Diffusion of Buddhism and Christianity

Topics: Buddhism, Islam, Asia Pages: 2 (668 words) Published: November 8, 2013
Diffusion of Buddhism and Christianity

Siddhartha Gautama, better known simply as Buddha, first followed the Hindu religion but then later realized that the cast system from Hindu was immoral and decided to leave his earthly possessions to find what he believed to be nirvana, which resulted in the creation of Buddhism. Christianity originated from the teachings of Jesus Christ, who created a religion that came from Judaism which attracted all women and minorities and was later spread mainly by the apostle Paul whom journeyed restlessly and build churches in order to disperse Christianity all throughout the Roman Empire. These two religions became extremely large during their origin to the 6th century and were able to spread rapidly in different and similar ways. Both monastic religions appealed to minorities by giving them salvation or nirvana which was one of the major reasons for their popularity. Trade routes and merchants were also another great factor in the spreading of Christianity and Buddhism, such as the well-known Silk Road. Buddhism spread from India through South East Asia and China while Christianity spread through the Mediterranean and South West Asia. As Buddhism spread throughout all of India and South East Asia it reached an incredible size which was definitely larger than Christianity. Even though Christianity was smaller it remained prominent in its place of origin while Buddhism lost prestige in its homeland throughout the spreading period. Christianity and Buddhism shared three very identifiable similarities. To start off, both of these religions were Monastic meaning that they had monks, nuns, and others living under religious vows. These two religions also applied to all minorities and women by promising salvation or nirvana, which can be reached by living an ethical life and practicing religious exercises, not mattering if you are wealthy or belong to a specific level in the cast system. Because of this appeal to all people Buddhism...
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