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Religion Sociology

How does religion influence human being

Religion plays an important role in everyday life. A person’s religious beliefs can affect various aspects of his/her life. Religion is not always about accepting or living by a certain set of beliefs, but it can be about the way those beliefs indirectly influences one’s life. Religious beliefs may instil morals and values in a person that will in turn influence the decisions he/she makes about the type of life he/she leads. Religion is defined as a set of beliefs, cultural systems, or views of the world that relates the human being to the supernatural realm. Numerous studies have been conducted to determine why religion plays such an important aspect in society. Great debates have been pursued about various religions and the people who practice them. Religion has a much greater impact on society than the average person realizes. Human society is built on religion, so even if one doesn’t believe in a particular religion, he/she is still inadvertently affected by a religious society. Consequently, almost every aspect of one’s daily life is influenced in some way by one religion or another. One of the greatest influences that religion has on everyday life is the fact that many of the laws and social and cultural beliefs that are practiced are based upon religious teachings. These laws are the foundation of the society that humans know. Because these laws govern our daily behaviour, in essence humans are behaving according to religious doctrine. Religious beliefs are an intricate part of each human being that shapes their social interaction, family life, type of job they work, whether or not they attend religious services, the role they play in society as a female or male, and their economic life.

Religious beliefs help to keep and maintain order in society. Religious practices also help to comfort humans and explain why tragic events happen. By nature humans are naturally sociable creatures. Humans learn from each other and often work better with the help and ideas of others. Without religion, people would not be able to live together and function in society. Religious beliefs govern the way people interact with one another in society. Religion is used by society members to comfort one another in time of crisis. Religious groups ban together to pray when tragic events happen. Many religious people admit that they are able to face a world of crime and violence because of their strong religious beliefs. Religious beliefs are used in to comfort bereaved families. Funeral, wakes, tributes, memorials, and other rituals all have their foundations in one religion or another. Many of the Ten Commandments are actual state laws that one could be penalized for violating. Nonetheless, most cultures have vowed to separate church and state. One religious belief can also affect one’s social status. Many time in small town when someone is seeking political office, one of the aspects of their lives that is mentioned is their religious affiliation. In order to live productively in society together, humans must be able to resolve conflict in a peaceful manner. Again, religion plays a role in conflict resolution. Must religions have a set of guidelines that govern how conflicts should be resolved among believers. Most religious believers follow these guidelines and only revert to state law when no other actions can be taken.

Religion also affects aspects of family life. The act of marriage is a religious convention. Whether or not a couple gets married, has children, divorces, use contraceptives, or attends some type of religious services each week all depends upon religion. With nearly fifty percent of all marriages today ending in divorce, many scholars are examining whether or not a family’s religious beliefs has an effect on its cohesiveness. Marriages end in divorce over many dilemmas from money to the best way to raise and discipline children. Many studies have concluded that families that practice religious beliefs and rituals together tend to be happier and more loving. When couples have religious grounding in their relationship they tend to not argue as much as couple who do not because many religions have the role of each person in the relationship outlined. If each person is willing to abide by the guidelines set for him/her, the possibility of arguing of the general government of the family is slim. Statistics also show that children who come from loving, two parent homes have a better chance at success than their counterparts. Religious people feel that these statistics are no mistake because a higher being designed it that way. Many religions have guidelines as to the role of the mother and father. Many religions convey that the role of the woman is to bear children, while the role of the man is to provide the finances. Disciplining children has become a huge controversy lately. The law says that whipping is a crime, while many religions teach that discipline is necessary. Nonetheless, it is quite obvious that in order for a marriage to work, the couple must be operating under some type of guidelines.

One’s profession may be influenced by religious beliefs. Many people were taught that an honest dollar was a good dollar, but many people refuse to work certain types of jobs due to their religious beliefs. There have been many heated debates in the news lately about abortions and casinos. Many religions teach that abortions are wrong because it is murder. As a result, people who support this will not work for physicians or clinics that perform abortions. They may feel that if they work in a place that performs abortions that they are somehow condoning the action. Likewise, many people will not accept the services of a doctor or nurse that performs or assists in the act of abortion. Religious people often ask their doctor or nurse these questions before eliciting their services. Likewise, many religions profess that gambling is wrong too. Consequently, no matter how desperate a person may be for a job, he or she will not take a job at a casino because of religious beliefs. Another example is massage parlours. There are an endless number of religions that convey that the woman’s body should be covered properly and not seen by strange men. Most women at massage parlours wear very skimpy clothing to elicit male customers. Likewise, some women do not patronize massage parlours out of fear of being stereotyped.

