The Major Religions Prof. T. Patrick Burke
Introduction Seriousness and Frivolity The Significance of Religion? The spiritual dimension of human life. Soul Meaning Analysis and Diagnosis Hegel
Introduction, cont’d. The Families of Religions Indian: Hinduism, Buddhism, (Jainism), Sikhism The Self Chinese: Confucianism, Taoism, Chinese Buddhism Nature Semitic: Judaism, Christianity, Islam God and Revelation
Introduction, cont’d. Places of Worship Belief and Action Some Categories Universal and Particular Mystical and Ethical Self- and Other-Power Personal and Civil
Introduction, cont’d. Value Judgements The Phenomenological Approach Current Debate: Commitment v. Anthropology Our Approach in this Course Description, Suspension, Discussion Gender and Class: Equality and the Middle Class.
Introduction, cont’d Test Questions: Arrange the major religions in their families. What is meant by a “universal” religion? What is meant by a religion of “self-liberation”? What is the “phenomenological” approach? What are the reasons for and against it?
Part I: Religions of Indian Origin Hinduism Buddhism Jainism (not covered in this course) Sikhism
Hinduism The Spirit of Hinduism The story of Narada and Vishnu The Hindu View of Life The presence of the divine Pre-Vedic Religion: Harappa
Hinduism Vedic Religion The Aryans The Vedas Rig, Sama, Yajur, Atharva. The Vedic Gods Indra, Agni, Varuna, Rta Sacrifice (yajna) Brahman, the Power of the Sacrifice
Hinduism The Upanishads Brahman, the highest Reality Nirguna Brahman The Atman or Self The Atman is identical with Brahman The True Self and the Apparent Self
Hinduism, cont. Monism Reincarnation The Law of Karma The Cycle of Birth and Death Moksha, Liberation The Path of Sacred Knowledge, Meditation and Asceticism
Hinduism, cont. The Later Upanishads: Personalization Saguna Brahman: With Attributes Ishvara, the Lord Maya Yoga
Hinduism, cont. Classical Hinduism The Epics, Maha-bharata, Ramayana The Puranas Vishnu and Shiva (and Brahma) Shakti: the Goddess Parvati, Durga, Kali Yoni and lingam
Hinduism, cont. Lakshmi Sarasvati Ganesha Polytheism and Monotheism Puja Darshana
Hinduism, cont. The Four Varnas, or Classes The Aryan or Twice-born, the Sacred Thread Brahmins Kshatriyas Vaishyas Sudras Outcastes, Untouchables
Hinduism, cont. The Many Jatis, or Castes Restrictions on: Food Marriage Occupation
Hinduism, cont. The Four Ends of Man Dharma, Caste Duty Sadharana Dharma Artha, Power Kama, Pleasure Moksha, Liberation
Hinduism, cont. The Four Ashramas, or Stages of Life Brahmacarin, the celibate student Grihastha, the householder Vanaprastha, the forest-dweller Sannyasin Sadhus
Hinduism, cont. Bhakti Hinduism: The life of devotion The Bhagavad-gita Karma yoga “Do the work for the sake of the work…” Bhakti, devotion to the Supreme Lord Vishnu: Krishna and Rama Shiva
Hinduism, cont. Hindu Ethics: Class and Caste Duties Universal Duties Ahimsa, non-violence No doctrine of unjust war But rules for conduct of war
Hinduism, cont. Modern Developments Gandhi Non-violent protest, civil disobedience, political independence (1947) Class and Caste outlawed, but preserved Partition: creation of Pakistan for Muslims Rejection of Capitalism, and Return to it. Hindutva: militant Hindu nationalism
Test, Hinduism 1. Identify: Indra, Agni, Varuna, Rta, Vishnu, Shiva, Sarasvati, Kali. • Explain briefly what is meant by: Brahman, Atman, maya, moksha, samsara, yoga. • Summarize in one or two sentences the worldview of the Upanishads. • What are the Four Ends of Man? 5. What are the Four Varnas?
Test, Hinduism, cont. 6. What is the chief message of the Bhagavad-Gita?
