Study "Religion / God / Theology" Essays 166-219

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Shintoism Is a Religion With Strong Indigenous Term Paper

… 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… [read more]


Abrahamic Religion Term Paper

… 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]


Comparative Religion Term Paper

… ¶ … 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… [read more]


Religion Color and Sound Term Paper

… 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]


Religious Group's Statement William James Term Paper

… "

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,"… [read more]


Faith, Theology, Belief, and Spirituality? Term Paper

… 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]


Religions Throughout the World Term Paper

… ¶ … 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]


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

… ¶ … 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]


Comparative Religion Term Paper

… ¶ … 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… [read more]


Christianity the Christian Religion Sprouted Term Paper

… 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]


One Nation Under God Term Paper

… 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… [read more]


Religion Term Paper

… Arabian physician and philosopher Ar-Razi (865-925) was the supporter of Aristotle's practical wisdom. He made a huge research in te sphere of medicine.

The founder of Kalam school-asharism, was a theologist Abu-el- Al Ashari, he considered the priority of mind and reason higher than religious traditions and rejected blind following of religious authorities.

Suphism - one of the most spread trends in Islam. One of the first well-known suphi was al-Hasan al-Basri (842-928). The philosophical basics of suphi teaching about the man are the concepts that a man is a being that reinterprets in the miniatures all the construction of the word and space. A man achieves Truth, when he makes his belonging to God and experiences unity with Him.

The founder of the moderate trend in suphism was Persian al-Juneid (died in 910), he considered suphism to the heart of the Islamic religious teaching, and suphies to be the followers and keepers of Mohammed's traditions.

Ibn Sina or Avicenna (980-1037) continued the work of ar-Razi. He wrote "canon of medical sciences" which synthesized the works of Greek and Arabian physicians. He also formulated the fundamentals of Islam from the perspective of Plato's methophysics and Aristotle's logic

Ibn Rushd or Averroes is known by his commentaries to the works of Plato and Aristotle. He had influence of the outlook of Thomas Aquinas and up to the 18th century the term "averroism" meant Western scholastics.

A good example of rationalist explanation of Koran is the fundamental work of Mohammed Abdo "Interpretation of Koran."

Rich culture of Arabian world had a direct influence on the western European culture as well. And the religion of Arabians as well as of those who took Islam later directed the development of the society in those countries on the norms of Islamic ethics of obedience and following of Koran, which resulted in the modern concept of Eastern civilization or civilization…… [read more]


Gaia and God Rosemary Term Paper

… Ultimately, Ruether argues that human relationships with both each other and the environment itself need to be fundamentally changed. She notes, "Only by understanding how the web of life works can we also learn to sustain it rather than destroy it. This is not simply a task of intellectual understanding, but of metanoia, in the fullest sense of the word: of conversion of our spirit and culture, of our technology and social relations, so that the human species exists within nature in a life-sustaining way."

Ruether is specific in many of her suggestions for change. These are varied and include both wide-sweeping suggestions for societal changes, and smaller, more personal changes in behavior. Ruether argues for eating less meat, creating towns where work and services are within walking distance, developing agriculture and industry that is self-sufficient, and rejecting the patriarchal world view and adopting a commitment to earth healing.

Ruether's thesis, the ensuing ethical implications and their implications for human behavior are somewhat problematic. Specifically, her argument that earth healing "is only possible through recognition and transformation of the way in which Western culture, enshrined in part in Christianity, has justified such domination" (1) brings up some interesting issues. Many countries that do not share a Christian tradition share many of the patriarchal traditions and environmental and societal injustices that Ruether attributes to being rooted in Christianity. Clearly, a better understanding of the recognition and understanding of how Western culture (and Christianity) have justified domination will be of relatively little value to these societies.

In addition, this brings up a further problem with Ruether's thesis: domination and environmental degradation occur commonly outside the realm of Christian influence. Today, Buddhist countries often have poor environmental records, and social, political, and economic injustices. Similarly, many animistic societies, as well as societies based on Hinduism (like India), and have shown a clear pattern of patriarchal dominance. This is largely inconsistent with Ruether's assertion that the Christian concept of sin lies at the root of patriarchal dominance of the earth and its peoples.

Overall, despite these problems, the behaviors and actions that are a natural outgrowth of Ruether's thesis should become public policy. The actions that result from her thesis are largely positive, and will likely go a great way to resolve many inequalities and injustices among humans, and protect the environment.

However, Ruether's thesis and suggestions may prove difficult to adopt worldwide. Patriarchal world traditions are deeply entrenched, and difficult to change. In addition, the applicability of her Christian-based thesis to the non-Christian world is debatable.

In conclusion, Rosemary Ruether's Gaia and God is a valuable addition to the environmentalist feminist literature. She marries an understanding of Christian theology with an analysis of environmentalism in a way that ultimately produces a number of workable, helpful suggestions for better human interactions with each other and the environment.

Works Cited

Ruether, Rosemary R. 1994. Gaia and God: An Ecofeminist Theology of Earth…… [read more]


John Mcneill's Book Term Paper

… .. there is no healthy way to reverse or change sexual orientation once it is established." As such, McNeill notes that the rejection of a homosexual orientation would be the rejection of God's plan for an individual.

One of the… [read more]


Religion Most of the World Term Paper

… Yet, despite his mocking tone, it is clear that most religions strive to avoid murder, and that this is indeed an important concept within religious and spiritual experience.

The Harmony religion will aim to incorporate many of the shared beliefs of many of the world's religions into one religious concept. As such, faithfulness and honesty, a prohibition against murder, compassion and love, and developing good character will be deeply held beliefs within the Harmony religion.

Commandments and Rules

In his comedy routine, George Carlin reflects the feelings of many people when he lampoons many of the commandments as "controlling people." He argues that the first three commandments, which include keeping the Sabbath, not worshiping false Gods, and not taking the name of the Lord in vain, are simple, controlling superstitions not applicable to an intelligent person in the 21st century. Carlin's dislike of commandments that are needlessly controlling is likely reflected in the attitudes of many individuals. As such, the commandments and rules of the Harmony religion will be as simple and nonrestrictive as possible. The commandments of the Harmony language will be: 1) love one another with compassion and honesty, 2) develop good character, and 3) try as hard as possible not to kill or harm anyone.

Beyond the commandments, a list of helpful guidelines will be developed, rather than creating a list of restrictive rules. These may include guidelines for physical health (including medical care), emotional health (including counseling and psychologist services), and spiritual health. These guidelines will be aimed at helping the members of the Harmony religion, as well as others, rather than restricting their lives through rules.

Rituals

Rituals are an important part of almost all religions. While the word ritual often brings up connotations of animistic worship, and even extremes like sacrifice, ritual can be an innocuous event. Perhaps the most familiar and somehow benign example that is the most familiar to North Americans is the ritual of church services on a Sunday.

Rituals bind people together in a common goal and common place. As such, rituals can provide a time and place for individuals and groups to interact. It is this personal interaction that forms the basis of community and a sense of belonging.