Attending some type of religious service is a religious ritual. Surveys have confirmed that a high percentage of people attend some type of religious service on a regular basis. In some instances, people don’t attend religious services because they believe in the particular religion, but because it has become a routine for them. They grew up attending a service and they continued when they were grown. As a result, they now attend with their family. Or, attending a religious service may be expected by the community in which they live. Many people attend services because everyone else in their neighbourhood does or because people they work with attend the same service. Whatever the reason may be, people seem to go. Some people even attend more than one service per week. Although many people are unaware of it, in some denominations people hold offices in their religious establishments. With these offices comes societal and economic prestige.  Some religious organizations demand that their member donate a certain percentage of their family’s earnings.

The role of males and female in society has been determined for years. As children, humans are taught that some roles are feminine, while others are masculine. Female children are given dolls and male children are given trucks. These teachings stem from the false assumption that women are naturally passive and men are naturally aggressive. Nonetheless, societal roles are being transformed in today’s society. Women are going out and working while men stay home and take care of the home and children. There are men who decide to become school teachers and women who want are professional truck drivers.  The way people teach their children about these roles are rooted in religious beliefs. As a result, humans grow into the roles they will have later in life. Sadly, those people who do not fit into the cookie cutter design are ostracized by society. The religious connotation of these roles is still state law in many places. The institution of marriage is defined as a woman and man in many states today; the same way it is defined in most religions. People who object to these rules are deemed deviants and trouble makers.

Deciding to live meagrely or extravagant is also rooted in religious beliefs. Most people who are religious practices decide to live meagrely. Living extravagantly is seen as a waste by most religions. Donating to charities, volunteering, tithing, and helping the poor in general are seen as wealth to religious people. In most religions, the main teacher was of poor upbringings. For example, in Christianity, Christ was poor. He didn’t own anything and live the life of a nomad, moving from place to place. As a result of this teaching, and others like it, many people believe it is a sin to be wealthy.

The roots of religious practices are manifested in various aspects of human life. Even people who profess that they are not religious are still inadvertently affected by religion. Every member of the civilized world is subject to societal laws, and depending upon where one lives those laws could come directly from some religious teaching. Some type of religion has been present to humans from the very beginning of existence. Many practices have evolved and changed over time, but can be traced back to one particular religion or another. Much research has been conducted to try to uncover the meaning of it all, but one definitive meaning has remained elusive. People who practice religious beliefs seem happier, content with life, and more purpose driven than people who do not practice at all. Religion affects how members of society interact with one another. It determines if one will get married or cohabitate. Religion determines the type of job or career one pursues.  Religion affects all aspects of one life both directly and indirectly.

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Religion

Apologetics for the 21st Century

Introduction

Known as one of the ‘primers on Christian apologetics’, this book by Louis Markos provides a thorough review of the leading views held by prominent Christian apologists, as well as the progress of apologetic arguments over time, leading up to the 21st century. Divided into two sections, it systematically addresses the historical and modern implications of the Gospel of Christ in context of our Christian standpoint in a modern world. A concise book summary of Apologetics for the 21st Century will be outlined herein.

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Religion

Understanding Paul’s Way of Teaching

Paul, an oppose-turned-disciple of Christ after Jesus’ life here on earth, was known as one of the best teachers and preachers of the kingdom truth. It could be realized that his understanding of the gospel and the way he shares it to others insisted on a great impact on how the people realized what he was sharing to them. One way by which he teaches is through convincing them that what they are doing is right and it is through this process that they are establishing a connection between them and their creator. Relatively, he insists that his listeners work their own way, and that it would not be him [the teacher] from whom the effort should come. In a way, he motivated them to work through their desires and become more involved in pleasing God as his own followers and not as Paul’s students alone.

