Comparative religion: Eastern (Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism) and Western (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam) religions compared. This was a term paper and is quite long (about 5 pages).

Topics: Religion, God, Islam Pages: 4 (1291 words) Published: March 14, 2003
When classifying the world's major religions they can easily be split up into two groups: Eastern religions and Western religions. The Eastern religions consist of Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism. The Western religions consist of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Almost all of these religions have come about within existing religious frameworks. Eastern and Western religions share many qualities while differing in many as well.

Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism are monistic, meaning they see god in all things. The Eastern mind sees God everywhere, in all things, and sees everything as sacred. Their ultimate reality is an entity and not necessarily a god. "God" is not personal and not to be thought of as a brother or father, but as so much more. Eastern religions see one kind of reality. They view all beings as equal in value. The individual is not actually real and the separateness of humans from creation and from one another is an illusion to be overcome. Human nature is viewed as naturally ignorant and we better ourselves by being enlightened. Following dharma is the good life, which is being in harmony with universal order through personal duty. In Eastern religions, enlightenment is attained within the individual. In Buddhism, it is nirvana; In Hinduism, it is the yoga; In Taoism, it is wu wei. Reincarnation is a central belief; so some things are not that big of a deal, such as justice or injustice. They believe there is one true god and all religions speak of him. There are many paths to god.

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are monotheistic faiths, which mean they believe in one god. The Western mind considers it heresy to believe that God pervades all things, and makes a strong difference between what is sacred and what is profane. The god of Judaism, Christianity and Islam is a god of history not of nature, the world reflects him but he isn't to be found in it. God is personal and tended to be thought of in terms of what we know, such as a father figure,...
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