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The Major Religions Prof. T. Patrick Burke. Introduction Seriousness and Frivolity The Significance of Religion? The spiritual dimension of human life.

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Presentation on theme: "The Major Religions Prof. T. Patrick Burke. Introduction Seriousness and Frivolity The Significance of Religion? The spiritual dimension of human life."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Major Religions Prof. T. Patrick Burke

2 Introduction Seriousness and Frivolity The Significance of Religion? The spiritual dimension of human life. Soul Meaning Analysis and Diagnosis Hegel

3 Introduction, cont’d. The Families of Religions Indian: Hinduism, Buddhism, (Jainism), Sikhism The Self Chinese: Confucianism, Taoism, Chinese Buddhism Nature Semitic: Judaism, Christianity, Islam God and Revelation

4 Introduction, cont’d. Places of Worship Belief and Action Some Categories Universal and Particular Mystical and Ethical Self- and Other-Power Personal and Civil

5 Introduction, cont’d. Value Judgements The Phenomenological Approach Current Debate: Commitment v. Anthropology Our Approach in this Course Description, Suspension, Discussion Gender and Class: Equality and the Middle Class.

6 Introduction, cont’d Test Questions: Arrange the major religions in their families. What is meant by a “universal” religion? What is meant by a religion of “self- liberation”? What is the “phenomenological” approach? What are the reasons for and against it?

7 Part I: Religions of Indian Origin Hinduism Buddhism Jainism (not covered in this course) Sikhism

8 Hinduism The Spirit of Hinduism The story of Narada and Vishnu The Hindu View of Life The presence of the divine Pre-Vedic Religion: Harappa

9 Hinduism Vedic Religion The Aryans The Vedas Rig, Sama, Yajur, Atharva. The Vedic Gods Indra, Agni, Varuna, Rta Sacrifice (yajna) Brahman, the Power of the Sacrifice

10 Hinduism The Upanishads Brahman, the highest Reality Nirguna Brahman The Atman or Self The Atman is identical with Brahman The True Self and the Apparent Self

11 Hinduism, cont. Monism Reincarnation The Law of Karma The Cycle of Birth and Death Moksha, Liberation The Path of Sacred Knowledge, Meditation and Asceticism

12 Hinduism, cont. The Later Upanishads: Personalization Saguna Brahman: With Attributes Ishvara, the Lord Maya Yoga

13 Hinduism, cont. Classical Hinduism The Epics, Maha-bharata, Ramayana The Puranas Vishnu and Shiva (and Brahma) Shakti: the Goddess Parvati, Durga, Kali Yoni and lingam

14 Hinduism, cont. Lakshmi Sarasvati Ganesha Polytheism and Monotheism Puja Darshana

15 Hinduism, cont. The Four Varnas, or Classes The Aryan or Twice-born, the Sacred Thread Brahmins Kshatriyas Vaishyas Sudras Outcastes, Untouchables

16 Hinduism, cont. The Many Jatis, or Castes Restrictions on: Food Marriage Occupation

17 Hinduism, cont. The Four Ends of Man Dharma, Caste Duty Sadharana Dharma Artha, Power Kama, Pleasure Moksha, Liberation

18 Hinduism, cont. The Four Ashramas, or Stages of Life Brahmacarin, the celibate student Grihastha, the householder Vanaprastha, the forest-dweller Sannyasin Sadhus

19 Hinduism, cont. Bhakti Hinduism: The life of devotion The Bhagavad-gita Karma yoga “Do the work for the sake of the work…” Bhakti, devotion to the Supreme Lord Vishnu: Krishna and Rama Shiva

20 Hinduism, cont. Hindu Ethics: Class and Caste Duties Universal Duties Ahimsa, non-violence No doctrine of unjust war But rules for conduct of war

21 Hinduism, cont. Modern Developments Gandhi Non-violent protest, civil disobedience, political independence (1947) Class and Caste outlawed, but preserved Partition: creation of Pakistan for Muslims Rejection of Capitalism, and Return to it. Hindutva: militant Hindu nationalism

22 Test, Hinduism 1. Identify: Indra, Agni, Varuna, Rta, Vishnu, Shiva, Sarasvati, Kali. 2.Explain briefly what is meant by: Brahman, Atman, maya, moksha, samsara, yoga. 3.Summarize in one or two sentences the worldview of the Upanishads. 4.What are the Four Ends of Man? 5. What are the Four Varnas?