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Religion

ROMANS 8: 31-39 Exegesis

As in every religion, there are varying views and sects that each have their own version of the same Holy Book. The issue, naturally, is the differences in the way the Books were translated from their original texts. Christianity in particular has this problem, due primarily to the varying differences in versions of the Bible–ranging from the King James version, the “message”, the New International Version, as well as many others.

The Biblical passage of Romans 8: 31-39 deals primarily with questioning who would dare to oppose God due to the wonderful things that God has provided. It also cites the death of Jesus Christ as further evidence of God’s greatness, in that he did not place the fate of His own son above any others. In lines 38 and 39, Paul illustrates his view that nothing can separate a person from the love of God. His justification, again, was God’s willingness to sacrifice His own son for the sake of humanity.

There is another direct quote from the lines that can be interpreted in many different ways, and is quite controversial—though it does show up in some form in almost all versions of the Bible. For the purpose of maintaining the direct quote Paul extrapolates from Christ, this is Line 36 from the King James version: “As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’”

This is a very harsh quote to be placed inside a verse Paul meant to solidify God’s grace over humanity. Overall, this quote probably causes the most possible contextual controversy in the entirety of the passage due to simple translation and syntax issues. Though there is little doubt the quote itself appeared in Paul’s original drafting of Romans, there are four different versions of it, as well as the context surrounding it, that certainly lend themselves to vastly different interpretations.

Direct examples of this are the vast differences in the interpretations of this quote and the grammar and syntax surrounding it specifically between the King James Version of the Bible, compared to the version used by the sect that calls themselves “The Message”. In the traditional King James version, Paul simply uses the quote to illustrate the fact that no hardship can ever separate a person from God. This is clearly illustrated by taking the full text of lines 35-37 into context:

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or      distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is       written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as    sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors            through him who loved us.

The King James Version does nothing more than use a very harsh-sounding quote to illustrate his belief in the universal grace of God.

As a direct foil to this idea, the version distributed to members of “The Message” is much more harsh, much more militant, and borderline radical. The quote is varied in this version as well, now saying, “They kill us in cold blood because they hate you…they pick us off one by one”. These much more radical words pushes Christians to isolation, almost with a bounty on their heads constantly. It is this kind of right-wing radicalism that breeds things such as the Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazism. This version clearly gives the impression that Christianity is currently under attack, and one must be militant to be vigilant. Mixing radicalism with religion is no new concept, and is also a scary one indeed.

The ironic part about the entire scenario is that “The Message” was not meant to be a radical interpretation at all, but instead a sort of paraphrasing of the original text so people could better understands the intent. The version was drafted over the course of the 1990’s to strengthen the Christian faith by making it applicable to the times, similar to versions drafted during the Protestant Reformation. The intention of the author in historical context, however, was to assist in the growth of Christianity through message clarification. In this passage though, the original intent was clearly not conveyed for many reasons.

Obviously the King James Version of the Bible is not the words of Paul verbatim. Every version of the Bible has been translated from a translation and so forth, depending much on where in the world the individual Bibles are attained. Eugene Peterson, a pastor as well as a Biblical Scholar, did not have any bad intentions when he presented “The Message” to the world–in fact, he is neither a radical, a racist, nor anything other than a true believer attempting to spread the word of God. However, he did not do a very good job at all.

At closer glance, “The Message” is an abridged and simple version of a version, of a version, of a book that is extremely hard to simplify without subverting some meaning in the process. Much of the problem, especially in the English language, is the lack of an ability to translate certain words. Where there is no English equivalent, words were used to attempt to keep the meaning of the text. Unfortunately, translators are people, and all people are different–hence different messages.

There are many contemporary issues that relate directly to the passage. Again, because of the horrible translation “The Message” puts forth, and the sheer amount of people that have read the text, it naturally lends itself to individual interpretations that subvert even Eugene Paterson’s intentions, clearly pure. Mr. Paterson saw the socio-economic scope of many that could indeed benefit from the teachings of Jesus, and so he decided to try to make the language of scripture more recognizable to more people.

