

The Holocaust and Jewish Suffering

Man's inhumanity… [read more]


Religion in the God Term Paper

… ¶ … Religion

In The God Part of the Brain, Matthew Alper argues that the human quest for religious truth is biologically-based, precluding the existence of any external creative deity. Whether or not external deity or deities exist, religion plays a vital role in human society, human history, and human psycho-social development. The personality and self-concept can both be shaped by one's religious beliefs. For instance, the Catholic will demonstrate different psychological reactions to death than a Hindu. Because religion can be a dominant force in personal and collective experience, an organized religion still serves a definite and useful function whether or not God actually exists. The Humanist Faith is based on the fundamental principle that human beings need faith. Humanistic Faith is, however, devoid of the types of religious dogma found in other world religions. Lacking a canon of holy texts entirely, the Humanistic Faith does not offer its followers any mythology. Our truths and our ideas are formulated through scholastic inquiry, taking into account the wisdom of the sciences as much as the wisdom of the humanities including art, literature, and music. The collective human experience is where we derive our understanding of the universe and of our individual role within it.

Our grounded perspective allows Humanistic Faith followers wide leeway in their choice of lifestyle, habits, or conceptual understanding of God. We allow atheism as much as we allow theism, because the fundamental purpose of Humanistic Faith is to provide a social venue within which human beings can gather, discuss, and debate religious and philosophical issues. Codes of ethics and morality are likewise flexible, open to rhetorical dialogue. However, we do have a few fundamental ethical underpinnings from which we cannot stray. These ethical underpinnings can be summed up neatly in the word ahimsa. We leave most of the detailed moral questions up to the individual practitioner to contend with, with the aid of our community and the recommended sources for truth-seeking we suggest.…… [read more]


Traditions and Religious Practices Essay

… 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]


Descartes' Believe in God Essay

… 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]


World Religions Compare and Contrast Essay

… 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]


Christian Church Acknowledges Its Missionary Term Paper

… 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… [read more]


Select Review of North American Emerging Churches Practices the Theology Research Paper

… ¶ … Church

Theology is based upon strict doctrine and dogma that must be adhered to in order to understand and live a faithful life. Things may not always make rationale sense when studying religious texts as this is most… [read more]


Kingdom of God Christianity Term Paper

… In his famous meeting with John the Baptist, Jesus would adopt this same quest for spiritual purity. It is quite ironic, then, that the values of the Jewish forerunners to Christianity would also eventually be seen as the enemy to the evolving Christian value system. The New Testament, though a continuation of the narratives and values expressed in the Old Testament, would also offer explicit rejection of some of the latter's strongest conclusions.

For instance, the primary text notes, the book of Titus says, "therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith, and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the commands of those who reject the truth." (Titus 1:14) This idea of Jewish mythology would be an important one not just in justifying some of the sharp distinctions between Christian and Jewish practice that would emerge through the coming generations. But it would also help to convey a certain degree of anti-Semitism that, with the gradual penetration of Christianity as a major world religion, would take strong root with terrible consequences to the Jewish people.

Indeed, this is perhaps one of the great ironies in the concept of the Kingdom of God, that in its very pursuit, no small number of Christian adherents have aggressively and even violently rejected the principles which give way to the very origin of the faith. As the discussion here shows, the concept of a Kingdom of God seems quite simply on its surface as an imperative for living well and being good to others. But Christianity also has a history of rejection and exclusion that are highlighted by its denial of its Jewish origins. Understanding Christianity requires an understanding of some of…… [read more]


Evangelical Theology Terms Assertion Grenz Essay

… In their opinion, "Christian theology has always sought a balance between the twin biblical truths of the divine transcendence and the divine immanence." (Grenz and Olson, 1992, p. 11) This can only be understandable since the two appear to exclude… [read more]


Religion and Society Essay

… Religion as a basis for moral authority was the focus of Sallust's Moral Deterioration, finding that without a sound basis of moral law society crumbles. Frederick II elaborated on this religious authority by citing the Divine Right of Kings and the manner in which the State and Church must coexist. Finally, Voltaire shunned millennia of Christian persecution of "the other," in favor of using religion in its most positive sense, to guide and organize a tolerant and just society.

