Read e-book online A history of religion East and West; an introduction and PDF

By Trevor Ling

ISBN-10: 1721191771

ISBN-13: 9781721191772

The spiritual traditions of Asia and Europe, the 'East' and 'West' of the name, are often considered as being in sharp distinction with one another, the single 'mystical', the opposite 'prophetic'. every time their religions usually are not 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, in spite of the fact that, stresses that there's huge overlap and interpenetration among the 2 varieties and components, and that you will need to see the historic inter-relation among those religions and to watch how, in the course of given classes of historical past, 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 eu non secular traditions and associations, and discussing the social and monetary elements curious about the advance of religous traditions, even though he indicates that such elements by myself don't account for the non secular lifetime of guy. Dr Ling is going directly to interpret the modern value of those religions and their power for the long run lifetime of humanity. He means that the current level of non secular improve is characterized via open-endedness in the direction of the long run; now not all religions convey this personality, yet none has but exhausted the chances of improvement. This e-book is meant to be used an an creation to the learn of faith. even supposing reference is made within the textual content to resources of additional info, the ebook can be utilized regardless of them.

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Sample text

A further point which we have to note is that over most of India from at least the time of the Indus valley civilisation until now agriculture has provided the characteristic basis of Indian life. With this village society based on an agricultural economy goes yet one more characteristic feature - the cult of the village goddess. In nomadic, pastoral, herd-keeping societies the male principle predominates; among agricultural peoples, aware of the fertile earth which brings forth from itself and nourishes its progeny upon its broad bosom, it is the mother-principle which seems important, unless, as in Egypt, some other factor intervenes.

1. There is first of all the strong tradition of a profound personal experience of an inaugural kind - inaugural, that is, to his activity as a charismatic leader - the tradition which is contained in the narrative of Exod. 3. The vision of the bush which glowed as with fire and yet was not consumed; the overwhelming consciousness of a divine presence; the awareness that he was being personally addressed by this divine reality whose name (that is, whose nature) he did not as yet know; the enigmatic name which was conveyed to him in this experience - YHWH, meaning possibly 'I will be what I will be' or 'I am what I am' or even simply 'He who is' (the name which in the English translation of the Old Testament is indicated by the word 'LORD' in upper-case letters): all these are characteristic features of the initial vision and 'call' of a prophet in Hebrew tradition.

The important development which took place in India, however, was the linking of this attempt at biological explanation with moral ideas, that is, the introducing of the notion that the spirit in the course of its transmigration from one body to another carried with it its moral guilt or its merit, and that this explained the bad or good fortune which appeared, otherwise inexplicably, to mark the life of the new human being. Thus was evolved a satisfying solution to the problem of why men appeared to suffer misfortune undeservedly or, equally undeservedly perhaps, to enjoy good fortune and immunity from harm.

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A history of religion East and West; an introduction and interpretation by Trevor Ling


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