Comparison of Christianity and Taoism Through the Concept of Zen

Topics: Christianity, Taoism, Meditation Pages: 4 (1362 words) Published: May 18, 2012
Comparison of Christianity and Taoism through the concept of Zen By
Joe Sowatzke


Dr. B. David Burke
HUM 202.100
Philosophy of Religion
Elgin Community College
December 8, 2011

Within our westernized culture, it is easy to think that a culture other than ours is completely different, especially when it comes to religion. However, there can be key similarities between two presumably different religions. For example Judaism and Islam have many key similarities seeing is how Islam itself is also monotheistic religion and is a stem from Judaism. Even within such religions as Christianity and Taoism there are comparisons that we can make between the two religions. Underneath the layers, the idea of Zen is present in both religions.

To start off, lets begin with the practice of Taoism. What Taoism is in a nutshell is based on the ideas of “The Tao,” or as it is translated, “The Way.” “One of the basic observations was that the Way of nature, and nature itself is difficult to discern“ (1). Many of the practices used in Taoism are through the Tao Te Ching (dow-day-ching) written by Lao-tzu, which explains many of the Taoist’s concepts. “And what is most important, [Lao-Tzu] tried to describe the Tao, though it is impossible to explain in plain words what is beyond our conscious perception“ (2). Also, one of the strangest ideas from Taoism is that there is no practices of worshipping a god or gods and goddesses. Generally as westerners, we find this different because Taoism is considered a religion, yet it goes against one of our key ideas about religions.

Christianity on the other hand is a widely practiced religion and is actually the most practiced religion on Earth. Christianity is a monotheistic religion which means that unlike the ancient Greeks and Egyptians who had multiple gods and goddesses that the followers worshipped, there is only one being that is worshipped. What the basic ideas of Christianity are is that there is one...

Cited: Ankerberg, John, Dillon Burroughs, and Norman L. Geisler. How Is Christianity Different from Other Religions? [S.l.]: AMG Publ., 2008. Print.
Cleary, Thomas F. The Secret of the Golden Flower: The Classic Chinese Book of Life. San Francisco: Harper, 1991. Print.
Richart, Scott P. “What is Prayer?”
5 December 2011
Seymour, Richard. “A Brief History of Taoism.” No Date Listed. True 7 December 2011.
Suzuki, Shunryu¯, and Trudy Dixon. Zen Mind, Beginner 's Mind. New York: Weatherhill, 1970. Print.
Watts, Alan. The Way of Zen. [New York]: Pantheon, 1957. Print.
“What is Christianity and what do Christians believe?” Google. 2011. 6 December 2011
“What is Taoism.” Way of Perfect Emptiness. 2011. 6 December 2011
“Zen.” Sifu Wong. No Date Listed.7 December 2011
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Comparison and Contrasts of Buddhism and Taoism Essay
  • Essay about Taoism
  • Taoism Essay
  • Taoism Essay
  • comparison between Christianity and Islam Essay
  • Islam and Christianity: Comparison and Cotrast Essay
  • Taoism Essay
  • Concept Comparison Research Paper

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free