23 Test, Hinduism, cont. 6. What is the chief message of the Bhagavad-Gita?

24 Buddhism The Mustard Seed The Buddhist View of Life: Transience "Do not cherish the unworthy desire that the changeable might become unchanging.“ Siddhartha Gautama of the Shakyas The Four Passing Sights The Great Going Forth The Great Awakening

25 Buddhism, cont. Theravada Buddhism The Four Noble Truths Dukkha: Suffering Tanha: Craving Nirvana: Extinction Marga: The Path

26 Buddhism, cont. The Eightfold Path Right Understanding Right Thought Right Speech, Conduct, Livelihood Right Effort Right Mindfulness Right Concentration

27 Buddhism, cont. The Ten Precepts Five and Five Monks and Laity The Three Jewels Buddhist Theory Impermanence, Anicca No Self, Anatta

28 Buddhism, cont. The Five Aggregates Matter Sensations Perception Mental Formations Consciousness

29 Buddhism, cont. The Doctrine of Dependent Origination Rebirth The Many Buddhas

30 Buddhism, cont. Mahayana Buddhism The Bodhisattva Nirvana and Samsara The Eternal Buddha Emptiness, Sunyata Grace v. Merit Meditation

31 Buddhism, cont. Devotional Buddhism Some Buddhas and Bodhisattvas Amitabha, Avalokiteshvara, Maitreya The Threefold Body of the Buddha The historical Buddha Faith The Sangha Festivals

32 Buddhism, cont. Buddhist Ethics Compassion for suffering Care for life, including commerce Rejection of justice, just war. Modern Developments Little affected by science, democracy, capitalism Neo-Buddhism

33 Religions of Chinese Origin Harmony with Nature Human Nature: Confucianism Cosmic Nature: Taoism Buddha Nature and Cosmic Nature: Chinese Buddhism

34 Traditional Chinese Religion Spirit: Sacrifice offered to spirits of ancestors by the son. Civil religion, for the good of the community. rather than personal. A function of the head of the community: father, king (son of ancestors). Nearest thing to a priesthood: the ju, the learned.

35 Traditional Chinese Religion Shang Dynasty, BC. Aristocracy and peasantry. Ancestors Spirits: kuei and shen. Gods: the T’u Ti the celestial administration; once human beings.

36 Traditional Chinese Religion Shang dynasty cont. Ti. Divination. Ritual, Li. Power, Te.

37 Traditional Chinese Religion Chou Dynasty, BC. Shang Ti, the high God. Heaven, T’ien. The Mandate of Heaven, T’ien Ming. Virtue, Te. Filial piety, Hsiao. The Son of Heaven, T’ien Tzu.

38 Traditional Chinese Religion Period of the Warring States, BC. Calamities Shang Ti, replaced by Heaven, T’ien. The Five Classics: Changes History Poetry Ritual Spring and Autumn Annals.

39 Confucianism Confucius and the Tiger The Confucian View of Life: Human- heartedness. K’ung Fu Tzu, BC. Poor but well educated. Teachings compiled by his followers. Response to barbarization: virtue, character. Religious ethics.

40 Confucianism, cont. The Four Books: Analects The Doctrine of the Mean The Great Learning Mencius Heaven The Goodness of Human Nature

41 Confucianism, cont. Tao, the Way Chun-tzu, the Noble Man Ren, Human-heartedness I, Justice Hsiao and T’i, Filial Piety and Brotherly Love The Five Relationships Li, the Rules of Good Behavior

42 Confucianism, cont. Shu, Treat others as you wish to be treated. Chung, Conscientiousness Te, the Power of Virtue Ho, harmony The Mean The Rectification of Names Theory of Government: the Person of the Ruler

43 Confucianism, cont. The Destiny of Man Yang and Yin Modern Developments: Banned under Communism on Mainland Maintained in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore Can it foster democracy? Can it foster free markets?

44 Taoism The Spirit of Taoism: Who knows what is ‘good’? Harmony with Cosmic Nature. Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu Tao, the Way of Nature Wu, Non-being, Emptiness Spontaneity Impartial, not humane

45 Taoism, cont. The Relativity of Values Our ordinary values are conventional, and relative to their opposites. Beauty implies ugliness. The cosmos does not share our human values. Wu Wei: Inactive Action. The Man of Tao Government should be minimal. Taoism and the arts.

46 Taoism, cont. Other forms of Taoism: In addition to Philosophical Taoism, there is also Popular Taoism, which aims to produce health, wealth and long life through rituals.

