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Eastern Religion, Eastern Mysticism Term Paper

… And the magic and wizardry in the stories is something of a story in itself.

The popularity of the movies, in particular, can be attributed to the American pop culture's love of magic, and mystery, and characters that can fly and have powerful magic potions and spells in their bags of tricks. But with that love of magic by the movie-going pop culture in America, there has come some criticism.

Jacobs point out that there are people in his midst, Christians, ("some of whom are dubious...") who believe that the movie "makes magic so funny and charming" that it is disturbing. The movies and books "don't exactly support the Christian view of things," he writes. "Such novels could at best encourage children to take a…. [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…. [read more]

Islamic Mysticism Essay

… For Muslims, one cannot really separate the idea of culture and legal tradition, since it is legality that helps organize society. Muhammad brought these words from Allah, and they are thus noted in text, covering every aspect of human life and society, and called Sharia. Sharia forms the basis of Islamic belief by establishing the manner than humans evolve towards their perfect relationship with God. These basic tenets are known as the Five Pillars of Islam, and consist of: 1) Shahada, or the manner one exemplifies one's faith; 2) Zakat, or charity toward those in need; 3) Sawm, giving up or fasting during certain holy times as a way to honor God; 4) Salah, the manner and function of regular prayer, and; 5) Hajj, a…. [read more]

Christianity and Islam World Religion Essay

… Christianity and Islam

By the 13 century in Europe, Christianity though was a relatively young religion, in comparison to Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and others had become the largest religion in the world. What accounted for that rapid growth and what can we learn about that experience that can contribute to the continued spread of Christianity in our time?

One of the biggest factors that contributed to the tremendous rise of Christianity was its acceptance as an official religion of the Roman Empire. At first it was often considered to be a sect (in comparison with pagan deities that were worshiped). Then, it became popular with the writings of Bishop Augustine and Monk Benedict. They believed that the world was a constant struggle between good and…. [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 or face the risk of becoming overrun by those nations who were expanding their power through colonizing efforts and means.

During this 300-year period of history, different nations from Western Europe played significant roles in its development. The need and desire for new trade routes eventually began this fervor of exploration. Many products such as fine fabrics and silks, spices, teas, opium, artwork, literature and other consumables were in high demand in European nations from the Eastern part of the globe. Those traders who could…. [read more]

Bible Role & Characteristics of God's Angels Essay

Angels of the Lord

Chapter 3: Angels

Angels have been used by God to accomplish his purposes and to assist his people throughout history both recorded and unrecorded history. Angels are mentioned 273 times in the scripture and in 33 of the 66 books of the Bible. (Fruchtenbaum, nd) Angels are mentioned in the Gospels and for instance in the book of Matthew 16:27 where it states as follows:

"For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of his Father with His angels, and then he shall reward each one according to his works."

The Book of Acts in chapter 7: 52-53 states as follows:

"Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed…. [read more]

Apophatic Theology Essay

… Theology

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

Apophatic theology is a religious philosophy predicated around union with God. On the surface, this may not seem drastically different from Western religious philosophies. However, the central aspect in which apophatic theology differs is through its emphasis on inward purification, involving a sparse, ascetic lifestyle and a more personalized, almost mystical spiritual inquiry. There have been a number of explications of apophatic theology, stemming from the influential writings of Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century (most notably, Aquinas' Summa Theologica) through the more modern texts written by scholars such as Vladimir Lossky. This paper provides an overview of apophatic theology, with particular attention paid to Lossky's…. [read more]

Religious Traditions Global Religions Term Paper

… Theistic religions experience faith as god as holy presence, characterized by emotions, fascination, and the awe-inspiring fear (Warren, 2012). For example, the revelation of God to Moses in form of a burning bush that led to fascination and fear of God (Moore, 2005). In non-theistic religions, the faith and god experience adopt the form of mystics or mysticism. A common traditional religion that uses mysticism in its faith and god believe is Hinduism and religions like Buddhism. In Hinduism, the faith and god experience is by having an individual becoming one with the divine by inward contemplation (Moore, 2005). This implies that faith and the experience of god in different religions forms the basis for their varied forms of worship, prayer, and rituals. For this…. [read more]