REFERENCES

Akhenaton's Longer Hymn to the Aton. (n.d.) Trans. J. Breasted. Retrieved from: http://www.brainfly.net/html/books/aton.htm

Abulafia, D. (1988). Frederick II: A Medieval Emperor. New York: Oxford University Press.

Armstrong, K. (2001). Holy War -- The Crusades and Their Impact on Today's World, 2nd ed. New York: Anchor Books.

DeVries, H., ed. (2008). Religion: Beyond a Concept. Bronx, NY: Fordham University Press.

Kenneally, B. (2011). Freud on Religion. Prezi.com. Retrieved from: http://prezi.com/8grit1mdld4t/freud-on-religion/

Mellor, R., (1999). The Roman Historians. New York: Routledge.

Monaghan, J., Just, P. (2000). Social and Cultural Anthropology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Pals, D. (2006). Eight Theories of Religion. New York: Oxford University Press.

Porter, R. (2001). The Enlightenment. New York: Palgrave-McMillan.

Sallust. (c. 146 BC). Roman Decline. Iun.edu. Retrieved from: http://www.iun.edu/~histgkp/Roman%20Decline.htm

Voltaire, (n.d.). A Plea for Tolerance and Reason. Teachers.sduhsd.k12.ca.us. Retrieved from: http://teachers.sduhsd.k12.ca.us/tpsocialsciences/world_history/dem_ideals/voltaire.htm… [read more]


Public Theology Assessment

… 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

… 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… [read more]


Trimurti and the Trinity Hinduism Research Paper

… 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… [read more]


Religion on the Surface Essay

… 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]


Orthodox Gnosiology Essay

… Orthodox Gnosiology

Eastern Orthodox theology developed in a string of complications. In many ways, it is a religious theology that plays off of the elements of a philosophical system. Gnosiology branches off the idea that the primary act of life… [read more]


Theology Definition Term Paper

… 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]


Lewis Christianity Lewis and Christian Guesswork Essay

… Lewis Christianity

Lewis and Christian Guesswork

Christianity has assumed an absolutely encompassing place in world history and culture. Its influence has spread across kingdoms, influenced forms of government and even functioned as the ideological basis for emergent state constitutions. Thus,… [read more]


Religion Scientific Creationists Are Different Term Paper

… Religion

Scientific creationists are different than creationists in that scientific creation is based on scientific evidence while creationists believe in creation as it is told in the Bible. In the Book of Genesis there is a six-day account of creation,… [read more]


Religion the History of Religion Is Replete Book Report

… Religion

The history of religion is replete with tales of violence and bitter theological dispute. Christianity has been one of the most contentious religions, and was so from the time of its birth and codification. As Richard E. Rubenstein points out in his book When Jesus Became God, the theological debates that characterize Christianity reached an early head during the Roman Empire.

Schisms between the Western and Eastern churches and later, the Reformation posed serious problems for Christian culture and society. Issues such as the triune nature of God and the value of sacraments have confounded theologians and pitted Christian against Christian. However, the Arian crisis may have been fundamental to all the other conflicts that succeeded it.

The Arian crisis is rooted in the metaphysics and theology of Christianity. During the fourth century of the common era, Rome was well on its way towards becoming the Holy Roman Empire. During the transition phase from pagan Rome to monotheistic Christian Rome, Christian priests hotly debated the nature of Christ. Arius of Alexandria called into question the divine nature of Christ. Christ is God's son, and because Jesus was incarnate as a human being, Christ is not equal to God. Athanasius refuted Arius's claim as being heretical if not outright demonic. Jesus is God, according to Athanasius. Jesus is an extension of the Holy Spirit incarnate in the world to save human beings. Alexander the Bishop of Alexandria was called upon to mitigate the crisis and retain Christianity as the unifying faith of the Roman Empire. The Arian crisis begs the question that is at the heart of Christianity: Is Christ human, divine, or both?