In the process of doing this, which was successful to some extent, he also changed the scope of some of the text overall. The original King James Version uses Romans 8 as a way to solidify God’s presence, regardless of hardships. The quote is used to solidify the point Paul himself was trying to make. Unfortunately, there are many who will now read “The Message” and believe it preaches the opposite of peace.

Possible sermon ideas for Romans 8: 31-39 are very clear when looking at the King James and the New King James Version’s of the text. I would deconstruct social and economic issues plaguing the community, and relate it to the quote Paul used. This would help people keep faith in God during times of hardship especially.

 

 

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Religion

Sources and Forms for Lesson Plans for Christian Educators

In his book Leading, Teaching, and Making Disciples, Dr. Michael R. Mitchell addresses the most vital function of Christian ministry: making disciples. Dr. Mitchell’s book discusses the entire scope of what it means to “make disciples,” and to engage in discipleship. Underneath this broad scope, Dr. Mitchell emphasizes the realm of Christian education, and offers a serious analysis of the purpose and form of education designed to support discipleship. The book provides an analysis of the concept of education in a general sense, and also offers a narrower view of the leadership-based form of education for which the leader of a ministry is responsible. Along with the wide-ranging information available to help readers understand what it means to be a Christian educator, Dr. Mitchell also offers practical advice about how those who are responsible for providing Christian education –whether they are ministry leaders, parents, or others charged with this important duty- can find inspiration and can mold that inspiration into concrete and useful curricula for those who are seeking education, spiritual transformation, and the opportunity to engage in discipleship.

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Religion

“The Disciple-Making Circle”: Examining the Essential Activity of Ministry

For many people, both the faithful and the non-believers, the question of what it means to be a Christian is an important one. Non-believers may be seeking something for themselves without knowing or understanding what it is they seek, while those who have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ may feel that simple faith is not enough to make one a true Christian. In a sense, being a Christian is not something you are, it is something you do. Living the truth of the Lord in everyday life, being a true disciple of Christ; that is ultimately what being Christian means. It is not just the essential activity of Christian ministry to make disciples for Christ; it is the essential activity of all Christians to make disciples for Christ.

In his book Leading, Teaching, and Making Disciples Dr. Michael R. Mitchell addresses the concept of making disciples within the context of Christian education. Dr. Mitchell discusses a variety of forms that Christian education can take; it can and does include everything from formal education in schools to the education parents provide for their children in the home to the education that ministries share with their congregations and on individual bases. The details of the context are not the overriding concern; Dr. Mitchell does address the subject of shaping education to suit the venue, but what is most important is that Christian education lives up to its name by being Christ-centered1. In truly Christ-centered education, the creation of disciples will follow as naturally as water flows down a river.

Dr. Mitchell uses the opportunity presented in drafting his book to look at the issue of making disciples, and seeks to explore what that entails. Making disciples is not simply a matter of spreading the Gospel, nor is it simply a matter of leading by example. Making disciples is as much a process as is being a disciple; or, more specifically, it is the result of several processes. Education, spiritual formation, and making disciples are all inextricably linked. Taken together, they form a never-ending example of spiritual growth that spreads through discipleship from one Christian to the next.

Discussions about education, spiritual formation, and making disciples are of primary interest to authors, theologians, and ministries alike. Dr. Mitchell addresses the issue of education in concrete terms, discussing the content, context, and processes of education2. Dr. Mitchell also emphasizes the role of leadership in education, making it clear that education is also not something that just is, but something that leaders do. What makes Christian education so important is that it is the process by which leaders and educators prepare people for discipleship3. Like education, spiritual formation is part of the process of preparing for discipleship4. Simply memorizing the words of Christ from the New Testament are not enough to prepare for discipleship; it is also necessary to develop spiritually, to become spiritually mature, in order to bring the words of the Lord alive in discipleship.

Dallas Willard succinctly describes spiritual transformation as “the renovation of the human heart”5. Willard further elucidates spiritual transformation as “the process by which the human spirit or will is given a definite ‘form’ or character”6. Spiritual formation is not, however, an inherently positive process. Willard notes that “terrorists as well as saints are the outcome of spiritual transformation”7.What is important to understand when discussing spiritual transformation, then, is the significant role played by Christian educators, be they parents or school teachers or ministers or friends; they are responsible for offering the information and the leadership necessary to guide people towards a spiritual transformation that makes them disciples of Christ8.