Given the importance of ritual in many religions, ritual in the Harmony religion will be aimed a creating community and a sense of belonging. At the same time, ritual will be aimed at allowing individuals to interact with their God. As such, rituals in the Harmony religion will include typical elements like prayer. However, religious leaders will act merely as guides in helping individuals with their own spiritual needs. As such, religious leaders will not assume a position of authority or power in the Harmony religion, and will exist as facilitators. In keeping with this principle, all members of the religion will be encouraged to lead prayers, and make contributions during rituals, including giving readings, leading discussions, and providing counseling.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Harmony religion outlined here attempts to… [read more]


Amish Religion Women Term Paper

… Their role in society as dictated by their religion is to get married and produce offspring for their husbands, and their roles adequately reflect this (Olshan & Schmidt, 224). Women are not expected to contribute financially to the family, but… [read more]


God Have a Future? Term Paper

… For Armstrong, religion and cultural understanding are indisputably joined. One cannot understand religion without understanding the culture that produced such an understanding of God, and vice versa -- one cannot understand a culture without comprehending the limits of its philosophical and theological underpinnings.

However, the plurality and diversity of religions points-of-view in the world does not render the concept of 'God' absurd, rather it is a testimony to humanity's diverse needs in conceptualizing the divine. God has a future because the concept of God can change with time and with the needs of humanity, rather than remain static. Similarly, over the course of an individual's own life, one's relationship with God and the religious institutions one was brought up with, may change, depending on where one is and one's location in the journey…… [read more]


Religion, Neibuhr, and Daly Term Paper

… Such theology does not undertake to be the science of God for it knows that the Transcendent Universal is known or acknowledged only in acts of universal loyalty and in transcending confidence (faith), precedent to all inquiry and action. (p. 89)

Neibuhr's declaration is Theo-centric. There is a God, a Transcendent Universal which is above and outside ourselves. We will not find him by radically transmogrifying ourselves into androgynous peoples. We will find him though acts which closely model his revealed character, which was written in an everlasting word, and demonstrated by the ever living Word, Jesus Christ.

Just as it would be impossible to discover new species of deep water fish by excavating in a cave, Daly's pursuit of a statement regarding the nature of God will never be found in a self-centric belief system. Mankind has searched for God outside of ourselves across the planet, in every culture, and by many belief systems. But they all have one thing in common. They strike out to find God as a greater, more powerful being than themselves. Ultimately, the goal of finding God is to gain a greater peace and assurance in life that there is a reason to our existence. This search is not achieved by redefining God into a paradigm that only extends as high as I can reach. God is God, and I am not. The radical monotheism of Neibuhr insisted that by reaching upward to that image of the universal transcendent, that we could establish a relationship with the living Word, and in doing so we would discover who we really are, and find meaning for our lives.

Works Cited

Daly, Mary. 1971, After The Death Of God The Father. Women's Liberation and the transformation of Christian consciousness. [online] Originally published in Commonweal, March 12. [cited 13 Oct. 2003] Available from World Wide Web:
Daly, Mary. 1974. Beyond God the Father. New York: Beacon Press.

Neibuhr, R. 1972. Radical Monotheism. New York: Harper Collins College division.… [read more]


God What Is the Image Term Paper

… When God gave us a creative ability, He certainly gave us one of His own characteristics, therefore contributing to us being "in His image." We also have consciousness, personality, and the ability to think abstractly, all things that God has as well. These are all spiritual characteristics, yet by sharing them with God, we can certainly say that we were "made in His image."

In Hebrew, the word for image is tselem, and this word has a literal interpretation of meaning the nature of immaterial part of something ("Image of God in Man"). Hebrew, of course, is the language of the Jewish culture, and people from this culture wrote the Bible. It becomes even more likely, then, that they really meant that man has a spiritual likeness rather than a physical likeness to God. When it comes right down to it, most churches have teachings along these lines, whether it is explicitly stated or not. Sermons tend to focus on spiritual qualities that God has or that we have and should cultivate rather than actual physical aspects of God and man. The Mormon church is an exception to this, as they believe that God was an exalted man who had flesh and bones like us. However, this belief is well outside the norm. The understanding that we share spiritual characteristics with God and a physical likeness with Christ, through current research and Biblical interpretation, as well as through current human understanding, seems to be the most likely interpretation of this Biblical doctrine.

One thing is clear: Humans are in some way like God ("Humanity"). The Bible is clear on this. Even if we are never to discover the exact nature of our likeness to God, just the simple fact that we are like Him in some way should be comforting and uplifting.

To be like God, the ultimate Creator, the ultimate love, and ultimate power in the universe is an idea both awesome and humbling at the same time. It is awesome in that we have been granted to privilege of sharing a feature with God, that we share in His likeness in some way. It is humbling in that we are now aware that God loves us so much that he deemed us worthy to be made in some way like Himself. Either way, it is an exciting and amazing revelation, something that should give humankind hope and gladness for all time. It should also encourage us to live in a way that will best reflect these spiritual characteristics that we share with God. After all, if our spiritual characteristics are like those of God, we want to use those characteristics in the way in which they were intended. We also should want to be a positive reflection of those characteristics. These are characteristics that we share with God. They are sacred.

References

Dolphin, Lambert. "Made in the Image of God." LDolphin.Org. 2001. http://www.ldolphin.org/Image.html>.

Humanity as the Image of God." Shef.Ac.UK. n.d. http://www.shef.ac.uk/uni/academic/A-C/biblst/DJACcurrres/Postmodern2/Humanity.html

The Image of God in Man."… [read more]


History Medical Studies Have Concluded Term Paper

… religioustolerance.org/god_devel.htm).

"Each religion hold very diverse beliefs about their God. They generally regard their own beliefs about their God to be accurate, and the beliefs of other religions to be partly or completely false (HOW THE CONCEPTS OF GOD DEVELOPED… [read more]


River of God a New Term Paper

… Gregory Riley puts the history of Christianity into a splendidly readable format that has philosophical repercussion for its present and the future.

Riley uses three models to illustrate an understanding of Christianity's ancestry, namely genealogy, a river system, and, from evolutionary theory, punctuated equilibrium. He presents Christianity as a family of organisms represented on a family tree or as a river like system of sources and streams. He explains the multicultural template from which Christianity originates, clearly in its Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Persian, Greek, and Greco-Roman influences. His work serves as the voice for the Greek and Hellenistic background of Jesus' thought. It also takes into account how the Greek tragedy influenced the early church's understanding of a crucified messiah, and the influence of Greek science on the understanding of God. He also provides knowledge on the influence of Persian thought, especially Zoroastrianism influence on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. His book is a completely Galilean Jesus and with emphasis on multicultural Christianity. Perhaps, this would add to the discussion on Christianity's place in the history of religion and its development in the midst of diverse cultural differences.

The subject matter of this book has been rather argumentative because Riley is of the opinion that Christianity instigated from the remarkable theological variety of Eastern religions because just emphasizing on its origination from Judaism is not enough to understand the religions history thoroughly. He uses the equilibrium and the "river of God" instead of the threefold model of genealogy, to explore Christian origins. He investigates Christianity's genealogy, by carefully taking a deeper look at all the branches of its family tree to find the sources for the concepts such as, the Devil, body and soul, and above all the importance of monotheism. Then he argues his way through to prove his ideology that Christianity evolved by taking up certain ideas that would make sure it survived for a long time and discarded others that suppressed its longevity. Riley uses the river to illustrate the impact of diverse religious traditions that have become a part of Christianity including the numerous traditions that have become a part of Christianity.

Although Riley's book covers many aspects of the Christian religion it somehow is dotted with problems. His subtitle is ambiguous, because he doesn't provide information on the new history of Christian origins, since the religion depended on the religious diversity. Riley also includes some inaccuracies such as, that Plato never associated the Good with God, and Aristotle was an atheist.

