Religion

Religion

World Religions and Belief Systems: A Synthesis

World Religions and Belief Systems: A Synthesis
by Jens Micah De Guzman/ OurHappySchool.com
 
Religion is a worldwide phenomenon that has played an essential part in all human culture. It has been a prevailing agency in society as it performs many vital social functions.
 
We can identify some common characteristics found in most religions, such as the following:
 

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World Religions and Belief Systems: A Synthesis

Religion is a worldwide phenomenon that has played an essential part in all human culture. It has been a prevailing agency in society as it performs many vital social functions.We can identify some common characteristics found in most religions, such as the following:
 
1. Religions promise an inner peace and harmony. They enable people to discover meaning of life and overcome the challenges posed by disease, evil, and injustices.
 

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Confucianism, Taoism, and Shintoism: A Comparative Analysis

Confucianism, Taoism, and Shintoism: A Comparative Analysis
 
The following can be said about the differences among Confucianism, Taoism, and Shintoism.
 
Confucianism is said to be founded by Confucius; Taoism was founded by Lao Zi (or Lao Tzu); while Shintoism has no clear founder.
 
Shintoism is understandably predominant in Japan; Taoism is popular in China; while Confucianism is important to both China and Korea. Taiwan has Taoism as its main tradition.
 

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Hinduism, Theravada Buddhism, and Mahayana Buddhism: A Comparative Analysis

Hinduism, Theravada Buddhism, and Mahayana Buddhism: A Comparative Analysis

©  by Jens Micah De Guzman

The first traceable roots of Hinduism lie with the conquering Aryans, who moved into the northwest of the Indian subcontinent from about 1500 BC. The Aryans’ priestly caste, the Brahmans, was responsible for the sacrificial rites. The ritual hymns which they chanted, passed down orally for many centuries, were compiled in the Rigveda, believed to be the earliest of all religious texts.

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Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: A Comparative Analysis

 
 Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: A Comparative Analysis
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are traditionally called the Abrahamic religions. They highlight and trace their common origin to the patriarch Abraham or recognize a spiritual tradition identified with him. Abraham appears in the scred texts of all of these religions. The major Abrahamic religions in chronological order of founding are: Judaism (late second millennium BCE), Christianity (first century CE), and Islam (seventh century CE).
 
Influence to the World:
Christianity claims 33% of the world's population, Islam comes second with 21%, and Judaism has 0.2%.
 

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The Acts of Generosity of Tzu Chi Foundation

The Acts of Generosity of Tzu Chi Foundation

The famous Tzu Chi Foundation stands for the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, Republic of China. Literally "Compassionate Relief", Tzu Chi is an international humanitarian organization and a non-governmental organization (NGO) with an international network of volunteers and employees. Tzu Chi Foundation has been awarded a special consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

Tzu Chi Foundation has many sub-organizations such as the Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) and also the Tzu Chi Collegiate Youth Association (Tzu Ching). Tzu Chi volunteers and relief workers are mostly identifiable worldwide by their blue and white uniforms called ‘lántiān báiyún,’( lit. 'blue sky, white clouds').

Buddhist nun Master Cheng Yen on May 14, 1966 established The Tzu Chi Foundation as a charity organization with Buddhist origins in Hualien, Taiwan. She was inspired by her master and mentor, the late Venerable Master Yin Shun (Yìn Shùn dǎoshī) a proponent of Humanistic Buddhism, who encouraged her to "work for Buddhism and for all sentient beings". The organization thus started with a motto of "instructing the rich and saving the poor" as a group of thirty housewives who donated a small amount of money each day to care for needy families.

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World Religions and Belief Systems: Definition of Terms

World Religions and Belief Systems: Definition of Terms

In the subject Introduction to World Religions and Belief Systems, the learners are expected to demonstrate understanding of belief system or worldview, Religion, Spirituality, Philosophy of Religion, Theology, the elements of religion, belief system, and spirituality. Being familiar with the following terms and concepts are very important as an introduction:

1.  ‘Materialism’ is the philosophical doctrine that physical matter is the only ultimate reality. It maintains that all that exists is reducible to matter or to qualities or upshots of matter.

