Etiket arşivi: Religions

Endword

A rejection of and intolerance for another religion is not a clever and civilized path to follow.

One of the things that makes humanity is living all together and side by side. The question of whether that togetherness will be constructive or destructive is a matter that depends largely on the people themselves.Looking at past history, there is plenty of justification for both conditions-side by side or head to head. The memory of centuries of friction and conflict and the pain caused thereby is not easy to erase; but the experience gained from being all together is not easy to acquire either and most of the time has to be gained at the expence of overcoming many different obstacles.

To condemn all other religions beside one’s own is the common attitude of a person who has studied neither the history of other religions nor the history of his own faith.

An undiscriminating standpoint is that all religions contain some good, perhaps equally, at least enough good for their own followers.

An awareness of the range of religious beliefs and practices, and of their role in the lives of the people…. to look for all these forms, and to investigate all the ways in which they influence a culture as a whole.

Faiths do not have to coverge. But the distance between them would diminish and the risk of misunderstanding be less, if they no longer regarded each other, amoral, fanatic, dangerous….

Having the sense of “belonging together” and rethinking of how religions relate to one another is a reason for profound hope.

We should hold the belief that, in the long run, every faith can coexist peacefully.

 

We should look at all people equally. The important thing is not a person’s religion, but whether he is a true human being.

“Even as a tree has a single trunk but many branches and leaves, so there is one true and perfect religion but it becomes many, as it passes through the human medium.”

“Religions are different roads converging upon the same point. What does it matter that we take different roads so long as we reach the same goal?”

“In times to come the people will not judge us by the creed we profess or the label we wear or the slogans we shout but by our work, industry, sacrifice, honesty and purity of character.”

Mahatma Gandhi.

Comparison Of The Living Religions 2

The Claim of a Supernatural Origin of the Founder

Buddha, in some later scriptures which abound in the marvellous is represented as a pre-existent heavenly being who, in connection with a prophetic dream of a queen, became her first-born child when she was forty-five years old.

Lao Tzu in documents dating a thousand years after his day is represented as having been born a fully matured Wise Old Boy or Philosopher, with white hair, who had been carried in his mother’s womb for seventy-two years, or for eighty-one years, according to different traditions.

Mahavira in a Jain document is represented as a pre-existent being who, in fulfilment of fourteen prophetic dreams, was supernaturally placed in his royal mother’s womb.

A virgin birth seems to be intimated in the case of Zoroaster. His mother was supernaturally glorified when she was an unmarried young woman of fifteen. Three future saviors in Zoroastrianism are predicted to be born of a mother who, similarly, is to be a virgin fifteen years old.

In the canonical New Testament of Christianity there are varying data concerning a divine origin of Jesus. Jesus represented himself as having come from God, whon he called father.

Titian (1490-1576), Saint John the Evangelist on Patmos, c. 1547.

Titian (1490-1576), Saint John the Evangelist on Patmos, c. 1547.

 

The Claim of Divine Revelation

The following may be specified as outstanding revelations of truth:

Hinduism -  The immanence of the divine in the world; human society, a divinely ordained structure; union with the divine, the goal of existence.

Jainism – Self-renunciation, the condition of salvation; the ideal of a liberation of the spirit with subjugation of the flesh.

Buddhism – Selfishness as the root of misery; salvation through inner purity and self-discipline.

Confucianism – The essential goodness of human nature, as divinely implanted; religion as exercised in proper social relationships.

Taoism – Religion as exercised in humbly following the divine Way.

Zoroastrianism – Religion as involving active co-operation with a cosmic power of goodness in a struggle against evil.

Shinto – Nature to be recognized as a beautiful divine creation; religion as involving purity and also loyalty to the supreme authority.

Sikhism – Religion as discipleship of the One True God, with trust in His Name.