Believing in Jesus means many different aspects of faith to many people that it becomes difficult to define the true spirit of Christianity. The differences between a charismatic Baptist hymnal and a high-church Anglican communion, is merely in the different variety of Christian belief. The River of God tells the readers that Christian belief has always been diverse, and it contains many ancient cultural traditions. This is the main point made by Gregory J. Riley, professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the Claremont School… [read more]


Religion Is Truly a Lived Term Paper

… But that is where the Haitian Vodou religion actually is more adaptable than many mainstream religions practiced in America. Christianity, Judaism and Catholicism all tie their practitioners down to certain restricting activities: whether it is going to church on Sundays,… [read more]


Suffering in the Human Relationship Term Paper

… This is the idea of disinterested love, suggested by Gutierrez. Disinterested love is completely unconditional, without any expectation from the party being loved. This is the love that God professes to have for human beings. Reciprocally, human beings such as Job then choose disinterested religion, which is also unattached to any rewards for faith. This brings freedom to both God and the human being. Faith is expected unconditionally, as is love from God. This, according to Gutierrez, is the only true faith.

Thus the meaning of suffering can be found neither in temporal retribution, nor in the loss of an otherwise unconditional love. The question that is daily on the lips of millions who suffer innocently remains: why?

When Job receives no help from an apparently silent God, or from his non-suffering friends, he turns to his fellow sufferers, and finds new meaning in his circumstances. The meaning that Job finds is in suffering with others. Although he has previously been kind to the poor and the marginalized, he has not known their circumstances first-hand. His experience however puts him on a new level of understanding with those who suffer alongside him. This realization is born from Job's innocence. When he finds no meaning in temporal retribution, his thoughts turn to the wicked and the reasons for their prosperity. Seeing this as proof that temporal retribution is not applicable to his case, Job finds a better reason for his suffering.

The lesson of suffering serves to bring Job at the same time to the level of God and to the level of the poor. God is on the side of the poor and the suffering. He appoints himself as their caretaker. Through suffering, Job experiences the true empathy that God has for the poor and the suffering. Thus, while suffering with other human beings, Job has the advantage of seeing them from God's point-of-view. This is where a true disinterested relationship with God is beneficial to the believer. The believer is under an obligation to be instruments of God on earth by alleviating the suffering of those less fortunate than themselves. This gives suffering a new meaning, as it did for Job:

The obligation to care for the poor means that the poor are not persons being punished by God (as the doctrine of temporal retribution implicitly asserts), but rather God's friends." (p. 40)

This leads Job to the conclusion that all human beings on earth are equal. His circumstances have forced him to be equal not only to God, but also to the poor and the suffering.

This finally leads Gutierrez to his conclusion. There are many questions in a world where so many who are innocent suffer unjustly at the hands of the cruel and the wicked, who appear to prosper without any retribution. The faithful need to respond like Job did, and like Gutierrez does:

These are our questions, and this is our challenge. Job shows us a way with his vigorous protest, his discovery of concrete… [read more]


Religion Is Handled Term Paper

… ' This, too, did not escape Gillespie's attention, "Just what kind of spirit has possessed Frankie? Is it a champion of the truth or a nasty demon who enjoys messing with her" (Gillespie P9)?

The movie is very informative, and… [read more]


God: Review of Karen Armstrong Term Paper

… Armstrong's theory does not credit Man with original thought and places little value on Man's ability to rationalise or theorise on the concept of God and a life beyond the corporeal that has nothing to do with demanding gratification or continuous proof of existence. Armstrong places little importance on faith but more on interpreting surrounding events with one's own bias.

Another core theme of the book relates Armstrong's less controversial belief that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam possess similar characteristics and have also influenced one another.

In the Roman Empire, Christianity was first seen as a branch of Judaism, but when Christians made it clear that they were no longer members of the synagogue, they were regarded with contempt as a religion of fanatics who had committed the cardinal sin of impiety by breaking with the parent faith (Armstrong, 1994, 91).

The reason behind the influence each major world religion wields over its rivals is due to their strongly competitive nature. Each world religion aspires for world dominance, attempting to recruit as many people as it can to its fold, adopting all means necessary, such as promising more compatibility to people's lifestyles, professing a monopoly on truth and slandering the competition. This interaction undeniably encourages followers to question the validity of their beliefs as well as religions to continuously reflect on their validity to their congregation.

History of God by Karen Armstrong contributes much to the great debate concerning the evolution of Man's perception of God. Although it is flawed in its promotion of the survival of religions dependent on the practical needs of Man, it does present a different perspective on how Man's perception of God has evolved throughout history and how each of the major world religions have influenced the evolution of its rivals through competitive interaction.

Bibliography

Ali, M.M. (February 1993) "Karen Armstrong: A Profile in Literary Diversity," in Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/0293/9302038.htm

Armstrong, Karen. (1993) A History of God: the 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Ballantine Books, New York.

History of God: the 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam - Review by Alfred A. Knopf. http://www.pinn.net/~sunshine/book-sum/histgod.html

Karen Armstrong - A History of God. http://www.2think.org/hll/shtml

Mason, M.S. (2001) "Tracing three religions, all with one God," in Christian Science Monitor. http://www.csmonitor.com/durable/2001/05/18/p9sl.html

Powell, Ted. (1998) Ms. Karen Armstrong Lecture. http://psg.com/~ted/vaninst/VbArmstrong.html… [read more]


Moral Theology and the Scriptures Essay

… " The definition of nature of church can no longer be expressed in western ideology and terminology." (p. 113) Two different directions are reported by Osborne (2009) to "energize the globalization of ecclesiology":

(1) scholars who maintain that the church… [read more]


Hebrew Bible Essay

… In the book of Exodus, the Angel of God appeared to Moses in a burning bush that was not consumed. In the same book God reveals his divine presence and his protection to the people of Israel by leading them from Egypt and through the desert by appearing as a cloud pillar during the day and a fire pillar at night. On Mount Sinai, God's manifestation was accompanied by thunder and lightning, loud trumpets and smokes and quakes. This stories from the Hebrew bible give an insight on how God reveled himself to the people of Israel. This shows that God wanted the people of Israel to feel his presence. What this teaches us about God is that he wants us to know him and know that he exists. Therefore the Hebrew Bible helps us acknowledge that God exists and he should be worshipped as the true God. The content from the Hebrew bible helps us form a basis for religion in humanity since we get the implication that God is there since he reveled himself to his people (Routledge, 2014).

From the Hebrew bible we also see that the people of Israel were given a set of rules that they were to follow and live by. God wanted the people of Israel to live in an organized society and hence provided them with the laws that they were to follow. In addition to creating the world for us God made sure that he gave us instructions on how to live peacefully with each other. The Hebrew Bible shows just how a just society should be according to the laws given to the people of Israel.

From the Hebrew Bible we are able to gather that God wants his people to know him and hence religion should be based on him and him only. Therefore the literature in the Hebrew Bible forms a basis for religion in humanity.

References

Routledge. (2014).Summary of the books of the Hebrew Bible. Retrieved September 29, 2014 from http://www.routledge.com/cw/kahn-9780415524803/s1/books/… [read more]


Religion on World Events Essay

… The events that led to this movement were many and varying and each nation had different specific reasons for venturing onto the high seas to expand their knowledge and power base. Essentially Western European nations had to grown and explore… [read more]


Religion and Politics Some groups Essay

… According to Locke, this established a natural right in the liberty of conscience, which Locke viewed, should at all cost remain protected from any government authority, (Locke, John (2002). These arguments regarding religious tolerance as well as the importance of individual conscious, together with Locke's social contract, came to be specifically influential in the American colonies including drafting of the United States Constitution.