When examining the issues of education, spiritual transformation and making disciples, then, is that they are all inextricably linked. In one sense it is possible to see a straight line from Christ-centered education through spiritual transformation to the making of a disciple. But simply providing Christ-centered education will not necessarily lead to the creation of a disciple. While it is possible to see the three components of education, spiritual transformation, and making disciples as three points on a straight line, it may be more appropriate to see them as points on a circle, one that not only goes around but that also feeds off into other circles, spinning outward to create more disciples for Christ. Hunt notes that “we need disciple-making teachers”9.These disciple-making teachers though, must not merely be educators; they must also be disciples. That is the only way they will truly help to manifest the spiritual transformation and the creation of disciples in their followers10.

By looking at the three points on this “disciple-making circle,” then, it is possible to see spiritual transformation at the center. All the education in the world will not be enough to make disciples, nor will disciples of Christ be able to make more disciples without the necessary spiritual transformation within each of their followers. It is the personal transformation, the “renovation of the heart,” that makes individuals open to the lessons of education and allows them to become spiritually mature so they too can become disciples of Christ.

The most essential activity of the ministry is, indeed, making disciples for the Lord. If this is not the core activity of a ministry, then it is failing its followers. This does not mean that other, more concrete concerns or activities are less worthy of consideration; rather, it emphasizes how important it is that ministry serves followers by providing what they need to become disciples. Christian educators have a responsibility to promote individuals to pursue the goal of personal spiritual development, just as they have a responsibility to teach the word of God. They also have a responsibility to serve as disciples themselves, in order to meet their followers in the center of the disciple-making circle. The ministry that lives the experience of discipleship, that recognizes that discipleship is something you do, not something you are, is the ministry that truly lives the word of the Lord.

Footnotes

  1. Michael R. Mitchell. Leading, Teaching, and Making Disciples: World-Class Christian Education in the Church, School, and Home. Bloomington, Ind: Crossbooks, 2010.
  2. George Barna. Growing True Disciples: New Strategies for Producing Genuine Followers of Christ. Colorado Springs, Colo: WaterBrook Press, 2001.

 

  1. Dallas Willard. Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the Character of Christ. Colorado Springs, Colo: NavPress, 2002.

 

 

  1. Brooks St. Clair Morton. The Great Comission: Making Sense of Making Disciples. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2013.

 

  1. Josh Hunt. Disciple-Making Teachers. Loveland, Colo: Vital Ministry, 1998.

 

  1. org. “Towards a Biblical Definition of Spiritual Formation: Romans 12:1-2 | Bible.org – Worlds Largest Bible Study Site.”

 

 

Bibliography

 

Barna, George. Growing True Disciples: New Strategies for Producing Genuine Followers of Christ. Colorado Springs, Colo: WaterBrook Press, 2001.

 

 

Hunt, Josh. Disciple-Making Teachers. Loveland, Colo: Vital Ministry, 1998.

 

Mitchell, Michael R. Leading, Teaching, and Making Disciples: World-Class Christian Education in the Church, School, and Home. Bloomington, Ind: Crossbooks, 2010.

 

Morton, Brooks St. Clair. The Great Comission: Making Sense of Making Disciples. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2013.

 

Free NET Bible and Thousands of Bible Studies | Bible.org – Worlds Largest Bible Study Site. “Towards a Biblical Definition of Spiritual Formation: Romans 12:1-2 | Bible.org – Worlds Largest Bible Study Site.” Accessed June 1, 2013. http://bible.org/seriespage/towards-biblical-definition-spiritual-formation-romans-121-2.

 

Willard, Dallas. Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the Character of Christ. Colorado Springs, Colo: NavPress, 2002.