Christianity – The supreme power in the world is a perfect person; that He may best be conceived of and lived with as a Father-God; that He has been presented by His Son Jesus Christ; and that the supreme satisfaction of every human being consists in loving obedience to Him and in loving service to brother man.

Islam – Superlative satisfaction to be obtained through submission to an omnipotent God, who is not only a sovereign, but also a judge and rewarder.

Rembrandt (1606-1669), the Evangelist Matthew Inspired by an Angel, 1661.

Rembrandt (1606-1669), the Evangelist Matthew Inspired by an Angel, 1661.

 

The Claim of an Inspired Scripture

Living religions do possess definite sets of documents which are regarded unique divine truths which need to be known for salvation. For all of them claims have been made as pre-eminent above the rest of literature.

Hinduism – Vedas, book of knowledge.

Jainism – Angas, bodies of knowledge.

Buddhism – Tripitaka, three baskets of of teachings.

Sikhism – Granth.

Confucianism – The Five Classics and The Four Books.

Taoism – Tao-te-Ching, the canon of reason and virtue.

Shinto – Ko-ji-ki, the records of ancient matters and Nihon-gi, the chronicles of Japan.

Zoroastrianism – Avesta, the knowledge.

Judaism – The Old Testament.

Christianity – The New Testament.

Islam – Koran.

 

İnanç Dosyası 70 | Christianity 21 Symbols

 

Turkey – Mardin, Deyrulzafaran Monastery (Syrian Orthodox, 4th Century). In 1907 an illustration on a curtain of Christ’s Crucifiction.

Turkey – Mardin, Deyrulzafaran Monastery (Syrian Orthodox, 4th Century). In 1907 an illustration on a curtain of Christ’s Crucifiction.

Many religions use symbols and many of them are common to several religions. SYMBOLS Immediately after the cross, the most widely used Christian symbol is the fish. In ancient Greek, the word ‘fish’ is composed of the initial letters of words meaning Jesus, Son of God, and Saviour in the same language. The New Testament tells how Jesus calls to some fishermen by the Sea of Galilee to follow Him, saying,

“I will make you fishers of men”. Wine made from grapes represents the blood of Christ and bread symbolizes His body. Grapes were also a symbol in the services of Dionysius or Bacchus of the ancient world.

The dove symbolises peace, fertility, purity, love, innocence and the Holy Ghost.

In Taoism, the deer represents long life and good fortune and in Christianity it symbolises eternal life and the soul of one who has drunk from the Fountain of Life and been cured.

In Christianity the cock is the symbol of wakefulness, daybreak and prophecy. The white cock is held to bring good fortune, while the black represents evil. It is believed that the crowing of the cock drives away evil spirits, and for this reason the figure of a cock is placed on the spires of many churches. The cock also plays a part in the Gospel story. Jesus predicted the exact time when the cock would crow, after Peter had denied Him three times.

The peacock symbolizes Doomsday, the Resurrection of Christ and Christ encompassed in radiance. In India and in ancient Greece the peacock is sacred.

In Christianity the lion is the symbol of victory and salvation, the rabbit of sexuality, the devil and magic spells, the palm tree of everlasting life and vital energy, an extension of the Tree of Life of eastern cultures.

In Jewish, Christian and Muslim tradition, the snake epitomizes the Devil and is blamed for the temptation and downfall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Various mythologies are full of different stories of snakes. In the legends of the Sumerians, the Hittites, the Egyptians, the Scandinavians and the Slavs, in ancient Greece and Rome, countless stories about snakes are told.

The pelican is also an important Christian symbol. According to one version of the story it becomes angry with its young, devours them and then regrets its action so much that it tears open its own breast with its beak. The blood then brings the young back to life. This is thought to represent Christ’s sacrifice, when He shed His blood so that all may share in His resurrection, particularly those who drink wine as His blood during the service of Holy Communion.

The banner bearing a red cross on a white ground symbolizes resurrection and is often flown from churches on Sunday. It is also the flag of St. George, patron saint of England.