Looking at the importance of the matter in his letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802, with the phrase "wall of separation between church and state" as well as considering other materials such as the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as his reference, Jefferson categorically bring out his thought that "believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or worship, that the legitimate power of government reach action only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between Church and State," (Jefferson, Thomas, 1802). Additionally, Roger Williams argued that this separation was beneficial for the state since compelling religious conformity would definitely result to repression and civil unrest, as well as the same separation was of significant for the church to be remain free from co-option and always have the platform for pursuing their religious mission better.

Conclusion

Even though some of the philosophers and religious hold the view that there is nothing wrong with religious institutions involvement in the politics. They argue that political intervention or discussions of a candidate is a necessary component of the exercise of an individual's religion. Churches engaging in political debate or endorse a candidate is an action of theological necessity that should not be denied to people. However, for continuity of the high integrity of the church and faith that its followers have over it that it will always criticize what is wrong, them declaring support to a candidate may compromise their stand on certain sensitive moral issues.

Reference

Daniel L. Dreisbach (2006) "The Mythical "Wall of Separation": How a Misused Metaphor Changed Church -- State Law, Policy, and Discourse." Retrieved May 28, 2014. http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2006/06/the-mythical-wall-of-separation-how-a-misused-metaphor-changed-church-state-law-policy-and-discourse

James Leon Holmes and Jeremy Holmes (2003) From Aristotle to Jefferson: Christianity and the Separation of Church and State. Retrieved May 28, 2014. http://cssronline.org/CSSR/Archival/2003/Holmes%2520article.pdf

Jefferson, Thomas (1802). Jefferson's Letter to the Danbury Baptists. U.S. Library of Congress.

Locke, John (2002). Political Writings. Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought.Ed. Mark Goldie. CUP: Cambridge, Retrieved May 28, 2014. http://www.iep.utm.edu/locke-po/… [read more]


Culture of St. Peter's Basilica Research Paper

… Those indulgences were instrumental in building and maintaining St. Peter's Basilica. Religion and money were closely tied during that time, just as religion and political power were closely tied. In short, Catholicism meant cash for those who were in control… [read more]


Shepherd in Early Christian Church: Pastor, Elder Research Paper

… Brief consideration of the Book of Acts and the Book of Luke illustrates a parallel telling of the continuation of history that began in the Gospels. Two facets of the same story are told in the Luke-Acts writings. Of this… [read more]


Religion Essay

… Part 2 -- The concept of the separation of Church and State has often been thought to be part of the original Founding Father's perception of religion and part of the Constitution. Essentially, this phrase means that there is a Constitutional mandate that there will be no State religion, and that the sociological roles often attributed to religion will, in fact, be manages by the State. This ideal, formulated by Enlightenment thinker John Locke, was part of the social contract between government and citizens which was used by the Founding Fathers to form and organize the new Republic. The intent was to protect the individual from the State requiring a certain religion, not to protect the State from religion -- an important distinction as the Republic grew.

This conundrum was not adequately addressed during the Constitutional Convention, and it was not until Thomas Jefferson became President that the issue became publically important. In 1802, for instance, members of the Danbury Baptist Association wrote to Jefferson with concerns about the Constitutional requirement for freedom of religion. Jefferson replied, assuring the coalition that there freedoms would be protected and cherished. He noted his previous work from 1777-79 under the Virginia Statute for religious freedom: "Whereas, Almighty God hath created the mind free… That even the forcing him to support [a state religion] or that teacher of his own religious persuasion is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions…That our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions any more than our opinions in physics or geometry…yet we are free to declare… the natural rights of mankind" Lippy). This, in essence, formed the basis of the notion that the State cannot make a law establishing a religion or force individual citizens to follow anything other than what they deem appropriate for their own individual belief and need.

Source:

Lippy, C. Introducing…… [read more]


New Religious Movements in America Book Report

… ¶ … New Religious Movements in America

Throughout the course of American history, new religions have become one way for younger adults to connect with God. This has served as an avenue for them to build their understanding of who… [read more]


Language and Religion I Visited Research Paper

… The Reverend recited the Lord's Prayer and an abbreviated version of the Apostolic Confession of Faith. These carried several of the characteristics mentioned by DuBois in terms of the nature of ritual speech. Most notably, it was clear that the prayer and confession were weekly parts of the Reverend's ceremony, as they occurred smoothly, without any false starts or hesitation. In terms of ritual register, for example, they both contained archaic elements, such as the ancient pronouns "Thee" and "Thou" when referring to the second person. There are several metaphors in the Lord's Prayer, including "our daily bread," which is a metaphor for the believer's daily physical needs. "May Thy Kingdom come" is a little obscure in terms of meaning, since it could refer either to God's presence in the hearts of believers or to the end of time, when Christians believe that God will return to earth in physical form.

After a few hymns, it was time for the sermon itself to be preached. This is a part of the ritual that is created by the Reverend himself, but based upon the Bible. Hence, the register had a mixture of formal and informal language. The Bible version used was King James, which contained many archaic words and expressions, including the second-person "thou" as mentioned, and the -- eth form of the simple singular present tense verb, and -- st to form a verb for the second-person subject. For the interpretation and sermon itself, the Reverend used easily accessible language, without many formalities, but rather characterized by "informalities," as explained by Irvine.

The situational focus of the service was highly structured, with the Reverend regulating the stages of the ritual. The congregation were expected to be quiet and listen to the words the Reverend had prepared for the service. The congregation followed the Reverend's instructions in terms of "let us pray" or "let us sing," and so on. This established a formal physical distance between the Reverend and the congregation, which in turn enhanced the formality of the service.… [read more]


Religious Ethics in Comparison Dissertation

… For the second Precept ("…would you sell an employer's secret to a competing company?") men and women both indicated they would take the money and sell out their employer. Men and women both said they would violate the third Precept… [read more]


Eb Tylor and James Frazier Term Paper

… Obviously, the key terms in Tylor's account of religion are the notions of animism and its foundation in dreams and death. The author's arguments appear to be less stable when he expands the notion of animism to account for other facets of religion. The concepts of reincarnation, resurrection and immortality may pertain to the notion of an eternal soul, but have very little to do with the fact that all things have a spirit and need to be worshipped and treated accordingly. The key terms which fuels the argument for Frazer include the fact that early magic was based on both similarity of ritual or simple contact; each of these two methods was supposed to induce some supernatural (and desired) effect. Of course, it is also important to understand the implicit and explicit similarities between magic and religion, the other key terms in Frazer's article. Magic relies on both contact and similarity to work. In actuating each of these processes, individuals would engage in rituals. Rituals play a strong part in religion -- especially in organized religion today. They are not considered to be magic rituals, but they are still rituals in much the same way that prayer or verbally and mentally communing with the supernatural is like casting a spell in traditional magic.

Still, the reason why Frazer's viewpoint is much more plausible and applicable to contemporary society is because it fits in well with monotheism -- the essence of what religion has evolved to become today. There are rituals and prayers in all three of the dominant religions today, which shows some similarity to characteristics of magic. However, Tyler's notions of animism seem like a quite a stretch when applied to these religions. The founding principle of Islam, Christianity and Judaism is that there is one God. There are polytheist conceptions of animism -- people commune or pray to different spirits for different reasons: the spirits of leaves, air, fire etc. All of these religions would reject such polytheism as heretical. Therefore, it is quite evident that Frazer's account of religion is more valid that his counterpart's for the simple fact that the former's is more compatible with contemporary religions.

