Confucianism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism Essay, Research Paper
Confucianism is considered a religion in a traditional sense. However it has no clergy, or god of worship. It is considered a major religion because its philosophy has guided the ancient Chinese and many other people of the east for thousands of years. Confucianism is a way of life based on the teaching of Confucius. It emphasizes social and civic responsibility. In a sense it gives people an ethical system to follow. It promotes respect for family and elders as well as the neighbor. It looks at education in the highest form.
Confucianism has influenced the Chinese attitude toward life, set the patterns of living and standards of social value, and provided the background for Chinese political theories and institutions. It has spread from China to Korea, Japan, and Vietnam and has aroused interest among Western scholars. Chinese scholars have honored Confucius as a great teacher and sage but did not worship him as a personal god like in early Greek and Egyptian religion. Nor did Confucius himself ever claim divinity like Jesus Christ. Unlike the early Christian churches, the temples built to Confucius were not places in which organized community groups gathered to worship. Instead they were public edifices designed for annual ceremonies like the birthday of Confucius.
Several attempts to deify Confucius and to rid of Confucianism have failed because of the nature of the philosophy in China. The principles of Confucianism are contained in the nine ancient Chinese works handed down by Confucius and his followers, who lived in an age of great philosophic activity. These writings can be divided into two groups: the Five Classics and the Four Books. It holds great prestige almost to that of the bible in Christianity.
Hinduism is the oldest of the major religions of the ancient world. It is a collection of many religious beliefs. Hinduism , unlike any other religion I have compared, worships several gods. Hinduism, like Buddhism, stresses that persons reach true enlightenment and happiness only after they free themselves from their earthly desires. They achieve their goals through knowledge and a lifetime of virtuous acts. Hinduism compares to Islam in that both religions have a sacred pilgrimage.
In Hinduism the priests are called Gurus, it is believed these holy men have had god revealed to them. Gurus spread Hinduism to villagers who could not read. They were said to have the answers to all the villagers? questions.
Almost all Hindus observe a few points: reverence for Brahmans and cows; abstention from meat (especially beef); and marriage within the caste in the hope of producing male heirs.
Most Hindus chant the gayatri hymn to the sun at dawn, but little agreement exists as to what other prayers should be chanted. Most Hindus worship Shiva, Vishnu, or the Goddess (Devi), but they also worship hundreds of additional minor deities peculiar to a particular village or even to a particular family. (Very comparable to ancient Greek religion.
Christianity is the largest religion in the world. It is a monotheist religion. It believes in the teaching if Jesus Christ as god. Like any system of belief and values like Platonism, Marxism or Freudianism ,Christianity is comprehensible only ?from the inside,? In other words ?it? (the Christian religion) is all based on faith.
A community, a way of life, a liturgical observance, a tradition, Christianity is all of these, and more. It is a phenomenon as complex and as vital and is easier to describe historically than to define logically. One such essential element or characteristic is the centrality of the person of Jesus Christ. He in fact is three people, the father, the son and the Holy Spirit. Christians believe in the sacred teachings of the bible, which consists if the Old and the New Testaments. The Christian religion has clergy and priests.
Large parts of his teachings have their counterparts in the sayings of the rabbis?that is, after all, what he was?or in the wisdom of Socrates and Confucius. In Christian teaching, Jesus cannot be less than the supreme preacher and exemplar of the moral life, but for most Christians that, by itself, does not do full justice to the significance of his life and work.
Judaism is the first major religion to teach the existence of one god. The basic laws and teachings of Judaism come from the Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible. Judaism teaches that a person serves God by studying the torah and living by its teachings.