 

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Religion

Ethical Analysis of a Contemporary Issue

Introduction

Work place ethics determines the moral or the ethical soundness of an act or lack of it thereof, on the basis of related consequences. In the strictest sense of utilitarian thought, an act is moral if it results to the greatest good of the greatest number of people (Morrison, 2010). It has a similar perspective to the consequential theory, in that they both judge an act on the basis of the good that comes out of it. For instance, it would be morally right if a bus driver overran a child crossing the road, if avoiding him would have endangered the lives of several passengers. In the corporate world, utilitarianism comes into play when those in leadership like the counselors make economically sound decisions, but in the process overlook or ignore some moral considerations.

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Religion

Intertestamental Period

Table of Contents

Introduction. 3

Alexander the Great 3

Ptolemaic Dominion. 4

Antiochus IV.. 5

The Maccabees. 5

Herod the Great 6

Importance of Maccabees and Christ Jesus. 7

Conclusion. 8

Reference List 10

Introduction

The period of time in history when man’s struggle in the world was at one of its highest was the time known as The Second Temple Period, when the Jewish temple was being rebuilt. It also marks the rise of Alexander the Great, and continues up until the time of King Herod and his sons, as they ruled Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. One of the groups of people who made their mark on history were the Maccabees, who began a revolt against the Greeks in the First Century, and were included in New Testamental writings, such as those in 1st and 2nd Maccabees. The Jews who fought valiantly for their religion went down in history as one of the greatest nations of their time, whose legacy remains complete until the time of Christ, and beyond.

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Religion

Creation vs. evolution: the science that reveals the truth

Outline

Introduction

Thesis Statement: “There is more scientific evidence supporting Creation than the theory of Evolution”.

Background information and definitions

Define Evolution

Define Creation

Darwin and Evolution

Darwin

The theories

The refutation and lack of evidence

Creation

Scripture

The theories

Evidence supporting Creation

Compare and contrast the science behind the theories

Conclusion

Summarize paper

Restate Thesis Statement: “There is more scientific evidence supporting Creation than the theory of Evolution”.

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Religion

Religion of the World

  1. Discuss the ways in which BUDDHISM was both an outgrowth of, and a reaction against Hinduism.

Hinduism is one of the, if not THE oldest of all the religions still practiced today. Buddhism, just like Hinduism originated in India. It could be said that, just like Christianity sprouts from its Judaic roots, so does Buddhism sprout from the Hindu tradition. It is well recorded that the Buddha was born a Hindu. When Buddha was 29 years old he felt incredibly disappointed by the suffering he saw around him, thus he decided to leave everything behind him and became a nomad. Before finding his own path, he went to Hindu gurus to find an answer to the problem of suffering. It is suggested that Buddhism gained popularity in India because it released the people from Hindu’s oppression and orthodoxy.

  1. What are the elements in Hinduism which Buddhism was both an outgrowth of and a reaction against Hinduism?

Buddhism and Hinduism have their similarities but they also have their differences. The teachings of the Buddha created hope and an alternate way of life for the people who had no hope of salvation and freedom of choice in a society dominated by the caste system, the rigid rituals and the unchanging status only the elite could hope to enjoy. The Vedic religion was very much a rigid mold in which Buddhism took shape and outgrew to encompass everyone, regardless of their caste or origin. In Hindu traditions, Buddha is regarded as one of the avatars of Vishnu. Strong rivalry existed between the Hindus and the Buddhist.

  1. What are the main elements of the Hinduism that the Buddha rejected?

The main elements of Hinduism that the Buddha rejected included the rigidity of the traditions and the caste system that dominated the Hindu religion. Other elements the Buddha rejected include the efficacy and supremacy of the Vedic texts, the four stages of life cycle, and the importance of the Hindu gods and goddesses. The Buddhists consider the world as suffering and regard ending suffering as the chief aim of human life. The Hindus consider that there are four chief aims (arthas) in life which every being should pursue.

4 . What were his reasons for rejecting those elements?

The reasons the Buddha rejected such elements of Hinduism because he believed that all of mankind was born equal- no one was superior or inferior to anyone. Hinduism believes in a caste-system which gives certain classes of people more importance, while other sections of people are treated like animals. He rejected the animal sacrifices of vedic brahmins for food and rituals. Buddha understood that Hinduism had no valid answers to many philosophical questions and was just a backward religion full of myths and lies created by stronger people to dominate the weaker. Buddha generally did not like the caste system, the animal sacrifices, and overall hypocrisy of the Hindu religion and hence created Buddhism.