In summary, Frazer's notion of the accounting of religion is more enduring than that of his Tyler's because it directly relates to modern religions whereas there are elements of Tyler's animism that do not. The implications of these facts are quite considerable, and allude to the fact that man -- whose religions are an integral part of social control -- is not truly as evolved as he would like to believe himself to be. The vestiges of magic in religion attest to a superficiality in this institution that is not altogether beneficial, and suggests that there may be the same level of falsehood in the latter as there was in the former.

Works Cited

Pals, Daniel. Seven Theories of Religion.… [read more]


High Degree of Misinformation Essay

… Discuss the changes.

Prior to taking this course, in many ways I considered Christianity to be a static religion. I had not given thought to the notion that Christianity changed rapidly in the first few centuries of its practice. I… [read more]


Impact That Science Has Played on Religion and Vice Versa Annotated Bibliography

… ¶ … Science Has Played on Religion, and Vice Versa

The relationship between science and religion

I chose to use the relationship between religion and science across time as a topic for my paper because of the complexity that this discussion puts across. It is certainly interesting to observe religious and scientific ideas being intertwined in the contemporary society in spite of the fact that people in the past held great reservations with regard to ideas expressed by each domain individually. To a certain degree, it is only safe to say that science and religion have complemented each-other in many situations. When people could no longer explain phenomena through science, some resorted to using religion as a means to explain them.

There has always been a strong connection between science and religion, as these two domains played an important role in how the masses perceived each of them. Religion has set a great deal of limitations on science across time while science has managed to get people to express doubt to many religious theories.

Dixon, T. (2008). Science and Religion: A Very Short Introduction. OUP Oxford.

Thomas Dixon's book provides important information enabling readers to change their perspective toward the relationship between science and religion. The author emphasizes that one should also focus on the harmony between the two domains rather than to assume that this respective relationship has always been dominated by conflict. One of Dixon's main intentions in writing this book was to have people acknowledge that they need to move away from the typical understanding of the relationship between science and religion so as for them to be able to actually understand this connection.

Dorman, E.R. "HINDUISM AND SCIENCE: THE STATE OF THE SOUTH ASIAN SCIENCE AND RELIGION DISCOURSE." Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science. Sep2011, Vol. 46 Issue 3, p593-619. 27p.

This article is important because it provides information on Eastern attitudes toward the relationship between religion and science. This makes it possible for readers to see matters from points-of-view that differ from Christianity. By understanding the relationship between Hinduism and science in addition to the relationship between science and religion in general, one is more likely to see the bigger picture concerning humanity as a whole and its perspective on the connection between religion and science.

Ecklund, E.H., Park, J.Z., and Sorrell, K.L. "Scientists Negotiate Boundaries Between Religion and Science." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. Sep2011, Vol. 50 Issue 3, p552-569. 18p.

Ecklund, Park, and Sorrel provide the opportunity to look at the religion vs. science debate from the perspective of scientists. The article relates to 275 natural and social scientists and their opinion concerning the matter and practically…… [read more]


Buddhism Is Distinct From Most Other Religions Essay

… Buddhism is distinct from most other religions in that it does not hold with the idea of a personal God. Instead it concentrates on individual spiritual development and the search for enlightenment, based on the teachings and experience of Siddhartha Gautama, a sixth-century BCE royal prince turned wandering monk who confronted head on the question of human suffering. Many consider Buddhism a philosophy, not a religion, especially in the United States. Some people believe one can practice Buddhism and still be associated with another religion. There is no conflict because the focus is not on worship and service in the name of a deity, but mindfulness, compassion, and generosity, which can be practiced by anyone, including Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, and Jews. Although studies show that most Americans actually know little about Buddhism -- less than one percent of Americans identify themselves as practitioners -- the religion holds positive associations for many. While there is nothing wrong with positive associations, they are based on what Americans think they know about Buddhism, rather than what they truly understand. Jeff Wilson, Associate Professor of religious and East Asian studies at Canada's Reinison University College, claims there is selectivism in the application of Buddhist ideas. He qualifies his statement by saying it is not necessarily a bad thing, since Buddhism is associated with kindness, peace and tranquility. Still, embracing Buddhism as Americans do also means there are some misconceptions.

Buddhism was introduced in the United States by Asian immigrants who worked the California gold mines in the mid-nineteenth century. Books and artifacts brought to the West increased interest. More Buddhists started arriving after the 1965 Immigration Act and Americans started taking a greater interest in Eastern religions (Bailey, 2010). The "peace and love" aspects of Buddhism were embraced by the hippie movement. The generation that criticized capitalists as "sell-outs" embraced the story of Siddhartha, a prince who renounced his worldly goods in favor of spiritual pursuits. Hollywood jumped on the bandwagon with films such as Seven Years in Tibet and more subtle testaments to Buddhism such as Star Wars and The Matrix. As pointed out in Humanities magazine, most companies avoid associating their products with organized religion, yet GNC markets a dietary supplement as "Fully Empowered Zen." A Master Card commercial features a meditating woman. Even caffeine-loaded Red Bull promises "the ways of meditation" (Bailey, 2010).

The charisma of the current Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, has done much to engender favorable attitudes toward Buddhists who, according to recent polls, are less discriminated against than are Christians (Bailey). The Dalai Lama has appeared in a televised interview on 60 Minutes and met with a number of celebrities, including Richard Gere and Barbara Walters. This familiarity with the Dalai Lama may lead people to believe that they understand Buddhism better than they actually do. The popularity of selected elements of Buddhism in the west may actually hinder Buddhism's ability to liberate people fully from suffering if they never go further to discover the deeper nature… [read more]


Ritual Knowledge Is Transmitted in Aboriginal Religion Essay

… ¶ … ritual knowledge is transmitted in Aboriginal religion.

One of the difficulties with discussing how ritual knowledge is transmitted in Aboriginal religion is the fact that few Aborigines have discussed the process in a scholarly context. Instead, outside observers… [read more]


Partakers of Divine Nature in the Book Essay

… Partakers of Divine Nature

In the book Partakers of Divine Nature: an Inspiring Presentation of Man's Purpose in Life according to Orthodox Theology, author Archimandrite Christoforos Stravropoulos discusses how the religions of the western world evolved their religious practices to include deification of individuals who lived within the realm of human beings, such as Jesus Christ. Theosis, which is the term Stravropoulos discusses and defines, deals with the concept that human beings might achieve immortality of the soul and a level of existence concurrent with their god. He says, "As human beings we each have this one, unique calling, to achieve Theosis. In other words, we are each destined to become a god; to be like God Himself, to be united with Him" (Stravropoulos 2). According to the Christian tradition, human beings who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and who follow His teachings by obeying the Bible and going to church and worshipping appropriately will be rewarded for their diligence following their death by being allowed to enter Heaven. This text informs the reader that human beings can become defied and also informs the reader about the ways and means in which a person might hope to transcend humanity and join the celestial beings who reside in Heaven, and by extension what happens if they fail to do this.

In Stravropoulous' book, he describes deification in logical and realistic terms, despite the supernatural and, some would say, fantastic process he is discussing. Religion is not a new concept of course. Since the time of the first human beings in existence, people have looked for answer to the inexplicable phenomena of life on Earth. The more a people experienced the world, the more questions they had without being able to explain it rationally. So, they created religions to help explain away the mysteries of existence, including conception, birth, and of course death. However, in creating their religions, they understood that god must be somehow like human beings and since here was a classist hierarchy in human relationships, this same must be true of the divine, and therefore a series of gods must be responsible, with each being in charge of a certain aspect of human life. They were not able to comprehend the existence of a single, all-powerful entity who could possess all the powers of their pantheon but infinitely more. Further, they falsely understood humanity as separate from the divine whereas Christians understood that they were in fact connected deeply and that more than this, the job of every Christian was to earn their elevation to the divine through following the word of God, not merely as a recommendation of life and behavior, but as a series of laws more serious than those created by man.