Rubenstein's presentation and evaluation of the Arian crisis are remarkably helpful in the study of religion. For one, the…… [read more]


Buddhist Theology: Spiritual Cultural Competency Essay

… 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… [read more]


Attributes of God Philosophy of Religion Essay

… ¶ … Attributes of God

Philosophy of Religion

Many have attempted to study the philosophy of religion throughout the ages. For as much as most individuals try, a clear understanding can be extremely difficult to grasp and obtain. The attributes of God are often discussed, and depending on who you ask, there are many versions of this very specific topic. Some people choose to discuss only a few attributes of God, while others list several. For many faith-driven believers, understanding the attributes of God is extremely important to their overall existence and everyday life. Others argue that having an understanding of God's attributes may inhibit one's overall understanding of God.

Throughout this essay, we'll discuss and answer the following questions:

Can following the basic attributes of God enhance or inhibit one's collective understanding of God?

If society holds a general consensuses regarding the attributes of God, does that mean people are more likely to have disagreements about beliefs or that they will be more likely to agree?

Discussion

Having a basic understanding of the attributes of God would be described as life-enhancing for most individuals. Most people would like to believe that God is on their side, rather than against them. It stands to reason that this belief would be difficult for someone who did not follow the basic attributes in everyday life. On the other hand, some attributes are difficult to grasp and hold onto, and some even seem slightly unrealistic. It's easy to believe that God is holy (Dr. Reinhold Showers says that "Holiness is what makes God, God") and good, and even easier to consider that God is eternal (someone once said, "God is the great I am, not the great I was"), but as time passes by and the world becomes more realistic and has a clearer understanding of what's going on around them, it becomes difficult to believe all of the attributes for some people. For example, the attribute of being impartial is somewhat of a contradiction to other attributes. The idea that God is impartial to both men and women may be true, but when we bring in beliefs that if an individual acts a certain way or commits a particular act, he or she will not be accepted by God, the impartial attribute seems to weaken.

Regarding the attributes of God, there are those who will follow each and every attribute and then there are others who will…… [read more]


Theology Missiology Term Paper

… Global Changes in the Missiology of the 20th Century

Item

A Paradigm Shift

The Early Church

The Modern Church

Correcting Edinburgh Explored

Formation of International Missionary Council (IMC)

Confusion Abounds

Response of Fundamentalist & Evangelical Movements

Problems Between and Among… [read more]


Religion and Society Research Proposal

… ¶ … Catholic Religion Over the Last 100 Years

Allsopp, M. And O'Keefe, J.J. (1995). Veritas splendor: American responses.

Kansas City, MO: Sheed & Ward.

Authors Allsopp and O'Keefe explore Pope John Paul II's encyclical Veritas Splendor, an extensive analysis of Catholic morality which has come under extreme criticism over the last fifty years. In this book, the authors offer a series of essays that deal with the various responses of American Catholics to this highly-controversial document.

Bokenkotter, T. (2000). A concise history of the catholic church. New York: Image Books.

As an updated edition, this expansive history on the Roman Catholic Church examines in great detail the various events and doctrines that have helped to determine the Catholic Church's present status in the world. Chapter 15 in particular covers the history of the church from about 1850 to the early 1990's and discusses theology, church tenets and controversies, such as abortion and gay marriage. d "http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/x-locale/common/orange-arrow._V42752349_.gif"?

Butler, F.J. (1994). American catholic identity: Essays in an age of change. Kansas City,

MO: Sheed & Ward.

In this work, Butler examines in great detail twenty-two addresses concerning exactly what it means to be a Catholic in post-modern America and provides a splendid overview of early to late 20th century American Catholicism related to ethics, morality and the ever-growing dissent against the Church's antiquated views on human society and its relationship to God.

Chittiser, J. (2000). Womanstrength: The old church and the modern woman. Kansas City,

MO: Sheed & Ward.

As one of America's leading dissenters, Joan Chittiser offers a wide-ranging and provocative collection of essays written by some of today's most important religious scholars and historians on the overall role of women in the Catholic Church, beginning in the late 19th century and up to the present day.