John's Sacramentalism Essay

… Haught

Empty Spirits in the East and West

The concept of the "empty spirit" sounds, initially, like a resoundingly more Eastern concept than one pertaining to Western religions. The mysticism of many Eastern religions centers on the essential "nothingness" that is existence, according to many perspectives. An acknowledgement and awareness of the inherent falsehoods of a singular, objective, and separate identity is seen as the paramount need and goal of many Eastern religions, especially many forms of Buddhism -- the achievement of nirvana constitutes a merging with the oneness of the universe and all existence, and this oneness can be seen as largely negating any singularity of existence that might be perceived by individuals. This negation, in some interpretations, reduces the individual and even arguably…. [read more]

Concentration, Contemplation Forms of Meditation Mysticism Term Paper

… ¶ … Concentration, Contemplation

Forms of meditation

Mysticism and meditation. Finding God within.

Tibetan Buddhist meditation and transcendental meditation

The differences between yoga and Christianity

Finding God within:

From Dream sleep to Awakening

From Illusion to realization

From Darkness to Enlightenment

From Imprisonment to Liberation

From Fragmentation to Wholeness

From Separation to Oneness

From Being on a Journey to Arriving at the Destination

From Being in Exile to Coming Home

From Seed to Flowering Plant or Fruitful Tree

From Death to Rebirth

It appears that every spiritual leader used a similar approach to the realm of transcendence. They all suggested that the key is found within oneself. Buddha, Christ, the Muslims and the Judeo-Christian Scriptures make reference to a process of introspection that leads to…. [read more]

Unmasking the New Age Term Paper

… Unmasking the New Age

The opening line of the Foreword to Douglas R. Groothuis' Unmasking the New Age reads, "Advertising that it can transform people and society worldwide, the New Age movement is spearheading a comprehensive attack on many of the highest values of both the Christian church and Western culture," (9). In this book, Groothuis illustrates the basic manifestations of the New Age movement, such as holistic healing and transpersonal psychology, and shows why they run counter to a Christian worldview. He urges his readers to think critically about New Age tenets such as monism and challenge their validity and supremacy. With unmasked scorn for the collection of varied beliefs categorized as New Age, the author concludes that any "faithful Christian community dedicated to…. [read more]

Sufism Jung Kabbalah Thesis

… Sufism, Jung, Kaballah

Interfaith dialogue and Peace

Interfaith dialogue and Peace negotiations: Jewish Kabbalah, Islamic Sufism and Jung

The present political situation in the world over the last decade has underscored and stressed the importance for interfaith and inter-religious discourse and dialogue. From one point-of-view "...Interreligious dialog is seen as an alternative to the much-discussed "clash of civilizations" (Jung Center - Interfaith Class Series).

Those who do not subscribe to the theory that a civilizational clash is inevitable are proposing instead a dialogue of civilizations, an exchange of views aimed at mutual enrichment, a sharing of insights that can lead everyone to a deeper understanding of the nature of the Mercy of the God and God's will for humankind on this planet

Jung Center -…. [read more]

Anthony the Great Research Paper

… Anthony the Great

Why St. Anthony decided to become an ascetic

Commonly known as epithet 'the great', St. Anthony performed a key task in early Christianity because he was the founder of Christian monastic movement. In actual sense, Anthony was not the first ascetic but rather Paul the first Hermit, and because of his reputation for sanctity and fame, he launched monasticism. Anthony is not the inventor of monasticism as such because ascetics already existed in the region. They existed as a domain of the Greeks or the Hellenic world; for example, Pythagoras was the founding member of a movement made up of members who existed in the ascetic colonies. Some schools of Greek for philosophy also existed in the ascetic communes (Chiffolo and Rayner,…. [read more]

Baptisim in the Holy Spirit Term Paper

… In any event, the apparent interval between belief and Spirit baptism in this narrative should not be taken as normative for Christians, according to the classic Protestant position. To insist on such is to place reasoning into the scripture that is present in modern day denominationalism and theology, but not present in the text itself.