  1. Discuss the way in which the religion of Islam was a reaction against the popular religion practice in Muhammad’s day by the majority of the people in the Arabian Peninsula. That is, what were the main elements of the native Arab religion AND the lifestyle his people lived that Muhammad wanted to change or eliminate. BE SPECIFIC.

Islam was a reaction against the popular religion in Muhammad’s day because followers of Muhammad saw the immoral and unethical ways of the polytheistic faiths at that time and took a radical approach of becoming a monotheistic religion. Muhammad and his followers had to undergo relentless persecution because of their beliefs in order to maintain their faith, uniting the bond of the Islamic people.

In addition. Briefly answer all of the following question:

  • What were some of the main religious influences in Arabia before Muhammad’s

revelations of the Qur’an that brought Muhammad to an understanding of monotheism?

The main religious influences in Arabia before Muhammad’s revelations of the Qur’an include polytheistic faiths and the Meccans, who persecuted Muhammad and his followers for believing in only one god. Many Ansar and Muhajrin followers ultimately gave up their monotheistic ways to follow Muhammad.

  • What is the one central belief and main focus in Islam?

The central, core belief of Islam is to love and serve God above all other things.

  • Name and define each of the 5 Pillars and briefly discuss the purpose that each one of them serves.

The five pillars of Islam include testimony, prayer, almsgiving, fasting and a pilgrimage to Mecca. The Pillars of Islam are five basic acts in Islam, considered obligatory for all believers. The Shadah, or testimony, is the first pillar and is a basic creed that must be cited under oath, testifying one’s allegiance to Muhammad. Salah is the second pillar and refers to the Islamic daily prayer routine- Islamic followers pray five times a day. Zakat refers to almsgiving, the third pillar of Islam. Zakat involves giving a fixed portion of accumulated wealth by those who can afford it to help the poor or needy. Sawn, the fourth pillar of Islam, refers to fasting from food and drink during Rahmadan- the fast’s purpose is to increase one’s closeness with Allah. The last pillar of Islam is the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca- which symbolizes the trek Abraham’s wife had to make while she was looking for water in the desert.

  1. Describe and compare the central mystical experience of Muhammad and moses, and include a discussion of what the significance of their experience was to their respective religion.

The central mystical experience of Muhammad occurred during his practice of praying alone for several weeks every year in a cave on Mount Hira near Mecca. Islamic tradition holds that during one of his visits to Mount Hira, the angel Gabriel appeared to him and began to recite the verses that would soon become the Qu’ran. Moses’ central mystical experience occurred when a bush lit up in flames in front of him and then he heard the word of God come from the bush. These occurrences were both highly significant for their own respective religions.

  1. Judaism is a religion for which a general definition that is, a definition that is inclusive of all Jewish people, is virtually impossible to determine. That being said, there a few elements of the religion that comprise what is considered to be a generally ACCEPTABLE definition of Judaism. What are those elements?

Elements that comprise an acceptable definition of Judaism include the fact that Judaism is a religion developed among the ancient Hebrews and characterized by a belief in one transcendent God. This God has revealed himself to Abraham, Moses, and the Hebrew prophets and by a religious life in accordance with Scriptures and rabbinic traditions.

Also answers all of the following:

  1. What were the 2 most significant events in ANCIENT Jewish story history, and why are they considered as such?

The two most significant events in ancient history include Moses’ parting of the Red Sea because it freed the Jewish people from religious persecution in Egypt, as well as the holocaust, the mass persecution of the Jewish people by the Nazis. The holocaust is considered one of the most significant events in Jewish history because it led to the death of 6 million followers and shook the core of the Jewish faith.

  1. Who were the 2 most important figures in ANCIENT Jewish history? What is each of their significance?

The two most significant figures in ancient Jewish history are Moses and Abraham. Abraham is who God made the covenant with and he is the father of the Jewish faith. Moses had the biggest impact on the history of the Jewish people however by parting the Red Sea and saving the jewish people from torment in Egypt by leading them to the ‘Promised Land.’