Cuneo, M.W. (1997). The smoke of satan: Conservative and traditional dissent in modern american catholicism. New York: Oxford University Press.

In this book, M.W. Cuneo explores the different types of dissent against the teachings and tenets of the Roman Catholic Church, dating back to the late 19th century, and their impacts on American culture and American Catholicism. Cuneo also examines how dissent by practicing Catholics has changed the views of the Church related to ethics and morality.

Davidson, J.D. (1997). The search for common ground: What unites and divides catholic americans. Huntington, IN: Sunday Visitor Press.

Renowned sociologist J.D. Davidson provides an in-depth sociological analysis of pre- and post-Vatican II Catholics between the 1950's and the 1970's. He also discusses with much insight how the decisions of the Vatican Council have affected American Catholics over the last twenty years and then proceeds to explain why the Council made specific decisions which continue to influence Catholic thought and attitudes.

Gleason, P. (1979). In search of unity: american catholic thought, 1920-1960. Catholic

Historical Review, 65(2), 185-205.

In this essay, Patrick Gleason examines how Catholic thought evolved between the end of World War I and the beginning of the radical 1960's. His basic focus is upon… [read more]


How Religion Shapes Society Thesis

… ¶ … Religion Shaped American…

How Religion Shapes Society

"How Religion Shaped American Society"

"How Religion Shaped American Society"

Ignorance of Other Religions before WWII

American society prior to WWII would seem to have been relatively insular when it came… [read more]


Religion - Perspectives on God the Character Thesis

… Religion - Perspectives on God

THE CHARACTER of GOD and IMPLICATIONS for HUMAN LIFE

The concept of "God" as unlimited truth and goodness is not new to me; it is featured in most of the religions to which I have been exposed. In general, every religious view of the Creator in my society seems to share the belief that their God is omnipotent, omniscient, and uniquely allied with their particular religious group.

It is unfortunate that so many with strong theistic beliefs are (apparently) even more threatened by the fact that others may not share any belief that there is such a thing as any "god" than by the awareness that so many others maintain specific religious beliefs that absolutely contradict their own. In fact, some of the most typical responses to finding out that someone is an atheist include biased assumptions that the person must, therefore, be an anarchist, or simply devoid of any…… [read more]


Philosophy - Existence of God Many Philosophers Research Proposal

… Philosophy - Existence of God

Many philosophers over the centuries have addressed the question of the existence of God, with particular focus upon the Christian God. Indeed, some have even suggested the demise of God, even while churches continue to flourish. This issue has in fact taken a prominent position in philosophical argument as early as Plato's time. Today, with religious diversity increasingly tolerated and even celebrated, not only the existence of God, but also the exact nature of this existence, is heatedly debated among philosophers and believers alike. From the perspective of the Christian, there are several arguments that can be held forward for the existence of God, and also to counter arguments against this view. Religious philosophers such as John H. Hick have gone as far as presenting "scientific" arguments for the existence of God in order to provide a more solid basis for today's believer. Others, such as Quinn & Meeker, present strategies that believers can use to justify a specific belief system in the face of increasing religious tolerance and diversity in the world today. Faith is presented with great challenges in a world that is increasingly materialistic and scientifically oriented. This however does not mean that there is no room for faith or indeed that human beings have lost their need for this element in their lives.

The Probability of God

Hick (26) suggests provides some arguments for the probability of God's existence. While the philosopher must acknowledge that preconception and pre-existing faith issues will influence the individual's assessment of whether God is probable or not, it is nonetheless useful to have this as a basis for further argumentation. The author cites Swinburne in the view that it is simpler to explicate an unlimited spiritual force than a limited one - in other words, the existence of God is a simpler belief than believing that he does in fact not exist. The fundamental reason for this is the fact that an unlimited force can absorb all improbability, while a limited force must also include an explication of what limits it, and in what respects it is limited.

This view can be demonstrated by the scientific example of the speed of light. Scientific theories tend to be built upon zero or infinite values unless there is strong evidence to suggest that this should not be the case. In this way, scientists initially believed the speed of light to be infinite until evidence revealed this not to be the case. When applied to theism, the assumption is that an unlimited, infinite divine being is most probable.

