World religions

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World religions

Post by Nature of a Man » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:44 pm

I was curious if anyone has spent time studying world religions or comparative religion - I've spent some time reading about major world religions such as the Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam), Eastern religions (Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism), as well as polytheistic or pagan religions (e.x. Greek and Roman paganism), and have my own opinions and thoughts about them, but was interest in hearing others' thoughts and understandings.

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Re: World religions

Post by DepartedLight » Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:03 pm

Yes.

It's been a very long time ago and I'm not into snit for snats.

Carry on.
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Re: World religions

Post by artsygeek » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:01 pm

Yes. It's an interesting topic, but I can see it all too easily going off the road and into the ditch.

Carry on.
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Re: World religions

Post by Thunktank » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:12 pm

They didn’t give me a unicorn for nothing. :oops: :lol:
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Re: World religions

Post by Thunktank » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:13 pm

artsygeek wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:01 pm
Yes. It's an interesting topic, but I can see it all too easily going off the road and into the ditch.

Carry on.
My early childhood was in a Mennonite home. Just saying.
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” -Yoda

“I grew up in a church with Ned Flanders. Down to the mustache. But so did a bunch of people I assume, which makes it so fun-diddly-unny.” -tuttle

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Re: World religions

Post by Nature of a Man » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:22 pm

artsygeek wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:01 pm
Yes. It's an interesting topic, but I can see it all too easily going off the road and into the ditch.

Carry on.
I'd say I see common themes and patterns across world religions, such as monastic or quasi-monastic traditions within most world religions - albeit with significant differences - as well as an 'advancement' of sorts up from polytheism to monotheism across the world's religions (I believe Buddhism could more or less be considered of the monotheistic category, despite Buddhism not generally mentioning a God directly).

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Re: World religions

Post by JMG » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:55 am

I've studied a lot on Mormonism over the years. It's lunacy. The past decade I've been a student of animism.
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Re: World religions

Post by Hovannes » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:25 am

What I find most interesting are common attributes religions share, traditions that support Natural Law and revelations indicating God's hand in moving Man closer to him. Things not usually assigned to religion but usually culture.
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Re: World religions

Post by durangopipe » Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:03 am

Began writing more thoughts about the LDS Church. Thought better of it.
Many of my students are Mormon. It’s inevitable teaching as I do near Utah.

I have also had several students who escaped from the fundamentalist Mormon church.



But I will say this:

Regarding the former: a more Christ-like community you will not easily find.
Regarding the latter: a more abusive community you will not easily find.
In both cases: a less canonically or theologically Patristic faith that calls itself Christian you will not easily find.

Further than that I won’t go, here.

And yes, the study of comparative religion (worldwide across cultures and evolutions over time) reveals much to suggest a common source of need and revelation.

And yes, as well, this car threatens to plummet into a ditch very quickly.
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Re: World religions

Post by Del » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:35 pm

In The Everlasting Man, GK Chesterton divides the world's religions into four classes:

1) Monotheists who worship God.
2) Polytheists who worship gods.
3) Bloody religions who worship demons.
4) Thoughtful religions who remember philosophers.

As always, Chesterton treats all of these with respect.

For example, why would any culture worship the demon-gods? Mainly because they delivered the goods. If you really want rain for your crops or victory in battle, you should petition the god who hears and answers. And the cultures of demon-gods were quite successful. The empires of Carthage and the Aztecs are prime examples.

But the demons require a specific diet in return for their boon. They desire human blood, especially the blood of children.

And so whenever a culture of life encounters a culture of demon-worship, there is war. It is a war to save the lives of future generations.

This was the point of the Punic Wars (Rome v. Carthage). Carthage was the great empire of the Mediterranean. Rome was a rival upstart. Carthage worshipped Molech, and sacrificed children on an industrial scale. Rome was a culture of household gods and ancestor worship. When Carthage attacked Rome, the Roman citizens responded -- quite literally -- to defend "hearth and home."

Likewise, the Promised Land was populated with many cultures who worshipped Molech. When God delivered the Land to the Israelites, the local tribes who respected life were permitted to co-exist. But those who sacrificed children to demons were "put under the ban."

In this light, Western culture is at a crossroads. We are a monotheistic culture who know the God of revelation. We are also a culture that sacrifices our children on an industrial scale to demon-gods of materialism and self-worship. The two cannot co-exist. In Europe, Western culture is being overwhelmed by Islam.
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Re: World religions

Post by Jocose » Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:09 pm

Whirled peas cant be done.
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Re: World religions

Post by hugodrax » Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:58 pm

Alright, you can study 'em as long as you admit they're wrong.
Etiam mihi opinio anserem perirent.