The relationship that God has defined with human beings allows them to transcend simple humanity. Stravropoulos…… [read more]


Egyptian Art Essay

… Egyptian Art

The Might of ISIS

The official name of the piece that I am going to discuss within this paper is "Isis Nursing Horus." It was on display at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. This is a piece of Egyptian art that has been attributed to the late period, probably during the 26th dynasty, which took place approximately from 664 to 525 B.C. This particular piece of art is emblematic of Egyptian culture and mythology in a number of tangible ways, since it depicts divine figures who were models for royal personages.

Due to the fact that this piece depicts divine figures (Isis is shown breast feeding her young son, the god Horus) it is highly significant that the artist is unknown. In a practical sense, the lack of the artist's identity simply stems from the fact that he or she created this work multiple millennia ago. However, the divine beings rendered in the work are timeless, as are the general motifs that they represent which are of immense importance in Egyptian culture. In this respect this piece can be considered a religious piece of art. This notion is reinforced by the relatively small stature of this sculpture that is constructed of strikingly blue lapis lazuli. As such, it was more than likely an amulet or a charm to be worn around the neck as a piece of religious jewelry -- quite possibly by some royal or noble person. It is only a couple of inches tall, and its width and diameter are accordant to this small stature.

Physically, this amulet shows Isis wearing some sort of a royal vulture headdress seated on a throne -- a fact which denotes both her divine and royal status. She holds her infant son in the small of her lap, with her left hand steadying his head and her right hand just underneath her breast, as though she were preparing to being or end feeding. She is draped in a full-length gown that, when seated, hangs near her mid-calf. Although the goddess does have the ends of her lips curved upwards as though in a smile, her facial expression is for the most part staid and relaxed. Thus, the overall impression for the viewer who comes near enough this amulet to look upon it in detail is a feeling of relaxation and composure, and of a mother doing a simple duty for her child -- and happily so.

As previously mentioned, the culture that was responsible for the creation of this work of art is Egyptian. An individual can ultimately learn a lot about Egyptian religion, mythology, and royalty by looking at this amulet, if he or she is cognizant of whom it depicts and their roles in those three components of ancient Egyptian society. This amulet reveals the fact that Egyptian religion was polytheistic; although Iris and her son are…… [read more]


Religious Traditions Include Laws, Beliefs Essay

… They also expect people to respect everything that are in the natural world and hence ensure that it is always in perfect condition. Destruction of the natural world is condoned by religious traditions. Whichever venue the religion has set aside as a holy and sacred place, there are rules, albeit some are unwritten, that are followed and traditions that are observed within such venues as the traditions dictate.

Relationship with each other

Different religious traditions stress on the relationships with each other. For instance in Christianity there is a lot of emphasis on the relationship among brothers and sisters. An individual is supposed to love God and other people. Through these efforts one is expected to seek reconciliation with others incase something was done wrong to them. Christians are expected to be like Christ in their everyday lives. They are also encouraged to love others as they love themselves. They are expected not to repeat sins which are potentially harmful to the relationships they encounter in their daily lives. In the end, Christians are at peace if they relate well with others. Christians are expected to refer to each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. Islam also encourages good relationships with others as expected by Allah. Muslims are expected to form good relations with others and look out for each other (Rossano, 2010).

Critical issues in the study of religion

Religion is quite a difficult area of study due to various key issues .One of them is the fact that there are so many religions in existence. All these religions have their own traditions that are applicable to the specific religion. While some of these traditions might be similar in the different religions others are completely unique for specific religions. For example in Christianity there is the belief that only one God exists but in a trinity which is God the father, son and Holy Spirit. The same applies to Islam only difference is that they refer to their God as Allah .on the other hand religions like Hinduism are different in that they have many gods which they worship. These are such as the god of land, the god of food, the god of prosperity and so on. All these are represented by sculptures or objects which they worship.

The other difficulty is the fact that everyone has a different perspective in the way they view religion and religious beliefs. This views are influenced by peoples own experiences and what is taught by their respective religions as well as the family they are in. For instance, as a Christian I believe that there exist only one God.it can be very difficult when I am studying religion and am supposed to take in that there is actually a possibility that there are other gods apart from the one God who I know exists.in the same way it is also difficult to convince a Hindu hat there is only one God and it is not the gods and goddesses they… [read more]


Orthodoxy Was Challenged Term Paper

… The Church believes in the seven mysteries: the Eucharist, Baptism, Chrismation, Ordination, Penance, Marriage, and Holy Oil for the sick. The Orthodox Church believes in Mary as the virgin mother of God and her assumption, but does not believe that Mary was infallible from birth. The Orthodox Church believes in the religious significance of icons and that they are a necessary part of worship. Finally, the Orthodox Church believes in a period of purgatory in Hades before most souls go to Heaven at death.

The Orthodox Church faced several challenges as it developed. One of those challenges was Arianism. Arianism was based in the teachings of Arius. The focus of Arianism was the relationship of God to Jesus. Arius took the position that the Trinity did not exist as described in Orthodox theology. Instead of having always existed, Jesus was created by God. Therefore, rather than being equal to and part of God, Jesus is distinct from God. Therefore, Arianism does not recognize the Trinity. Although the Trinity is currently a well-accepted tenet of both the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, which were the churches that developed in the wake of the Arian conflict, it was a significant doctrinal dispute during its time period. Not only the leaders of the churches were involved in the conflict, but daily worshippers as well. It helped usher in an era of theological debates that paved the way for the eventual split between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches.

Another movement to impact the development of the Orthodox Church was donatism. Donatism represents some of the influence of the East on the development of early Christianity. It developed in Africa as a result of a non-Christian governor who persecuted Christians. In order to avoid persecution, these Christians could nominally renounce their faith. The Donatists believed that those Christians who renounced their faith in order to avoid persecution were not truly faithful. The anti-Donatists believed that even those who had renounced their faith were capable of redemption. Eventually, the Donatist position would allow for some of the famous persecutions by the Catholic Church, although the Church, at the time of the Donatist dispute, officially took a non-Donatist position.

Manichaeism was not a Christian religion, but an independent religion that began to spread as the doctrinal differences between Orthodox and Catholic belief began to emerge in the Christian church. Manichaeism was focused on the idea of a struggle between good and evil. It was a gnostic religion and, in many ways, shaped the idea of religion as a process of acts rather than beliefs. Manichaeism may have influenced the development of doctrine, particularly St. Augustine's doctrine, which some in the Orthodox Church view as a form of heresy. However, there is simply not sufficient historical information about Manichaeism to know whether it really did influence St. Augustine's doctrine in a significant manner.

Works Cited

Davies-Stofka. "Eastern Orthodoxy: Beginnings." Patheos Library. 2013.…… [read more]


Islam and Christianity Research Paper

… Buddhism and Christianity

Buddhism

"Religion is not some dry rational idea but rather a fundamental viewpoint of life: a person hears a teaching that makes sense, finds via familiarity that it relates to their psychological composition positively, gets a real… [read more]


Newton Did Believe in God Essay

… In this sense, Newton could be called a heliocentrist. He supported the argument that the Earth was not at rest and thus opposed the Ptolemaic model of the universe was geocentric. His explanation of how the planets (including the Earth) moved was found in his theory of gravity.

3.