Arguments for the Existence of God

In Chapter 2 of his book, Hick (15-29) provides arguments for the existence of God that can be supplemented by the scientific postulation of his probability. To the Christian individual, the most useful of these could include the cosmological argument, which concerns the physical universe and the evidence it provides towards proof of God's existence, and the moral argument, which finds proof for God's existence… [read more]


Religion - Exodus Exegetical Discussion Term Paper

… Religion - Exodus

Exegetical Discussion of Exodus 19:5-6

In an attempt to understand the glory and inspiration of early Biblical texts, it is necessary to attempt close readings of individual passages. God intends for the Bible to serve as a… [read more]


English Literature Science and Religion Term Paper

… English Literature

Science and Religion

What exactly are the three approaches to natural theology?

According to McGrath, Natural Theology does in fact have three very specific and unique approaches, which are identified and explained as follows:

LITERAL APPROACH- Under the literal approach, the argument is made that a Biblical passage/concept is meant to be interpreted literally at face value (McGrath, 1998). For example, one commonly cited theological concepts, dating back from the words of the Old Testament, is the wages of sin being equated with death. In the Literal Approach, one would be justified in the killing of another person if it were able to be established that the person was a sinner.

ALLEGORICAL (NON-LITERAL) APPROACH- Allegorically, the afore mentioned Biblical concept would not be interpreted literally (McGrath, 1998); for example, perhaps one would interpret that the wages of sin are a spiritual, rather than physical death, or the death of a friendship, etc. This approach allows for more independent thought in theology and the proliferation of more theological theory development.

ACCOMODATION APPROACH- Using the Accommodation Approach represents a sort of theological compromise, whereby the theological and natural world would be taken into account in the interpretation of theology (McGrath, 1998). For example, John Calvin combined what was in his time (the 16th century) thought to be valid scientific knowledge with theology to extensively comment on the wisdom and character of God.

2. What exactly is a cosmogonic myth as defined by M. Eliade? As defined by M. Eliade, a cosmogonic myth is a myth which becomes the model for the philosophical and theological thought in a given culture (Eliade, 1998). In other words, cosmogonic myths bring together theological doctrine and the deep thought that involves a consideration of the meaning of life and other questions which have kept thinkers occupied quite literally since the beginnings of intelligent thought. Among the classic classifications of cosmogonic myths are the ideas of primordality (what existed prior to the ordering of the world as depicted in the Book of Genesis), dualism/antagonism (the idea of the existence of a Supreme God along with common human beings, both interacting in the same physical and spiritual worlds), creation/sacrifice (the ideas of life and death among others), and speculation (again, the classic consideration of the purpose and meaning of life itself). In a larger sense, the cosmogonic myth as defined by Eliade encompasses life and death, the meaning of both, and the relationship between humans and their God.

3. What exactly is the essential ethical theme that emerges from myths of cosmic cataclysms, with respect to the judgment of humankind before and after the cataclysm?

Cosmic cataclysms themselves are based upon the concept that all things are created in nature, and as such can be destroyed in nature (Eliade, 1998). The classic example of this is often presented when discussing the power of water. In nature, for example, water has the ability to create beautiful valleys, mountain formations and the like. Conversely, however, water also possesses the… [read more]


Non-Denominational Religions Term Paper

… Non-Denominational Religions

The new facility housing the Faith Fellowship Ministries World Outreach Center (FFMWOC) in Sayreville, New Jersey is a welcoming complex with a modern feel. Founded in 1998, the FFM is a "Christian ecumenical, interdenominational, interracial, interdependent, and international… [read more]


Religion in God We Trust, E Pluribus Term Paper

… Religion

In God We Trust, e pluribus Unum -- the two major strands of American religious thought?

The predominant philosophical strain of American religious and political thought, according to the French Alexis de Tocqueville can be summed up as a… [read more]


Religion/Theology Environment and Globalization Christine Term Paper

… If global corporations think only of growth and income, they do not include everyone in their plan.