2. Theists believe that unlike opposing ethical theories, theistic moral system (which is also called ‘moral supernaturalism’) can satisfactorily explain the existence of objective ethical values and moral laws.

3. Worldview is more than culture as it extends to perceptions of time and space, of happiness and of well-being. In fact, the beliefs, values, and behaviors of a culture stem from its worldviews.

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Judaism: Basic Terms and Concepts

Judaism: Basic Terms and Concepts
 
Judaism has been correctly depicted as a religion, a race, a culture, and a nation. To be a member of the Jewish people, a person needs either to have been born to a Jewish mother or to have converted to the Jewish faith by one of the generally acknowledged movements within Judaism.
 
 
1.  Far more than just a person with the gift of prophecy, a ‘prophet’ is fundamentally a “spokesman for God, a person chosen by God to speak to people on God's behalf and convey a message or teaching. Prophets were role models of holiness, scholarship and closeness to God. They set the standards for the entire community” (“Prophet,” n.d.).
 
2. Moses is another great figure in Judaism. In Hebrew, he is called ‘Moshe Rabbenu’ (‘Moses our teacher’).
 
3. Concerning Jewish poetry, a Jewish liturgical poem, customarily designated to be sung, chanted, or recited during religious services, is called ‘piyyut’ or ‘piyut’ (plural ‘piyyutim’ or ‘piyutim’). Piyyutim are usually written in Hebrew or Aramaic, and most follow certain poetic scheme, like an acrostic following the order of the Hebrew alphabet or spelling out the name of the author. Piyyutim are said to have been written since Temple times.

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Shintoism: Basic Terms and Concepts

Shintoism: Basic Terms and Concepts
 
The following statements are worth knowing about Shintoism:
 
1.Shintoism’s concept of the divinity of the Emperor is usually misunderstood especially by Westerners. Neither the Emperor nor most of Japanese people ever thought that the Emperor was a God in the sense of being a supernatural supreme being.
 
2.Collectively, the stories in Nihongi and the Kojiki are referred to as the ‘Kiki stories.’
 
3. Kami is the Japanese word for a divine being, god, deity, divinity, spirit, or an aspect of spirituality. The term has been used to describe mind, God, supreme being, one of the Shinto deities, an image, a principle, and anything that is worshipped.
 
4. The Nihongi focuses on the merits of the righteous rulers as well as the errors of the wicked rulers.
 
5. Shinto believers find it important to worship the kami also because of the assumed roles they play in the nature. The kami’s supposed primitive roles were as earth-based spirits, helping the early hunter-gatherer groups in their day-to-day lives, thus revered as gods of earth and sea.

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Taoism: Basic Terms and Concepts

Taoism: Basic Terms and Concepts
 
The following are some of the basic terms and concepts about Taoism as a religion:
 
1. The Zhuangzi (Chuang-tzu or Chuang Tze) is an ancient Chinese text from the late Warring States period (476–221 BC) which comprises stories and anecdotes that exemplify the carefree nature of the ideal Taoist sage.
 
2. In Taoism, houses, buildings, and temples are carefully chosen and designed according to the principles of feng shui, which literally means ‘wind and water.’ Feng shui seeks to promote prosperity, good health, and general wellbeing by evaluating how energy (called ‘qi,’ pronounced ‘chee’) flows through a particular room, house, building, or garden.
 
3. In Taoism, the practice of wu wei is the expression of what is deemed to be the highest form of virtue, that is, one that is in no way planned, but rather arises spontaneously. One cannot actively pursue wu wei. It manifests as a result of cultivation. The Tao is a guide.
 
4. A usually cited metaphor for naturalness is ‘pu,’ the ‘uncarved block,’ which represents the original nature, prior to the imprint of culture of a person.
 
5. The incense is the communication tool for man to convey our wishes and messages to the deities, the rising smoke from the combustion carries our wishes up to the heavens. The scriptures also explained that the offering of three sticks of incense is to convey a message to the deities, and the deities of the three realms will turn shower blessings on us.

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