Newton's four rules of reasoning in philosophy are found in the Principia (preface to Book 3). The 1st rule states: "We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances" -- by which he means (or at least implies) that the simplest explanation is the most likely. The 2nd rule states: "To the same natural effects we must, as far as possible, assign the same causes" -- by which he presents the principle of analogy, i.e., similar effects have similar causes. The 3rd rule states: "The qualities of bodies which admit neither intension nor remission of degrees, and which are found to belong to all bodies within the reach of our experiments, are to be esteemed the universal qualities of all bodies whatsoever" -- which is an assertion of the rule of generalization, i.e., that truths are universal. The 4th and final rule states: "We are to look upon propositions collected by general induction from phenomena as accurately or very nearly true, notwithstanding any contrary hypothesis that may be imagined, till such time as other phenomena occur, by which they may either be made more accurate, or liable to exceptions" -- which means that observation of empirical evidence is crucial to understanding the natural world.

Works Cited

Newton, Isaac. Principia. NY: Library of Classics, 1953.

Westfall, Richard. The Life of Isaac Newton.…… [read more]


Machiavelli's the Prince Plato's Republic St. Augustine's City of God Term Paper

… ¶ … Machiavelli's, 'The Prince' and St. Augustine's 'City of God'

The objective of this study is to examine the similarities and differences in Machiavelli's 'The Prince' and St. Augustine's 'City of God' in terms of their similarities and differences… [read more]


Jewish Religion Research Paper

… In most cases divorce can only be initiated by the husband but there are exceptions.

Question: Do Jews view themselves as the chosen people?

Answer: Yes we do because Abraham was chosen by God to lead the Jews out of bondage and the Jews were chosen, we believe, to make the fact of God known to the world. The Torah explains that Moses brought the Ten Commandments down from Mount Sinai, and so we believe Moses was chosen by God to bring His message to the world. We don't think we're better than any other faith, but we do believe we are the chosen people to make God known.

Comparing Judaism with another Religion

In professor Jacob Neusner's book, A Short History of Judaism: Three Meals, Three Epochs, the author acknowledges that like Christianity, Judaism is a world religion and has flourished worldwide. Interestingly, Neusner points out that when a person becomes a "Judiast," a person that practices Judaism, that individual enters into a "…intensely ethnic community" of Jewish people. However, in contrast to that, becoming a Muslim one does not become "an Arab," and converting to Catholicism doesn't make a person Irish, Spanish, Italian or Polish, just because those nations mentioned are essentially Roman Catholic nations (Neusner, 1992, 5).

In fact in Judaism there is an "overlap" beyond religious belief and an "ethnic identity" as a member of the Jewish community. Judaism is different than Christianity because there is, according to Neusner, an "…interplay between the history of the people and the formation of the faith" (5). There many more Christians than Jews in the world and moreover, unlike Christianity, Judaism looks back into its deeply rooted historical beginnings and critical issues that are addressed within Judaism "…find their definition in the events of the history of a small and weak people" (Neusner, 6).

In that past Jews learn about the history of their faith which includes events such as "defeat, disappointment, and disillusion" instead of victory and vindication, Neusner continues; however, in the end Jews see themselves as "survivors, by God's will," of many horrific events including of course the Holocaust. Christianity has no such terrible event in its past for believers to turn to as a cultural memory of the origins of its tenets. The one thing that makes Judaism similar to Christianity is that there are "many Judaisms" (Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, and various Orthodox Judaisms) and indeed there are many kinds of Christianity as well (several Protestant denominations, Catholics, Orthodox Christians).

Conclusion

The Jewish faith can be (and is) misunderstood by others because for one thing, there are a number of different beliefs held by Jews. In this paper a brief history of Judaism was covered, and it is clear that while Judaism is an ancient religion, it has survived all these hundreds of years because Jews have faith that a Messiah will come to unite the world and Jews believe they were chosen by God to explain the relevance of God's will to the world.… [read more]


Pentacostal Movement History Essay

… Mission was understood to mean "foreign missions" to places in which they could find a willing audience, as well as a group of individuals who needed educational and practical help as well. Although there are many different subtle interpretations of Pentecostalism, there was a particular sense of culture in Africa that lent the beliefs to the indigenous cultures: spirits, divine intervention, speaking in tongues, prophecy, and the daily and regular manner in which religion integrates with society and culture. This is also relevant in societies that are abjectly poor, are not yet part of the global technological world, and have almost always had Christianity forced through imperialism and colonialism (Kalu, 2008).

The late 20th and early 21st centuries, though, are different for Africa. The colonial powers are gone; and while there remains some strife, revolution and militarism, world attention has moved toward including Africa as an important partner in globalism; largely through democracy. One of the issues within a democratic government, however, is the ability to have freedom of religion and a more egalitarian approach to spirituality. Some even call African Christianity the "third" response to white cultural domination and power, both politically and religiously. Much of this new movement towards a greater communication with the Holy Spirit arose from a wish to have a more personal relationship with God; unlike many of the more dogmatic faiths that were part of colonialism. In addition, having no central authority is attractive to many Africans in that their region, their village, their innate culture can be instituted and run, by Africans for Africans (Anderson, 2009).

Indeed, many Africans see Pentecostalism as an Africanized version of Christianity since it has so much in common with tribal religion. The indigenous Christian Churches provide a way for the local culture to be celebrated, and to be responsive to the "spiritual hunger of the African peoples." Pentecostalism provides a specific set of weapons that Africans can use to fight against evil, corruption, disease, and discord; as well as celebrating their ancestors and the historical past of the Christian Church, much of which arose in Northern African in the 1st through 3rd centuries. Above all, the idea of spiritual healing, community involvement and shared beliefs brings Africa together in a way that transcends politics (Cox, p. 247).

Indeed, Pentecostalism in the 21st century has become a very prominent feature in both the political and religious cultures of Africa. Pentecostals represent about 12% of Africa's population, with a 2-4% annual growth. For example, in South Africa, the Pentecostal Apostolic Faith Mission is now as strong as the Dutch Reformed Church, despite being relatively new. Africans do not view religion as separate as many Westerners. This means that, for many Africans, their religion is part of the way to shape both politics and society. Democratization and nationalism fit in well with Pentecostalism, and provide a way to empower and awaken larger parts of society that were ostracized under colonialism (certain tribes, women, etc.). In countries like Uganda, Kenya, Ghana… [read more]


Hindu Religion? Hinduism Term Paper

… Social mores and values in many instances are in fact based on Hinduism in India. Women rule the home, keep track of the finances and raise the children while men typically are the bread-winners. Hindu marriages are often planned by parents, and this is true to a lesser extent than it used to be but still in India the woman's future husband is often chosen by parents. Parents, meanwhile, are helped in the raising of children by the grandparents, both in Hinduism and in the larger Indian culture (Baylor University).

Hindus (as mentioned earlier) are vegetarians, and hence, the Indian culture as a general rule does not eat meat (although that is not universal at all in India and Muslim culture, a significant portion of the Indian population, has its own values regarding diet). For millions of people in India (because of Hinduism) the system of medicine is called "Ayruveda" ("knowledge of life"); more than "eighty percent of people in India rely on herbal remedies" as opposed to traditional medicine practiced in Western societies (Baylor University).

The desire for liberation from earthly existence: this desire is based on the ultimate goal of karma, which is not just about the good or bad in a person's life, but about "…a clean escape from the karma-run wheel of birth, death, and rebirth (samsara)," which takes place over many weary lifetimes, hence, the desire for liberation (Fisher, 1997). Hindus believe that there are certain miseries in the physical world and they, too, can be transcended through karma and samsara.