The next suggested step is a "new participation'42 by "creative leadership'42 within the Christian community. Burke suggests that a new view needs to emerge. The Church must change, become more aware, and more vocal towards the health of societies. The rich nations have the means to ransack the earth of its resources without regard to those less fortunate. At some point one must ask what the real cost of an SUV is, how much grain does a cow consume, and where does all the non-reclaimed garbage go? A holistic view encompasses each aspect of the whole. Globalization forces a narrow view on the world without considering the whole.

The final step is to return to the roots of our collective past and pray for the wisdom to create and share a vision that includes every part of the world, not only those who can pay for admission. One must move within the Christian community to enlarge its vision beyond the needs of the few, toward a holistic view of the many. "Nature has always had this potential of pointing to the divine."40 Burke urges the Christian community to reconnect to nature, understand and spread the impact of globalization throughout its community, and shape a new path toward a future that includes life.

In conclusion, Christine Burke calls for a new vision. She believes that each individual can contribute toward this vision by becoming aware. One's faith must participate in the world and its healing, and the Christian community must live their faith. Burke sees this as the mandate of the gospel. Personal choices, community choices, world choices, must reflect holistic goals if the world is to survive. If one can change oneself, then one can change the world, and who better to follow that Jesus?

Works Cited

Burke, Christine E. "Globalization and Ecology." Earth Revealing, Earth Healing Ecology and Christian Theology. Ed. Denis Edwards. 2001 by The Order of St. Benedict, Inc.: Collegeville,…… [read more]


Jesus, God and Man Book Review

… 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]


Western Religion in His Book Term Paper

… 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.… [read more]


Religion: How Universal Term Paper

… 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]


Reason, God and Religion Term Paper

… 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]


Is God in Christianity Personal? Term Paper

… God and Human Relations

God was clearly involved in His people's lives. He reveals himself in many important ways throughout the scripture to his people. We will list a number of ways in which God revealed himself to His people… [read more]


Confucianism: A Religion Research Paper

… The relationship of mutual obligations a ruler has with his subjects or a parent has with his child parallels the relationship heaven has with humanity. To turn one's self into an educated person embodying virtues via what we might think as a secular associated (such as honoring the Emperor or raising one's children well) is not dissociated from connecting with the divine. The concept of 'animism' or non-living beings having a spiritual life is also present in many of the East Asian traditions: rather than idolatry, this is actually a way of conceptualizing the cycle of life, as one's ancestors or a spiritual, non-rational mode of existence are manifest in aspects of nature in a hidden form.

This suggests that rather than viewing Confucianism as a non-religion in an ethnocentric fashion, we must accept that 'religion' takes on a different meaning in different social contexts. Confucianism is not simply an ethical system such as utilitarianism in the West as it is tied to higher moral values, familial relationships and traditions, and permeates all of society in terms of its rituals and moral ethos. However, it cannot be confined by the definitions of religion we are won't to make in the west. The 'problem' of understanding Confucianism for Westerners really highlights the need to define what is a religion in a society only after studying the culture that produced it on its own terms, not our terms.

Works Cited

Prothero, Stephen. God is…… [read more]


Assembly of God Nursing Research Paper

… Assembly of God Nursing

It is important as an aspiring health professional to use all my tools and resources to help those who are most in need of healing. One of my greatest assets is my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and the power and strength this belief system provides. The purpose of this essay is to explain the significance and impact of my faith upon my leadership style and how I intend to use my faith to best serve my future patients. This essay will first describe the tenets of my chosen faith before describing the relevance of those tenets to the art and science of healing.