Other evangelicals maintain that the New Testament distinguishes between receiving the Holy Spirit and being baptized in the Spirit. This perspective does not place the conversion event as synonymous with being baptized in the Holy Spirit. In John20.22 Jesus appeared to the gathered disciples, which included apostles and others, breathed on them and said "Receive the Holy Spirit." At this time, Jesus gives the believing community the Holy Spirit. Yet,…. [read more]

Women and Islam the Western Perception Term Paper

… Women and Islam

The Western perception of Islam is of a religion that is especially restrictive of women. Christianity has had its own more restrictive policies toward women in the past, but the West believes it has evolved to a more equitable view of the rights of women and of equality of the sexes. Islam is seen as living in the past and as failing to modernize, while Islam sees its restrictions as socially constructive and as elevating women rather than keeping them down. Such differences in perception are based on historical differences and also on the way the West has changed and now expects others to do the same without necessarily making the case in a way that appeals to Islam. There are some…. [read more]

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

… ¶ … Church

Theology is based upon strict doctrine and dogma that must be adhered to in order to understand and live a faithful life. Things may not always make rationale sense when studying religious texts as this is most likely intended by these messengers of God. New movements within Christian Theology, such as the Emerging Church movement, are threatening the basis of faith and appears to at times molest the basic tenets and fundamentals of Christ and his teachings. This quasi-nihilistic approach to spirituality represents a Postmodern thought pattern that is reverberating throughout society as well as within the confines of the churches and their sacred teachings.

The Emerging Church movement consists of a diverse group of people who identify with Christianity, but who…. [read more]

Teachings and Practice of Islam Research Paper

… This means there are much more Muslims living in areas like the United States and Great Britain than ever before. Many of these individuals have had to adjust how they practice Islam in order to fit into the legal mold of such Western nations, were religion is kept out of state affairs.

Still, despite growing numbers of Muslim inhabitants of Western nations, they must still often fight against preconceived stereotypes. In most Western nations, like the United States and Great Britain, Muslims are still seen as outsiders. The research claims that "they are classified, officially and in popular parlance, as ethnic Arabs, Africans, and Asians," (Shamsul, 2006, p 68). Those who follow Islam tend to be stereotyped into tight categories in the West. This then…. [read more]

Worldview of Hinduism Term Paper

… Hindu Worldview

The Worldview of Hinduism

Of all the world's major religions, Hinduism stands out for a number of reasons. Not only is Hinduism truly ancient, it is not so much a religion as it is a loose compilation of individual beliefs concerning the universe and humankind's role in it. The research will show that Hinduism has experienced some fundamental changes over the millennia that have influenced the overall practice of its religious aspects, but the basic worldview embraced by its adherents remains essentially the same. To determine what worldview is espoused by Hindus today, this paper provides a review of the peer-reviewed and scholarly literature to determine what Hinduism is, what worldview is held by its practitioners and how these views have changed over…. [read more]

New Age Crystals, Witchcraft, ESP Term Paper

… While there are no central texts associated with the New Age, the movement includes a plethora of printed material to guide and inform practitioners or potential practitioners. The early works published by the Theosophical Society, the Seth books, the Urantia book, and Deepak Chopra's books can all be considered New Age, as can classics of world religions like the Bible and the Tibetan Book of the Dead. The New Age espouses no particular view of the afterlife and no singular worldview, although many practitioners believe in a Hindu or Buddhist-like concept of reincarnation rather than an absolute heaven or hell. Some New Age believers promote an apocalyptic worldview, seeing hidden spiritual meanings in natural disasters and political events, while others assert more optimistically the dawn…. [read more]

Freedom What Is Freedom? Term Paper

… ¶ … Freedom

What is freedom? Freedom is the right to choose: the right to create for yourself the alternatives of choice. Without the possibility of choice and the exercise of choice a man is not a man but a member, an instrument, a thing." Archibald MacLeish

There can be as many definitions of freedom as many people we have in this world. Everybody defines freedom according to his own mindset. Intellectuals demand freedom of thought and expression. Young men ask for the freedom of action. Rebels fight for the freedom to think out of the way and challenge the status quo. In short, everyone wants to exercise his own will within his limited sphere. Similarly, East and West have their own definitions of freedom.…. [read more]

Journey into Buddhism - Thomas Merton Research Paper

Aldous Huxley's Ends and Means, Merton showed an interest in Asian religions. When he was a student at Columbia University, Merton sought out a Hindu monk named Brahmachari for some counsel. The monk advised Merton to follow his Christian tradition to find what he was most deeply looking for.

