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Who is my Neighbor? A study of world religions October 24, 2012 First Baptist Church of Pittsburgh.

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Presentation on theme: "Who is my Neighbor? A study of world religions October 24, 2012 First Baptist Church of Pittsburgh."— Presentation transcript:

1 Who is my Neighbor? A study of world religions October 24, 2012 First Baptist Church of Pittsburgh

2 Week 2: What is a Cult? OCT Megan Scholarly vs. Popular Definition Common Traits Examples Week 3: Hinduism Brief History OCT. 17 – Megan (Kittie will contribute TM materials) Vedas Shaivas, Vaishnavas, Goddess followers Beliefs & Practice Week 4: Buddhism OCT 24 – Megan Brief History Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana 4 Truths, Eight-fold Path Mahayana Sects (Zen/Chan, Pure Land, etc.) Beliefs & Practice Week 5: "Minor" Religions OCT Megan Zoroastrianism Sikhism Jainism Taoism Shinto

3 Week 6: Judaism NOV. 7 – Kittie Brief history Ancient vs. Modern Orthodox vs. Reformed Beliefs and Practices Week 7: Christianity NOV Kittie Brief History Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, Other Beliefs & Practice NOV 21 – NO CLASS, BREAK FOR THANKSGIVING Week 8: Islam NOV Kittie Brief History Four pillars Shiite vs. Sunni Sufism Week 9: New Religions (post 1800) DEC. 5 - Kittie Mormonism Jehovah's Witnesses Scientology Neo-Paganism/Wicca Various New Asian Religions Week 10: Overview/Summary: What Does All This Mean for Christians?

4 Buddhism is the 4 th largest religion in the world. Estimated number of Buddhists range from million members. There are three main branches of Buddhism: Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. There are a number of different sects in each of the three branches. There are approximately 1.2 million Buddhists in the United States.

5 There are about a dozen different Buddhist groups in Pittsburgh. Most are Tibetan Buddhist (Vajrayana) or Soto Zen (a Japanese Mahayana sect). There is also one Theravada temple, the Pittsburgh Buddhist Center (below).

6 From the Buddha to the present

7 Born as Siddhartha Gautama c. 563 BCE in what is now Nepal Various legends about his birth Prophecy by a sage that he would either become a great king or a holy man, so his father kept him in the palace to ensure he would become a king. Eventually he got out of the palace and saw four things: an old man, a sick man, a dead man, and a holy man.

8 At first, Siddhartha followed stringent asceticism, but did not get anything out of it. After this, he dedicated himself to meditation, sat beneath a fig tree and vowed not to get up until he reached enlightenment. After reaching enlightenment, he began teaching others. His first sermon was given at a deer park.

9 Died/reached parinirvana at the age of 80, after eating some mushrooms prepared for him by a lay devotee

10 After the death of the Buddha, his followers gathered to preserve his teachings. These teachings were passed down orally until they were written down during the Fourth Buddhist Council in 29 BCE. Sri Lanka had been hit with famine, and they had realized the need to write down the dharma in case the monks who knew it died. The writings became the Tripitaka (lit. ‘three baskets’, aka the Pali Canon).

11 King Ashoka ( BCE) experienced terrible regret over his bloody conquest of the kingdom of Kalinga, and converted to Buddhism. He erected pillars expounding the dharma all over his kingdom and built stupas containing relics of the Buddha all over India. He sent the first missionaries outside India to Sri Lanka and possibly the Mediterranean.

12 From Sri Lanka, Buddhism spread to Burma and Thailand. By the first century CE, Mahayana Buddhism had been developed and spread from India to Southeast Asia, and to China, Korea, and Japan. In the modern day, Buddhism has spread from East Asia throughout the world, both by emigration and proselytization.

13 Bodhi, dharma, and nirvana

14 Buddhists believe in an eternal universe Buddhism is non-theistic: it does not have a creator god For these reasons, Buddhism often identifies itself as science-friendly, because it has no theological qualms with evolution Conceive of time as cyclical – following the emergence of a buddha, there is a time of great time of the dharma flourishing, followed by a time of the dharma in decline, followed by a long period of time when the dharma is lost, at which point a new buddha emerges.

15 Anatman – lit. ‘no soul’, contrary to Hinduism, Buddhists do not believe in a soul which is reborn. Arhat – a living person who has achieved enlightenment. Bodhi – enlightenment Dharma – right doctrine Lama – a Tibetan teacher/master equivalent to ‘guru’ Mantra – a chant used to help one attain enlightenment i.e. Om mani padme hum

16 Mudra – a hand gesture held in meditation; the Buddha is often depicted with different mudras which have specific meanings Nirvana – lit. ‘to extinguish’, achieving final enlightenment and exiting samsara Prajna – wisdom Sangha – a community of Buddhist monks and practitioners Sutra – a Buddhist scripture

17 Theravada, Vajrayana, and Mahayana

18 Holds the Tripitaka as authoritative Emphasizes monasticism for reaching nirvana Predominant in Sri Lanka and southeast Asia Monastic practice includes meditation Lay practice focuses on ‘merit making’: preparing food for the monks, donating to temples, burning incense to the Buddha, and chanting verses from the Pali Canon

19 Means ‘Lightning Vehicle’ Scriptures are called ‘tantras’ Dates to the 7 th or 8 th century CE Dominant in Tibet and Mongolia Goal is to become a Bodhisattva, akin to a Christian saint, one who is moved by compassion for all sentient beings to attain Buddhahood. Esoteric teachings are passed down from teacher to student

20 A ‘tulku’ is a high-raking lama who can determine the manner of his next rebirth There are perhaps as many as 500 in Tibet The two most well-known are the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama The current Dalai Lama is the 14 th After escaping Tibet, he has lived in exile in India There has been controversy over the succession of the Panchen Lama

21 Means ‘Great Vehicle’ Largest school of Buddhism Dates to the beginning of the Common Era Claims to be superior to other schools; accepts parts of the earlier Canon as well as later texts Does not accept the arhat as the final enlightenment Leads to Bodhisattva status instead Considers seeking attainment as an arhat to be selfish; one should seek enlightenment for the sake of all sentient being

22 Known as ‘Chan’ in China, introduced to Japan in the 12 th century Two main sects: Soto and Rinzai Soto emphasizes zazen (seated meditation) only Rinzai embraces zazen as well as koans and other aids to achieve enlightenment A koan is a statement which forces one to think and has no definite answer, i.e.: “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”

23 Founded by Shinran in the early 13 th century. Is the largest religious sect in Japan (20% of the population) Emphasizes faith over works ‘Cat faith’ versus ‘monkey faith’ Shinran focused on the ability of lay people to be reborn in Amida’s paradise Married and had children


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