Cherubim and Seraphim Cherubim, thought of as attending the heavenly throne or guarding especially holy places, are hybrid beings having bird-wings, and human, or animal faces. Cherubim, originating from both early Middle Eastern mythology and iconography carry out important functions as intercessors in the hierarchy of angels. In the Old Testament, cherubim are accorded supernatural agility rather than intercessional propensities, and are thought to have undertaken the duty of upholding the Throne of God. In Christian belief seraphim are regarded as the highest among angels, servants of God in heaven who continually praise him. In Muslim belief, cherubim and seraphim dwell on a level of paradise which Satan cannot penetrate and offer constant prayers of thanks to God.

There is a belief that, while Christ was carrying His cross, Saint Veronica wiped His face with a handkerchief, onto which His features were imprinted, and this handkerchief is held to have healing powers. It is now thought that this mythical Saint’s name was made up of the words Vera Icon (the true name). According to legend, the kerchief found its way to ancient Edessa, now in south-east of Turkey, and there cured King Abgar IV of leprosy. Again, this kerchief is said to have fallen into Balikli pool in Edessa, and on occasion to display the features of Christ in the water. France – St. Theogonnec

There is a belief that, while Christ was carrying His cross, Saint Veronica wiped His face with a handkerchief, onto which His features were imprinted, and this handkerchief is held to have healing powers. It is now thought that this mythical Saint’s name was made up of the words Vera Icon (the true name). According to legend, the kerchief found its way to ancient Edessa, now in south-east of Turkey, and there cured King Abgar IV of leprosy. Again, this kerchief is said to have fallen into Balikli pool in Edessa, and on occasion to display the features of Christ in the water.
France – St. Theogonnec

Spain – Toledo, San Juan de los Reyes Franciscan Monastery, 15th Century.

Spain – Toledo, San Juan de los Reyes Franciscan Monastery, 15th Century.

 

İnanç Dosyası 32 | Syncretism / Santeria / Cuba

Cuba – Trinidad, a black Madonna in a Santeria.

Cuba – Trinidad, a black Madonna in a Santeria.

Some religions, developed by slaves brought to the colonies, show syncretism, a mingling of religious practices which have their origin in African cults with others which stem from the Roman Catholic liturgy, iconography and doctrine. Basically they are a mixture of ancestor worship, animism and Catholicism. Religions of African origin include those of Voodoo in Haiti, Obeah in Jamaica, Orisha in Brazil and Santeria in Cuba.

Adherents of the Afro-Cuban religions regard Catholicism as the form of Santeria which was followed by the descendants of Spanish immigrants from Europe. Santeria is the name of both the religion and its followers. In Cuba the Afro-Cuban religions have been tolerated since 1959 and Santeria probably has more followers there then pure Catholicism does.

In Santeria, the concepts of original sin and final judgment are unknown. Catholic saints and visions of the Virgin are associated with Yoruba deities or ‘orishas’, and ancestral spirits are worshipped. Unlike the Catholic saints, the orishas do not represent perfection and they have many frailties in common with humans. Among the most important of the orishas is the creator-god Obatala, who is always addressed in white and is associated with Christ. Obatala’s wife, goddess of the underworld, is associated with the Virgin Mary, and in the minds of many worshippers devotion to these two is intertwined.

The goddess of the ocean and the mother of all the orishas is identified by the colour blue. The rites of Santeria are conducted by a male priest called ‘babalawo’. Like the shaman, he serves as priest, counsellor, healer, political guide and lodge-master. He provides the congregation with a sanctuary, or Santeria, though this may be only a shed. Offerings are placed before a small shrine in the babalawo’s home, the stones of which are believed to harbour the spirits of the orishas who must be fed with food, herbs and blood. During rituals the babalawo sprays rum from his mouth onto the altar. Cubans are very open about Santeria and travellers are welcome to inspect their household shrines.