  1. What effect did the holocaust have on the theology of many Jewish people?

The holocaust had a huge impact on the Jewish people theologically. The persecution the Jewish people suffered through may have tested the faith of many, but in the end, the Jewish people were ultimately united and unified stronger than ever after World War II ended.

  1. Define and discuss the general concept of mysticism. In what ways is Sufism the mystical branch of Islam, similar of the religion of Buddhism and in what ways is it different?

Mysticism is the pursuit of communion with, identity with, or conscious awareness of an ultimate reality, divinity, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, instinct or insight. Mysticism usually centers on practices intended to nurture those experiences. Mysticism may be dualistic, maintaining a distinction between the self and the divine, or may be nondualistic. Sufism is the mystical branch of Islam in that Sufis believe that it is possible to draw closer to God and to more fully embrace the Divine Presence in this life.

  1. Jesus Christ had one overwhelming mystical experience, which marked the beginning of his teaching career and is one the miracles mentioned in the Gospel. That’s experience brought him to an understanding of his true mission in the world and thus provided the impetus for all of his teaching. Name and describe that experience, in detail ( it was discussed in the Christianity chapter of the film THE HISTORY OF GOD SHOWN IN CLASS).

Jesus Christ’s most overwhelming mystical experience that lead to his teaching of Christianity was the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the River of Jordan which marked the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry and promotion of the Christian faith. Most modern scholars view the fact that Jesus was baptized by John as an historical event to which a high degree of certainty can be assigned, making it a reliable account in Jesus’ past. The baptismal scene includes the heavens opening, a dove-like descent of the Holy Spirit, and a voice from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”.

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Religion

Buddhism Begins and Ends with Buddha Enlighten Experience

Buddhism is one of the world’s most exceptional religions that existed for more than 2500 years (Khan, 2020, n.p). The religion founds its basis on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama. However, the teachings of the faith remain controversial because the original teaching did not exist come from oral sources Documents making its interoperations rely on oral representations of the teachers.  Buddha’s thoughts about the issue of free will lead many people to think that it occurred as a categorical error (Javanaud, 2018, pg.633). The emergence of a new religion, particularly in Asia or Europe, brings a challenge that the first few individuals pose challenges that bring about dilemmas or counterarguments that will remain topics for discussions even after the religion has taken root. The philosophical influence, whether negative or positive, will continue to affect the domains and application of the said religion. Unlike other religions and most philosophies, the historical Buddha did have a written record of their teaching but passed them down orally to younger generations. The lack of written or documented records of the teachings of the Buddha forms the primary reason why Buddhism has so many interpretations concerning religion.

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Religion

Living Judaism: Explanation of Origins, Significance, and Diversity of Practice

Introduction

There are various issues covered in the paper.  The first issue is the essence of Shabbat to the Jews. Also, challenges resulting from the observance of the Shabbat by individuals are discussed. Critical analysis of facts on the Shabbat raises several questions. The first question is the types of practices observed in Jewish societies. Another question is the significance of practices observed in the Jewish community. The evidence utilized in the study is from Biblical texts. The argument is on the issues that necessitated the modern society to abandon the Shabbat. The observed practice relates to the Orthodox methods that established approaches in the observance of the Shabbat.

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Religion

Thinking Through The Synoptic Problem: An Appeal To Tradition

Table of Contents

Introduction                                                                                                            3

The Essence of the Synoptic Problem                                                                    4

Thinking Through the Synoptic Problem: An Appeal to Tradition                       6

Conclusion                          8

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Religion

Buddhism’s Eightfold Path Provides a Perfect Key for the Understanding of the Universe

Abstract

This paper will detail and analyse the Eightfold Path which forms the basis of Buddhism and how followers of that doctrine construct their lives according to it. It will detail the reasons for the formulation of such a path, and why followers of Buddhism use it to attain their goal of ‘Nirvana’. The points the paper makes will be supported by references to Buddhist texts themselves, as well as to scholarly articles and other reading materials related to the subject matter.  Some comparisons will also be made in how its perceptions of the nature of reality contrast with more openly theist religions, specifically Christianity. The nature of the Eightfold Path as a route map and guide rather than a prescriptive instruction book will also be explored.