The Assemblies of God

I am a proud member of the Assemblies of God (AG) church in Victorville, CA which is a Pentecostal Christian organization espousing the workings and teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ the Savior. This denomination of Christianity is very strict and zealous compared to many main stream Christian sects. The General Council of the Assemblies of God proclaim that The Bible is our all-sufficient rule for faith and practice. This Statement of Fundamental Truths

is intended simply as a basis of fellowship among us (i.e., that we all speak the same thing, 1

Corinthians 1:10; Acts 2:42). This statement is not inspired or contended for, but the truth set forth is held to be essential to a full-gospel ministry. No claim is made that it contains all biblical truth, only that it covers our need as to these fundamental doctrines." With other Pentecostals, Assemblies of God believers summed up their unique beliefs with the term "full gospel" (Jesus Christ as Savior, Healer, Baptizer [in the Holy Spirit], and Coming King), which highlighted salvation by grace, divine healing, Spirit baptism (with tongues), and the soon return of Jesus Christ.(McGee 2003).

We at the church believe that there is only one true God and he has embodied the principles of His essence in the Trinity relationship, Father Son and Holy Spirit. Divine healing is treated as a very important principle within the AG and serves as my motivation for becoming a nurse. According to Trask (2007), "Divine healing was provided for in the Atonement. When Jesus died on Calvary, the provision…… [read more]


Russian Orthodox Religion Term Paper

… The law "On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations" became official in October, 1990, Knox explains. It totally "contradicted the existing legislation" -- which was Stalin's 1929 degree "On Religious Associations" -- by allowing "far-reaching freedoms for religious communities," Knox… [read more]


God Is Better Research Paper

… This contributes to the idea that most conflicts, regardless of the rationale backing them, attract opportunists and influence individuals to consider the material gains that they can come across as a result of posing into persons who are actually concerned about other aspects of the respective conflicts.

The crusades and the jihad played essential roles in shaping society and have fueled numerous thoughts throughout time as more and more individuals expressed interest in the two. While they are essentially different and it would be absurd to put them in the same context, the truth is that there are great deals of similarities between ideologies promoted during the crusades and during the jihad. Individuals fighting in these conflicts were motivated by their love for religion, by their need to perform extreme acts, or by their material interests. All things considered, religious extremism can have terrible consequences on society as a whole.

Works cited:

Abate, Mark T., "The Crusades, 1095-1291," (Gale, 2004)

Jones, Robert, "The Crusades: A Brief History (1095-1291)," Retrieved September 28, 2013, from the Sunday School Courses Website: http://www.sundayschoolcourses.com/crusades/crusades.pdf

Laiou, Angeliki E., and Mottahedeh, Roy P., "The Crusades from the Perspective of Byzantium and the Muslim World," (Dumbarton Oaks, 01.01.2001)

Setton, Kenneth M., Hazard, Harry W., and Zacour, Norman P., (Univ of…… [read more]


Islam Teaches That Faith Must Come First Essay

… Islam teaches that faith must come first and that it cannot be tailored to fit around secular lives. At the heart of the commitment it demands is the concept of the Pillars of Faith, a concept shared by all branches of the religion. The number of pillars varies among the different Islamic traditions but all of them represent duties incumbent upon every member of the Muslim faith. The pillars are guidelines for leading a good and responsible life according to Allah's teachings. The pillars shape the daily lives of the more than one billion Muslims worldwide. In the wake of September 11, and more recently the bombings at the Boston Marathon, Muslims attracted considerable negative attention. It can be difficult for Americans to remember that the number of radical Muslims is actually quite small. It is difficult because the actions of a relative few have had such devastating consequences. It is thus important for non-Muslims to understand the pillars of faith that bind together those who practice Islam. Nearly a billion people practice Islam in a peaceable way.

For most Muslims, there are five pillars of faith: Shahadah (testimony of faith), Salat (prayer), Zakat (charity), Sawm (fasting) and Hajj (pilgrimage). The five pillars are rituals, the practice of which shows God faith and love (Khan, 2008). Jihad, one of the most controversial and inflammatory terms used in the world's religions, is not one of the pillars of faith. It is, nevertheless, the term that non-Muslims are most familiar with, and it often strikes terror in their hearts. The term Jihad has become associated with violence because, as previously pointed out, a small percentage of Muslims have used their faith as a rationale for brutality.

