Essay Question: Hinduism has so many broad expressions; I wonder how Westerners can use this to reflect on their own religious traditions. It has been my experience that Westerners to believe that their faiths are more uniform and less subject to change. Is this accurate? Why or why not? I do not feel that this is an accurate statement, especially in the United States. We are such a young country we don’t have the concept of tradition and antiquity that exists in the Eastern cultures. We think 300 years is a long time when in Europe traditions can be traced back a couple thousand years and in India they can trace Hinduism and their way of life back 4,000 years. The very nature of western religion is nothing but change. It has its roots in Greek and Roman polytheism and to go from polytheistic to monotheistic is a huge, 180 degree turn and about the biggest change you could make. Christianity started with Roman catholocism, which split from Eastern Orthodoxy in the 11th century. The next big split was the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. More new forms of Western religion, like Puritanism, emerged during the 18th to 20th centuries. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_religion)
Just in the Catholic church alone there have been many major changes during my own lifetime. We have gone from everything being in Latin, with the priest doing all of the prayers and his back facing the people, where we were just observers of the ceremonies, through the period starting in the 60’s of Vatican II and all the changes to include the faithful as active participants. There has just been another recent reform to take things back in the direction of the original traditions to make services more sacred and meaningful again. It seems that in Western religions there is no room for differing viewpoints in any religion. As soon as a group does not agree with something they must split off and form a new religion or a new sect of an existing religion. Western...
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