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Re: World religions

Post by DepartedLight » Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:19 pm

The Kingdom of Judah came to an end in 586 BC when Babylonian forces under Nebuchadnezzar II captured Jerusalem, and removed most of its population to their own lands - so says wiki.


2nd Kings Ch 24 & 25 recount the event.

And in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnez′zar king of Babylon came with all his army against Jerusalem, and laid siege to it; and they built siegeworks against it round about. So the city was besieged till the eleventh year of King Zedeki′ah. On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. Then a breach was made in the city; the king with all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, by the king’s garden, though the Chalde′ans were around the city. And they went in the direction of the Arabah. But the army of the Chalde′ans pursued the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho; and all his army was scattered from him. Then they captured the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah, who passed sentence upon him. They slew the sons of Zedeki′ah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedeki′ah, and bound him in fetters, and took him to Babylon. - Chapter 25 1-7

Meanwhile, in China around this same time Lao Tzu wrote the Tao Te Ching.

True perfection seems imperfect,
yet it is perfectly itself.
True fullness seems empty,
yet it is fully present.

True straightness seems crooked.
True wisdom seems foolish.
True art seems artless.

The Master allows things to happen.
She shapes events as they come.
She steps out of the way
and lets the Tao speak for itself.

Tao Te Ching 45

70 years later In the middle-east, the Prophet Daniel was pleading with Ha'Shem for his people to be freed for it was promised.

70 years later at the base of Shaolin Mountain in southeastern China, Bodhidharma, a Buddhist monk in northern India, walked "over the mountain" and sat. He did not know the language. The Taoist monks took him in.

From these experiences, Ch'an Buddhism was introduced to China. As it eventually traveled to Japan it became known as Zen Buddhism.

This week's paper will be a Compare and Contrast on Divergent Civilizations Experiencing Divergent Situations During the Same Time Period in Ancient History.

Go.
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Re: World religions

Post by durangopipe » Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:37 pm

DepartedLight wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:19 pm
The Kingdom of Judah came to an end in 586 BC when Babylonian forces under Nebuchadnezzar II captured Jerusalem, and removed most of its population to their own lands - so says wiki.


2nd Kings Ch 24 & 25 recount the event.

And in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnez′zar king of Babylon came with all his army against Jerusalem, and laid siege to it; and they built siegeworks against it round about. So the city was besieged till the eleventh year of King Zedeki′ah. On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. Then a breach was made in the city; the king with all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, by the king’s garden, though the Chalde′ans were around the city. And they went in the direction of the Arabah. But the army of the Chalde′ans pursued the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho; and all his army was scattered from him. Then they captured the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah, who passed sentence upon him. They slew the sons of Zedeki′ah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedeki′ah, and bound him in fetters, and took him to Babylon. - Chapter 25 1-7

Meanwhile, in China around this same time Lao Tzu wrote the Tao Te Ching.

True perfection seems imperfect,
yet it is perfectly itself.
True fullness seems empty,
yet it is fully present.

True straightness seems crooked.
True wisdom seems foolish.
True art seems artless.

The Master allows things to happen.
She shapes events as they come.
She steps out of the way
and lets the Tao speak for itself.

Tao Te Ching 45

70 years later In the middle-east, the Prophet Daniel was pleading with Ha'Shem for his people to be freed for it was promised.

70 years later at the base of Shaolin Mountain in southeastern China, Bodhidharma, a Buddhist monk in northern India, walked "over the mountain" and sat. He did not know the language. The Taoist monks took him in.

From these experiences, Ch'an Buddhism was introduced to China. As it eventually traveled to Japan it became known as Zen Buddhism.

This week's paper will be a Compare and Contrast on Divergent Civilizations Experiencing Divergent Situations During the Same Time Period in Ancient History.

Go.
But first, DL, you must answer one fundamental question.
An answer sought by students of comparative religion everywhere.
The one thing we must know before we embark ...












How many pages?
Oh, and is that double-spaced?
. . . be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

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Re: World religions

Post by DepartedLight » Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:56 pm

:lol: :lol:
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Re: World religions

Post by Nature of a Man » Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:35 pm

Del wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:35 pm
For example, why would any culture worship the demon-gods? Mainly because they delivered the goods. If you really want rain for your crops or victory in battle, you should petition the god who hears and answers. And the cultures of demon-gods were quite successful. The empires of Carthage and the Aztecs are prime examples.

