Jainism • Jain, a break-off from Hinduism, is an ethical system which believes that our souls are originally perfect, but karma corrupts the soul; yet the soul can be purified through right living. • Jainism, a religion that branched out from Hinduism and Buddhism, has the main goal of reaching moksha (breaking the cycle of reincarnation) by avoiding as much karma as possible.
Sikhism • Sikhism, a blend of Hinduism and Islam, believes in the cycle of reincarnation as a means for coming closer to satnam (the monoist deity) and emphasizes an individual’s religious state rather than the performance of certain rituals. • Sikhism, which takes elements from Hinduism and Islam, follows monistic pantheism, believe in the cycle of reincarnation which is broken when you achieve union with satnam.
Baha’i • Baha’i, a break-off from Islam, is a monotheistic religion that teaches that most religions are valid, emphasizing unity of God, religion and humanity. • A recent religion, Baha’i is monotheistic and combines all main religions, stressing unity of God, religion and the human race.
Shinto • Shinto is a polytheistic Japanese ethical system in which adherents worship their ancestors and Shinto gods, while also permitting Buddhist religious thought and practices. • Shinto, a Japanese ethical system, is polytheistic and focuses on the four affirmations or beliefs, yet also borrows from Buddhism for the understanding of the afterlife.
Kung Fu Tze • 551 BC (BCE) • Born of low-level nobility • Desired to be politician in order to improve society and bring about good government • His integrity, principles and ideals prevented him • Turned to teaching his political theory • Died 479 BC (BCE) with only modest success
What is Confucianism? • Not really a religion but an ethical system • “How can you hope to understand the spirits? First you must seek to understand the living” • Seeks a well-ordered society • Opposed to self-interest • Seeks the common good
Well-Ordered Society • Keys to a well-ordered society • Social order, harmony, and good government should be based on family relationships. • Respect for parents and elders is important to a well-ordered society. • Education is important both to the welfare of the individual and to society • At the heart of these three key elements is tradition • Tradition must be deliberately and consciously enacted by the individual • Tradition shifts from an unconscious to a conscious foundation
Importance of Rituals • Rituals are the “glue” that cultivates good human beings and good relationships • The rituals are • Ren: goodness or human-heartedness; it can be understood as the notion that a relationship is not an objective thing but rather a relational event. • Chun Tze: the noble person; the ideal partner or participant in a relationship. • Li: • (1) the proper manner or orderliness with which sacred ritual acts are carried out; • (2) the idea that one's social comportment is just such a ritual act • De: power by moral example; ruling by how you handle yourself and behave is better than ruling through intimidation and fear
Li: The Five Basic Relationships • The Five Basic Relationships are • parents and children • spouse and spouse • older and younger siblings (brothers and sisters) • older and younger friends • ruler and subject (and by extension, employer and employee; teacher and student) • Family relationships are the basis of the others • Xiao ("Filial Piety"): the veneration and respect for all members of one's family
Daoism in Perspective • Religion in China has essentially been a threefold hybrid of Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism. • Confucianism is about relation • Buddhism is about release. • Daoism is about balance. • Some Chinese say that • In business, one should be a Confucianist, • in retirement and withdrawal from worldly activities, one should be a Daoist, • Just prior to death, one should be a Buddhist. • For the Chinese, "covering all the bases" is not a trivializing of the sacred. • The three religions demonstrate that we are multi-faceted
Daoism—Philosophy • An attempt to codify and organize the wisdom and experience of the natural world • The Dao (“Way”) and the De (“Power”) • The Doa is • the "transcendent Dao," or the Dao of ultimate reality. In this sense, the Dao is the very ground of all being, the principled source of all that is. • the "immanent Dao," or the Dao of the universe. This is the energies and rhythms of nature that are all around us. • To be with or in the Dao is to be in balance and to live one's life in accordance with the natural rhythms and patterns of the universe. • If one's life or affairs are in turmoil and conflict, one is not living in accordance with the Dao . For this reason, the Dao is often associated with the metaphorical image of water.
Daoism—Philosophy • The De is • Efficiency: Making the most out of the least • Harmony without friction, without extremes, within the rhythm and energies of the universe • Wu Wei, or "actionless action." Not “going with the flow” (being carried along) but acting in harmony with the tide (maximizing the tide’s energy). • Right being leads to right doing • For the Confucianist, right doing leads to right being
Daoism—Religion • The natural order is more important than the social order. • A universal force guides all things. • Human beings should live simply and in harmony with nature.
Daoism—Religion • Harmony is demonstrated by the yin & yang • The circle represents harmony of yin ( earth, female, passive) and yang (heaven, male, active); natural order • Non-ceasing interaction of give and take, the rhythm and interplay of the universe as it ebbs and flows • It is not about opposites in a conflict that must be resolved