Jihad refers to both personal and public struggles. In terms of a personal struggle, it refers to one's spiritual struggle against pride and self-sufficiency. According to the teachings of Allah, one must be humble and serve God. One should never be so arrogant as to think he can live a good and responsible life without faith and the structure it provides. Jihad also refers to the struggle against enemies of Islam. Like many other religions, tactics include preaching, teaching and working for social justice (Author, Year). It may also include war, though apologists for Islam have tried to minimize this aspect of the religion. Classical Islamic legal doctrine sees armed Jihad as a defensive struggle against persecution, oppression, and incursions into Muslim lands (Rid, 2010). The important word in this definition is "defensive," meaning that Muslims must protect themselves against aggressors. This classical legal doctrine does not advocate for aggression. As pointed out by Author, "One of the challenges for practitioners of any religion is wrestling with elements in their tradition that have been used to justify war and then bending those elements back toward the good." Practitioners of Islam are not the only ones that have had to do this.

For example, Jews look to the teaching…… [read more]


Eliezer's Struggle to Keep His Faith in God Essay

… Elie Wiesel's Portrayal Of God

Elie Wiesel's book "Night" discusses with regard to the experiences that the writer went through as he was taken from his home village of Sighet to several concentration camps including Auschwitz. Although there is controversy concerning the reality of certain facts in the story, it would be absurd to claim that this is a work of fiction, taking into account that it addresses a series of occurrences that were very common for a Jew in Nazi-dominated Europe. The book is largely written from the perspective of a person who, as a survivor of the Holocaust, wants the whole world to understand the process one undergoes as he become more and more distant from God.

The Holocaust is certainly an event who instills theological dilemmas in most individuals familiar with the events that happened in Nazi-controlled death camps. Many people believe that it would be impossible for a true and active God to allow happenings like the Holocaust to occur.

Wiesel started life as an avid supporter of God and as a passionate Jewish believer and he kept his belief to the end of the event as he believed that a higher force would intervene in a biblical fashion and put an end to the injustices committed by the Nazi system. Even with the fact that the camps were liberated as the Second World War was coming to an end, the narrator realized that God failed to act in accordance with some of the most important behaviors that were characteristic to him. This played an important role in changing Wiesel's thinking with regard to religion and with concern to the idea of divinity in general.

Wiesel and his acquaintances in Sighet are initially taken to a ghetto where they start to believe that things are actually looking up for them as they become the members of a community solely formed from Jewish individuals and thus no longer have to deal with discrimination. Most of the individuals in the ghetto are optimistic and rabbis even say "nothing will happen to us, for God needs us." (Legends 124) This further contributes to the idea that most Jewish individuals were unable to realize the situation they were in during the beginning of the Holocaust and some actually believed that they would not suffer as the event progressed.

The narrator proceeds to describe feelings in the…… [read more]


Religion in Indonesia Islam Essay

… 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… [read more]


Aboriginal Religion, Christianity, and Islam Essay

… ¶ … Aboriginal Religion, Christianity, and Islam... 500 words per question (total of 1500 words)

Examine the ways in which Aboriginal religion has influenced the beliefs and practices of indigenous people beyond traditional movements.

Aboriginal religion and culture conceives of… [read more]


2013 Max Points: 180 Write Thesis

… 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,… [read more]


Sociology of Religion Essay

… Sociology -- Sociology of Religion

Protestant Reformation

The Protestant Reformation significantly contributed to both Capitalism and Secularization in the West. The Reformation eliminated or severely reduced Roman Catholic strengths, replacing the old religious ways of thinking with a "Protestant Ethic"… [read more]


Holy Trinity Christianity Promotes the Image Essay

… 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,… [read more]


Providence Debate According to J Research Paper

… 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… [read more]


Religion the Cuban Community Term Paper

… He also said that there is not much of a boundary between the religions for most people. People burn candles, they go to church, they pray to the Orishas, and they pray to Jesus. There is no conflict of identity… [read more]


America a Christian Nation? Article Review

… 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]


Morality Still Exist if God Research Paper

… As long as a citizen honors his or her civic obligations, he or she is considered 'good' or at very least protected by the laws of the land, regardless of his or her personal beliefs about God.

But although ancient… [read more]

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