Thomas Merton liked Mahatma Gandhi. He wrote how Gandhi, despite being a Hindu, found refuge in the Biblical Sermon on the Mount. Merton began seriously exploring Buddhism as a religion in the early 1950s. He had a specific interest in Zen Buddhism. He believed there were several similarities between the Desert Fathers and Zen. For instance, he noted that the Desert Fathers, like Zen Roshis, desired followers to lose themselves to transcend their…. [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…. [read more]

Henri Nouwen Thesis

… Henri Nouwen

"…Compassion means going directly to those people and places where suffering is most acute and building a home there"

Henri Nouwen


In time, the name of Henri Jozef Machiel Nouwen became synonymous with the title of one of the best known books he wrote, the Wounded Healer . Some religiously followed his teachings and considered Nouwen as a spiritual guide, while others have strived to expose him as a universalist who espoused the path of mysticism.

Born January 24, 1932 in Nijkerk, a small village approximately 28 miles southeast of the Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Nouwen taught at Notre dame in 1966 and began teaching at Yale Divinity School in 1971. "He was not Protestant and he was not 'old school.' He…. [read more]

Jesus Term Paper

… Jesus Through the Centuries

Jaroslav Pelikan investigates the enormous impact Jesus has had on the evolution of Western culture. Although he never manages to break free from the Christian worldview, Pelikan does offer a rich and scholastic chronology of the role Jesus played in Western social, political, economic, philosophic, and artistic histories. Divided into eighteen chapters that are roughly arranged chronologically, Pelikan's book Jesus through the Centuries is an ambitious undertaking. Pelikan treats Jesus as a symbolic figure and historical force, mentioning theology only when necessary to substantiate his main ideas. The author shows how the name of Jesus Christ has been evoked throughout the past two thousand years to "legitimate political activity," (p. 7). Moreover, Pelikan illustrates the way Jesus faded from historical figure…. [read more]

Biography on Edward Robinson Research Paper

… Edward Robinson, 1794-1864) was an American biblical scholar. Robinson is often called the "Father of Biblical Geography," and was one of the earliest religious scholars to systematically and professionally catalog numerous sites and establish the Bible as a verifiable archeological map. He was born in Connecticut and graduated at Hamilton College and New York, moving to Europe to study at Halle and Berlin. When he returned to the United States, he accepted a professorship of theology specializing in sacred literature at Andover College. He was the founder, in 1831, of the Biblical Repository, and in 1843 established the Bibliotheca Sacra.

One of his most important periods began in 1938 when, in the company of the Reverend Eli Smith, he traveled to Palestine to do primary…. [read more]

Buddhism Daoism Term Paper

… Buddhism and Daoism

There are many factors that facilitated the introduction of Buddhism into China. In some ways the groundwork was being set for Buddhism in the prior religious philosophies of China at the time. Confucianism and especially Daoism (Taoism) created some of the structures for understanding and even necessitating the philosophical and spiritual principles of the Buddhist philosophy. There did, however, exist a common thread of awareness, of collective insight that gave the Chinese culture at the time and appreciation, almost a need for Buddhism. In fact the Sanskrit word, Sutra, literally means thread and is an antecedent of the word suture. The Sutras not only bound Buddhism together but sutured together the philosophies of China with itself as well.

Much like the appreciation…. [read more]

Kabbalah Practice Thesis

… ¶ … Kabbalah Practice and Its Followers

The Kabbalah, in its various recensions, is a collection of Jewish mystical texts that many believe represents a special, hidden, and universal, wisdom. Studied down through the centuries by many who were practicing Jews-even including learned rabbis-Kabbalah has no attracted a wide following among both Jews and non-Jews alike. Many are drawn to its teachings because of its transcendent message. Kabbalah is interpreted as applying to all, regardless of their previous faith, or affiliation. Kabbalah teaches a form of direct union with the Divine. One seeks one's ultimate divine purpose, attempting to reorganize one's life in accordance with a program of spiritual growth. Ultimately, modern Kabbalism is based on a notion that, in its true form, all is…. [read more]

Hasidim vs. Buddhism Term Paper

… Speculating in Detail -- the growth of Buddhism and Hasidic Judaism

Although the scenario presented for speculative discourse is considered to be absurd, it actually contains some features that are not so absurd at all. Buddhism is not simply a religion. Buddhism, although it began in India, is a non-territorially specific philosophy of mindfulness and living in the present. This is why it spread so rapidly throughout China and Japan, amongst other Asian nations. Buddhism is a kind of 'portable' way of looking on life, without specific practices and texts other than meditation. It would have seemed absurd to someone living in America fifty years ago that yoga would become one of the most popular workout techniques for suburban mothers desiring to keep their minds…. [read more]

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