47 Chinese Buddhism The Spirit of Chinese Buddhism Paradox The Chinese Buddhist View of Life: Personal Religion A Fusion of Indian Buddhism and Taoism The place of the Tao is taken by the Buddha-nature. Meditational and Devotional

48 Chinese Buddhism Meditational: Ch’an (Zen in Japan) Meditation is the path to enlightenment. The Buddha and the Lotus Bodhidharma Seeking the Buddha in One’s Own Heart A Special Transmission outside the Scriptures No Dependence on Words or Letters

49 Chinese Buddhism Meditation: Overcoming the sense of individual identity distinct from the world. Seeing our innermost nature as the Buddha-nature. Sudden vs. Gradual Enlightenment Lin Chi Shock therapy, kung an (koan). Tsao Tung Reason and argument

50 Chinese Buddhism Enlightenment not our doing. No objective change. Spontaneity and the arts. Devotional Chinese Buddhism Far greater numbers The Pure Land Kuan Yin

51 Religions of Semitic Origin Judaism, Christianity, Islam God Personal, all-powerful, -knowing, -good. Creation Revelation, in writing Judgement

52 Israelite Religion Spirit: David, Uriah, Nathan Origins: Unification of hill tribes. Captivity in Egypt? Exodus? Torah in Babylon Ethical Monotheism Civil religion, for this world The Law

53 Israelite Religion God and Creation Initial henotheism Pluralistic, not monistic Salvific History Beginning, middle, end The Covenant The Law of Moses

54 Israelite Religion The Torah Sacrifice, purification Civil law Priests Prophets Sin and punishment Jeremiah: individual instead of collective responsibility

55 Israelite Religion 538 B.C.: Incorporation into the Persian Empire Zoroastrianism Battle between Good and Evil Judgement, Paradise and hell, Angels The Messiah to come Diaspora

56 Israelite Religion The Synagogue System Study, prayer The Oral Torah

57 Israelite Religion Religious Diversity Sadducees, traditional pre-Persian beliefs civil religion, sacrifices Pharisees, Persian: personal religion Scribes of both (> Rabbis) Essenes, monastic Imminent Messianism Zealots

58 Rabbinic Judaism The Story of Rabbi Eisik The Revolts of 70, 135 AD. Diaspora, Roman Citizenship Elimination of Diversity Christianization of the Roman Empire Constantine, Theodosius Changed political circumstances of the Jewish people The Oral Law, Fences, > Talmud Mishnah + Gemara Enlargement of Torah

59 Rabbinic Judaism Transformation of Jewish religion End of sacrifices End of special law enforcement Festivals now religious Temple replaced by Synagogue and Family Continuities Pharisaic conception of universal God Traditional Faith

60 Rabbinic Judaism An Ethnic Religion The Holy Days Sabbath Rosh Hashanah Yom Kippur Sukkot Hanuka Purim Passover (Pesach) Pentecost (Shavuot)

61 Rabbinic Judaism Rites of Passage Circumcision Bar Mitzvah Shiva and Sheloshim Kashrut Tallit, Tefillin, Mezuzah, Kippah The Divine Name: Yahweh and Adonai

62 Rabbinic Judaism Kabbalah Hasidism Branches of Modern Judaism Orthodox Reformed Conservative Reconstructionist

63 Rabbinic Judaism Ashkenazim and Sephardim The Holocaust The Land of Israel Conflict with Palestinians Jewish Ethics Orthodox: Halakhah Others: Socialist, “Liberal” Neo-conservatives

64 Islam 600, 622 A.D. The Spirit of Islam: Voice of the Muezzin Languages: Urdu, from India, and Arabic View of Life: God, Submission, Salvation Before Islam: polytheism, spirits, jinn Allah the high but not only God Christianity, Judaism hanifs

65 Islam Mohammed Mecca Travel to Damascus Revelations (see Hadith) Koran Hegira, 622 Medina

66 Islam The Return to Mecca, 630 The Death of Mohammed, 632 Expansion of Islam into Persian, Roman Empires The Status of Mohammed: Seal of the Prophets Sunna (custom) and Hadith (report)

67 Islam Doctrines of Islam: One God: There is no God but Allah Angels, jinn Correction of text: not precisely “fallen” Prophets and Scriptures Islam views itself as the original religion Resurrection and Judgement Predestination

68 Islam Shari’ah: the Law The Five Pillars of Islam Shahadah: confession of Faith Salat: public prayer Zakat: almsgiving Sawm: fasting Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca

69 Islam Jihad, internal and external Polytheists: conversion or death People of the Book, tolerated: Jews, Christians, Hindus, Zoroastrians. Ritual Impurity Circumcision The Organization of Islam: Ulama

70 Islam Islam and Society: union of religion and politics Sunni and Shiite: the problem of the succession, and so of authority.Abu Bakr v. Ali Shiite Islam: the redemptive sacrifice of Husayn, 10 th of Muharram saviorism, philosophy Sufism Islamic Ethics

71 Christianity An Incident in the Temple The Christian View of Life Two Roots Jewish Monotheism The Graeco-Roman world The Humanity of God God as Father

72 Christianity The Jewish Community in Jesus’ Time Pharisees Universal God Future Life Oral Law Sadducees God of the Jewish People Prosperity of the Jewish People in this life.

73 Christianity Scribes Scholars of the law of both Pharisees and Sadducees Essenes A monastic movement, sort of Common property Zealots Political revolutionaries, in Galilee (the north).

74 Christianity The Gentile Background The Roman Empire Judaea, Galilee Roman Civic Religion National, polytheistic The Mystery Religions Personal, Participation in the life of the God

75 Christianity Jesus of Nazareth in historical perspective The Message of Jesus The law of Moses must be kept But it must be interiorized The law exists for man, not man for the law The Oral Law has no validity No food is unclean God is our Father The law is kept fully by loving God and our fellow man

76 Christianity The Kingdom of God Ag. the Sadducees, there is a future life for soul and body One day Jesus will return. The Miracles of Jesus

77 Christianity The Message of Paul Jesus is the Savior of Mankind All men are sinners, and need redemption The Gentiles are immoral and do not know God The Jews do not keep God’s law All men suffer death, the punishment for sin

78 Christianity Jesus saves mankind from sin and death by his death and resurrection To become a Christian is to participate in Jesus’ death and resurrection

79 Christianity The Further Development of Christianity Jewish v. Gentile Christians Destruction of Jewish Christianity in 70 AD. Some meanings of terms “Catholic” = the whole church, as contrasted with the local church Organization of the Christian Church

80 Christianity The Christian Bible The Hebrew Bible completed c. 100 AD Accepted by Christians as the Old Testament Books of New Testament settled c. 180 AD The Church superior to the Bible The Sacramental System At first two, then five others “Ex opere operato”

81 Christianity The Church as Authority The Apostolic Succession Communion with the Church in Rome 312, Constantine, Christianity permitted Theodosius, other religions banned

82 Christianity The Status of Jesus Divine or human? Real body? Real death? Doctrines of Incarnation: Jesus is one person with two natures and Trinity God is one nature in three persons

83 Christianity Philosophy and Theology Evil Purgatory East v. West The Germanic tribes

84 Christianity The Reformation Martin Luther, 1517 John Calvin (b. 1509) Salvation by grace alone Nature and reason are corrupt Grace only through Christ Salvation by faith alone

85 Christianity Certainty of salvation Reduction of the sacramental system The church not a divine authority but the Bible Virtue the consequence of being saved Elimination of prayers for the dead.

86 Christianity The Reformation Churches Lutheran Calvinist Presbyterian Congregationalist Anglican Methodist

87 Christianity The Radical Reformation Baptist Believers only, by immersion Separation of church and state, religious liberty Mennonite (Brethren) Sect v. church Bible alone Pacifist Society of Friends

88 Christianity Ethics Old Testament: the Ten Commandments New Testament: love and compassion Catholics: Natural Law (Aquinas) Protestants: diverse. Bible alone; or, Natural Law (Hooker, Locke)

89 Christianity Modern Developments Liberal Christianity Values rather than faith Social Justice Equality v. No Harm

90 Comparative Analysis Phenomenological: without value judgements, initially Evaluational: in terms of some criterion, e.g. consequences What are the interesting points of comparison? That is, what are the interesting differences and the interesting agreements?

91 Comparative Analysis Aspects of Religions: Faith, Belief, World-view Religious Practices Ethics, Values Consequences: Social existence, economics, government, family

92 Comparative Analysis Example: Compare and contrast Buddhism and Christianity. Theravada: Interesting Differences: God v. No Self, Impermanence Morality v. psychology Just war v. pacificism Similarities: Detachment, humility

93 Comparative Analysis Mahayana and Christianity Differences: God v. Eternal Buddha- nature Reality of the Phenomenal world Similarities Saviorist

94 Comparative Analysis


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