By Trevor Ling
The non secular traditions of Asia and Europe, the 'East' and 'West' of the name, are often considered as being in sharp distinction with one another, the only 'mystical', the opposite 'prophetic'. every time their religions aren't so contrasted they're often taken care of in isolation from one another: the faith of Israel, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. Dr Ling, even if, stresses that there's enormous overlap and interpenetration among the 2 varieties and parts, and that it is very important see the old inter-relation among those religions and to watch how, in the course of given classes of heritage, there are parallel advancements or major divergences. He covers the interval 1500 B.C. to the current time, delivering an overview of the advance of Asian and ecu non secular traditions and associations, and discussing the social and monetary components occupied with the improvement of religous traditions, even though he indicates that such elements on my own don't account for the spiritual lifetime of guy. Dr Ling is going directly to interpret the modern importance of those religions and their strength for the long run lifetime of humanity. He means that the current degree of non secular enhance is characterized by way of open-endedness in the direction of the long run; now not all religions convey this personality, yet none has but exhausted the probabilities of improvement. This booklet is meant to be used an an creation to the examine of faith. even if reference is made within the textual content to resources of extra info, the booklet can be utilized regardless of them.
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The effects of the kind of innovation which Yahwism represented, even although the prophet doctrine was never fully comprehended or adhered to by all of Israel, were sufficiently radical in the situation of the time to justify the modern description of it as a 'prophetic breakthrough'. C. 2); nor in India either until (also in the sixth century) there appear the Mahavira and the Buddha. , that is, the period immediately before and after the events which have just been related were taking place in Egypt and Canaan.
It is not a characteristic of the religious ideas of the invading Aryans, whose gods, as we shall see, were almost exclusively male. 32 The Dravidians and the notion of karma Another thoroughly characteristic feature of Indian religious belief is that of karma. By this is meant a law of moral cause and effect which operates automatically and externally throughout the whole universe. It is in its relation to human beings, however, that the significance of this notion comes out most clearly, and provides one of the major factors in the development of Indian religious ideas.
The Rgveda collection of hymns, 1,017 in number (or 1,028 by another reckoning), is arranged in ten mandalas, or cycles. The grouping of the hymns in mandalas ii-viii is according to their reputed authorship, all the hymns ascribed to one author being placed together. Mandala ix is in praise of the sacred soma plant which is regarded virtually as a deity (see below). 52), but first we must consider the nature of the Aryan gods as this appears in the majority of the hymns, which belong to the earlier period.
A history of religion East and West; an introduction and interpretation by Trevor Ling