But the demons require a specific diet in return for their boon. They desire human blood, especially the blood of children.
I've encountered a similar concept; basically in hell or hell-like places, such as an African warzone or concentration camp - worshiping a "demon-god" or equivalent figure, such as Hitler, Stalin, Sade, or others might be more successful for those in hell than worshiping an "angelic god"; I'd assume that even in hell there is a "hierarchy" (or "lowerarchy") of sorts, and a beast who wants to be a more "successful beast" would have be able and willing to shed more blood than lesser beasts if it wants to be a "god" among its own kind; something which would likely separate the more successful predators, terrorists, gang leaders, dictators, fascists, or cult leaders from the less successful members of their kind.

But as for why those in hell are in hell to begin with, or why those who could be in heaven would want or choose to go to hell to begin with (save perhaps naivete, ineffectiveness, insanity, delusion, or worse), is a different question or story entirely.

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Re: World religions

Post by Joshoowah » Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:02 pm

My Bachelor's is in Religious Studies, and I teach a class called Comparative Worldview to seniors every year. The class explores world religions and philosophical thought, comparing and contrasting them and what not.

Reading over some of your thoughts, I want to give pushback on what you're seeing in Buddhism. While there may be strands of Buddhism which seem monotheistic, Buddhism is highly interconnected with Hinduism and, thus, for the most part has the same theology as Hinduism. What I mean by that is this: the primary goal of Hinduism is to reach moksha, breaking the cycle of reincarnation in order to be united with the ultimate spiritual reality. The path to do so is threefold in Hinduism, which for a long time was fixated on the caste system and largely still is to some varying degrees. When Buddhism came onto the scene in India, the caste system dominated how one reaches moksha, that is, you work your way up the caste system lifetime after lifetime, meaning the upper classes were favored over lower. Buddhism brought forth the concept of the Eightfold Path, which emphasized that anyone could reach moksha (i.e. Enlightenment in Buddhism) by followed this path. I do not see Hinduism or Buddhism as monotheistic, but they're not really polytheistic either. They're both fascinating though.

Also, a common trend I see across the majority of the world religions is the principle notion of desire leads to ruin.
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Re: World religions

Post by Nature of a Man » Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:29 pm

Joshoowah wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:02 pm
My Bachelor's is in Religious Studies, and I teach a class called Comparative Worldview to seniors every year. The class explores world religions and philosophical thought, comparing and contrasting them and what not.

Reading over some of your thoughts, I want to give pushback on what you're seeing in Buddhism. While there may be strands of Buddhism which seem monotheistic, Buddhism is highly interconnected with Hinduism and, thus, for the most part has the same theology as Hinduism. What I mean by that is this: the primary goal of Hinduism is to reach moksha, breaking the cycle of reincarnation in order to be united with the ultimate spiritual reality. The path to do so is threefold in Hinduism, which for a long time was fixated on the caste system and largely still is to some varying degrees. When Buddhism came onto the scene in India, the caste system dominated how one reaches moksha, that is, you work your way up the caste system lifetime after lifetime, meaning the upper classes were favored over lower. Buddhism brought forth the concept of the Eightfold Path, which emphasized that anyone could reach moksha (i.e. Enlightenment in Buddhism) by followed this path. I do not see Hinduism or Buddhism as monotheistic, but they're not really polytheistic either. They're both fascinating though.

Also, a common trend I see across the majority of the world religions is the principle notion of desire leads to ruin.
I'd say it's more along the lines of desiring the wrong things (e.x. petty, frivolous things), or for the wrong reasons, or simply desiring things that aren't in one's boundaries to have - rather than complete renunciation of worldly desires altogether with the aim of becoming closer to God (my understanding is that that would be a path only for those capable of becoming religious renunciates or ascetics).

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Re: World religions

Post by tuttle » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:03 am

Del brought up The Everlasting Man, and I'd throw in my recommendation for that book as well. It touches nicely on this subject.

A couple of more recent books that touch upon this as well, but not as fully as Chesterton, is The Unseen Realm by Michael Heiser and God's Rivals by Gerald McDermott.

We have a couple threads touching upon those books and themes as well

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=41387

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=34155
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Re: World religions

Post by coco » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:11 pm

Quite a bit.

I'm still a Christian.
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