Buddhism The Mustard Seed The Buddhist View of Life: Transience "Do not cherish the unworthy desire that the changeable might become unchanging.“ Siddhartha Gautama of the Shakyas The Four Passing Sights The Great Going Forth The Great Awakening
Buddhism, cont. Theravada Buddhism The Four Noble Truths Dukkha: Suffering Tanha: Craving Nirvana: Extinction Marga: The Path
Buddhism, cont. The Eightfold Path Right Understanding Right Thought Right Speech, Conduct, Livelihood Right Effort Right Mindfulness Right Concentration
Buddhism, cont. The Ten Precepts Five and Five Monks and Laity The Three Jewels Buddhist Theory Impermanence, Anicca No Self, Anatta
Buddhism, cont. The Five Aggregates Matter Sensations Perception Mental Formations Consciousness
Buddhism, cont. The Doctrine of Dependent Origination Rebirth The Many Buddhas
Buddhism, cont. Mahayana Buddhism The Bodhisattva Nirvana and Samsara The Eternal Buddha Emptiness, Sunyata Grace v. Merit Meditation
Buddhism, cont. Devotional Buddhism Some Buddhas and Bodhisattvas Amitabha, Avalokiteshvara, Maitreya The Threefold Body of the Buddha The historical Buddha Faith The Sangha Festivals
Buddhism, cont. Buddhist Ethics Compassion for suffering Care for life, including commerce Rejection of justice, just war. Modern Developments Little affected by science, democracy, capitalism Neo-Buddhism
Religions of Chinese Origin Harmony with Nature Human Nature: Confucianism Cosmic Nature: Taoism Buddha Nature and Cosmic Nature: Chinese Buddhism
Traditional Chinese Religion Spirit: Sacrifice offered to spirits of ancestors by the son. Civil religion, for the good of the community. rather than personal. A function of the head of the community: father, king (son of ancestors). Nearest thing to a priesthood: the ju, the learned.
Traditional Chinese Religion Shang Dynasty, 1500-1100 BC. Aristocracy and peasantry. Ancestors Spirits: kuei and shen. Gods: the T’u Ti the celestial administration; once human beings.
Traditional Chinese Religion Shang dynasty cont. Ti. Divination. Ritual, Li. Power, Te.
Traditional Chinese Religion Chou Dynasty, 1100-500 BC. Shang Ti, the high God. Heaven, T’ien. The Mandate of Heaven, T’ien Ming. Virtue, Te. Filial piety, Hsiao. The Son of Heaven, T’ien Tzu.
Traditional Chinese Religion Period of the Warring States, 500-221 BC. Calamities Shang Ti, replaced by Heaven, T’ien. The Five Classics: Changes History Poetry Ritual Spring and Autumn Annals.
Confucianism Confucius and the Tiger The Confucian View of Life: Human-heartedness. K’ung Fu Tzu, 552-479 BC. Poor but well educated. Teachings compiled by his followers. Response to barbarization: virtue, character. Religious ethics.
Confucianism, cont. The Four Books: Analects The Doctrine of the Mean The Great Learning Mencius Heaven The Goodness of Human Nature
Confucianism, cont. Tao, the Way Chun-tzu, the Noble Man Ren, Human-heartedness I, Justice Hsiao and T’i, Filial Piety and Brotherly Love The Five Relationships Li, the Rules of Good Behavior
Confucianism, cont. Shu, Treat others as you wish to be treated. Chung, Conscientiousness Te, the Power of Virtue Ho, harmony The Mean The Rectification of Names Theory of Government: the Person of the Ruler
Confucianism, cont. The Destiny of Man Yang and Yin Modern Developments: Banned under Communism on Mainland Maintained in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore Can it foster democracy? Can it foster free markets?
Taoism The Spirit of Taoism: Who knows what is ‘good’? Harmony with Cosmic Nature. Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu Tao, the Way of Nature Wu, Non-being, Emptiness Spontaneity Impartial, not humane
Taoism, cont. The Relativity of Values Our ordinary values are conventional, and relative to their opposites. Beauty implies ugliness. The cosmos does not share our human values. Wu Wei: Inactive Action. The Man of Tao Government should be minimal. Taoism and the arts.
Taoism, cont. Other forms of Taoism: In addition to Philosophical Taoism, there is also Popular Taoism, which aims to produce health, wealth and long life through rituals.
Chinese Buddhism The Spirit of Chinese Buddhism Paradox The Chinese Buddhist View of Life: Personal Religion A Fusion of Indian Buddhism and Taoism The place of the Tao is taken by the Buddha- nature. Meditational and Devotional
Chinese Buddhism Meditational: Ch’an (Zen in Japan) Meditation is the path to enlightenment. The Buddha and the Lotus Bodhidharma Seeking the Buddha in One’s Own Heart A Special Transmission outside the Scriptures No Dependence on Words or Letters
Chinese Buddhism Meditation: Overcoming the sense of individual identity distinct from the world. Seeing our innermost nature as the Buddha- nature. Sudden vs. Gradual Enlightenment Lin Chi Shock therapy, kung an (koan). Tsao Tung Reason and argument
Chinese Buddhism Enlightenment not our doing. No objective change. Spontaneity and the arts. Devotional Chinese Buddhism Far greater numbers The Pure Land Kuan Yin