In conclusion, one of the most impressive components of Hinduism is the open-mindedness of the faith towards other religions. Some Christian religions, for example, the Roman Catholic faith, demand specific acts and rituals before the person can ascend to paradise; but in Hinduism, while Hindus have their prescribed beliefs, they do not consider their way the only way to salvation. This is a fascinating religion and perhaps misunderstood by many or even confused with Buddhism.

Works Cited

Baylor University. (2008). Indians / Asian Indians. Retrieved April 6, 2013, from https://bearspace.baylor.edu.

Fisher, Mary Pat. (1997). Living Religions: An Encyclopedia of the World's Faiths. London,

UK: I.B. Tauris.

Hinduism Today. (2009). 9 Basic Hindu Beliefs. Retrieved April…… [read more]


Chemistry and Biology on Christian Essay

… [footnoteRef:12] [12: Forsyth, Robert. "Then a miracle occurs': the blessing and limitations of science A bishop looks at science from the viewpoint of the Christian faith." http://www.iscast.org/journal/articles/Forsyth_R_2006-11_Then_A_Miracle_Occurs.pdf (accessed March 20, 2013). ]

Science is a field that provides as knowledge… [read more]


Public Theology Essay

… Public Theology

One of the most pressing issues in current American evangelism and ministry is how to reconcile the church with its prevailing culture. If the prevailing culture can be fairly described as one that is secular, materialistic, and liberal, then the challenges facing Christians become both evident and salient. Many of the essays in Hunsberger and van Gelder's the Church Between Gospel and Culture address these core Christian concerns and offer solutions rooted in gospel truth. In "Christ All in All," David Lowes Watson discusses the "recovery of the gospel of evangelism in the United States." The title of Watson's essay is taken from Colossians 3:11: "Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all," (NIV). The solution to the problems facing American evangelism today lies in a simple formula of recovering the gospel from an anthropocentric perspective and making it about Christ in the world, and Christ of the world. Douglas John Hall offers a similar message in "Ecclesia Crucis: The Theologic of Christian Awkwardness." Hall suggests that the means by which to recover the heart of Christianity in America is to first disengage from the dominant culture, and then re-engage it fully in the name of Christ. Both authors affirm the importance of returning to the essence of evangelism as it is outlined in the life and teachings of Christ.

The context of American evangelism reveals that the church has become what Watson calls "enculturated." The enculturation of the church is a two-fold process. It is congregational on the one hand, as the church has allowed itself to become a tool of the culture rather than vice-versa. On the other hand, the church has become enculturated to be anthropocentric, narcissistic, and materialistic. In a "well-churched" society like the United States, it seems ironic that Christianity would be suffering from any threats to its integrity. Yet these two problems of enculturation and anthropocentrism remain extant. Evangelism has become a caricature of itself, victim to materialism and the drive toward bigger, but not necessarily better, congregations. Many congregations have strayed far from the gospels to the point where Christ is no longer the "all in all." Likewise, many churches have allowed themselves to be subsumed by the dominant culture by making evangelism and Christian identity about the self rather than about Christ, or even the community.

Hall's argument complements Watson's analysis, providing a narrower focus on the nature of the dominant culture and how Christians can contend with it. While Hall remains fixated on a perceived dominant culture that is "WASP" in nature as well as "middle-class," and "liberal," the author acknowledges that American demographics are changing rapidly. As Keilfert points out in Welcoming the Stranger, there is a "moral demand to respect cultural and religious diversity" in the United States (ix). It is critical to move beyond the belief --…… [read more]


Mccloskey's Refutation of the Arguments Term Paper

… "

We may answer this by appealing to Evans and Manis' treatment of the moral argument and their discussion of relativism, emotivism, and naturalism. Evil is seen in different ways. Some see evil as relative morals -- evil to some, good to others. Others perceive it as unexplainable command from God; we cannot understand God, it is for our good to accept it. At the end of the day, we each perceive it in different ways and again this hinges on subjectivity of perspective. Evil to one may not be evil to another. McCloskey sees the world as an evil place; he therefore sees God as evil in return.

Creators of the teleological and cosmological argument, on the other hand, see the world as a largely happy and fortuitous as well as purposeful place. They therefore view God in that way too. These arguments -- both of McCloskey and those of the theists -- cannot be refuted either way since they are ultimately biased and subjective. To refute them means to stand in the other shoes, something which, ontologically, neither can do. McCloskey's argument therefore is irrefutable.

The same can be applied to McCloskey's assertion on free will namely: "might not God have very easily so have arranged the world and biased man to virtue that men always freely choose what is right?"

The question of what is right has both realistic and subjective components. Evans and Manis (2009) believe that God did already direct man to do what is right, but that this rightness can be viewed in different ways. A relativist may see all practices as equally right, a naturalist may see right as that dictated by nature, an emotivist may see right as proceeding from oneself and being in tune with intuition. In other words, we have subjectivity here too since God's commands may not be viewed as just by a McCloskey who only sees bitterness and brutality in the universe.

Finally, this same argument can be used in terms of McCloskey's conclusion where he maintains that the world is more comforting without religion; that belief in religion would require a judgmental and punitive God who arbitrarily records, offends, and avenges. Such a life -- to him -- is more chaotic and dismal than one where one is free to do what one wishes and where one is not confined by self-limitations. Here, too, no evidence can comment on McCloskey's assertion since it is at best subjective. A religious individual may, and indeed does, see the world and circumstances form a variant manner to that of McCloskey's. The religious man's assertion bears no hard weight since it is not empirical. But then neither does that of McCloskey's. In the end both are dealing with a metaphysical issue. And that, as Wittgenstein (Ayer, 1989) stated is a different game to that of the physical, scientific realm.

Source

Ayer, J. Wittgenstein New York: Random House, c1985.

Evans, C.S., & Manis, R.Z. (2009). Philosophy of religion: Thinking about faith (Second… [read more]


Debating on the Existence of God Term Paper

… Existence of God

For centuries there have been arguments centering around the existence of a Divine Creator. These ideas about God have been debated far earlier than the Christian world, and actually seem to form the basis of philosophical thought -- what is knowledge and where do we get it? How can there be evil in a world created by an omnipotent God? If God exists, who or what created God? In 1948 the British Broadcasting Company hosted a debate between Father Frederick Copleston, a Jesuit Priest, and the agnostic philosopher Bertrand Russell.

Both agree that Christianity is a term than implies the belief in God and immortality of the saved soul, and that Christ is the Savior of humans and the wisest of men. If one does not believe those constructs, one cannot be a Christian. Russell notes that if one does not believe those constructs, one cannot be a Christian. He then identifies the arguments for the existence of God. Christianity cannot prove the existence of God, it requires that one have faith that God exists or use unaided reason. For Russell, Christianity is a political organization created to complete a hierarchy. He believes it was necessary for the early Church Fathers to control a large population, to find ways of increasing membership, and frankly, to find commonality with paganism so that a strict hierarchy and work-ethic could be multiplied.

Father Copleston, on the other hand, thinks the existence of God can be proven philosophically. If there are absolute values and truths, there must be an ultimate causality to make these truths. Just because we cannot completely define the nature of God does not imply non-existence. Instead, because there are creations, there must be a creator; because there is light, there is dark, good there is evil, and so on.

Debating the existence of a Divine Creator may seem to some as an argument that is circular. Instead, we might view this as a way to mentally help us define what knowledge and truth are in relation to the totality of humans -- not just…… [read more]

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