We live in what is sometimes describes as a “secular age,” meaning, in effect, that religion is not an especially important issue for most people. However, there is much evidence to suggest that this is not true. In many societies, including the United States, religion and religious values shape the lives of millions of individuals and play a key role in politics and culture as well. The religion that my paper and my presentation will cover is the beautiful and expansive religion of Buddhism. It is my intention, throughout the course of my paper, to explain the main tenants of Buddhism, the history of the religion, and provide insight on the culture of the religion.
Approximately 350 million people in the world today are practicing Buddhist, making Buddhism the world’s fourth largest religion. However Buddhism has an influence even greater than the number of its adherents would indicate. From the time that its founder, Siddhartha Gautama, preached his first sermon 2500 years ago, Buddhism has spread from its homeland in India to China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Tibet, and abroad. Although China is the largest country in the world to be officially atheist, a large majority of its populace adheres to Buddhist traditions and is even practicing Buddhists. They are noticeably influenced by the culture. In fact, all of the countries that came under the influence of Buddhism were enriched culturally and artistically. The image of the Buddha, which means “Enlightened One,” appears
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In classical India, the religion of Buddhism was formed in reaction to the strict ways of Hinduism. Many people, mainly lower class, converted to seek a better life and be enlightened more efficiently. This new religion made its way to China where much of its population converted through trade and missionaries. The conversion of Buddhism in China caused many effects of the spread of Buddhism because of its influential impacts from 300 to 900 CE which are influencing the government, caused some people to reject it, and mainly was a unifying force for China. An effect the spread of Buddhism is the influence of its morals on China’s government in 300-900 CE (Doc’s 1, 7). On some occasions Chinese people vehemently rejected Buddhism and rather practice more Chinese driven religion (Doc’s 5, 7). The most impactful effect of the spread of Buddhism is its ability to unite the Chinese in the way of
In this paper it will discuss the influence of the Buddha and how Buddhism came to America and the impact it had upon its arrival. How the American culture westernized Buddhism in their own way and how it looks today. It will also cover the difference of ethnic Buddhism and convert Buddhism in America. More specifically the objective of this paper is to explain descriptively and analytically and go over the historical time line of
In the sixth century B.C.E., the religion of Buddhism was founded in India. Seven centuries later, the religion would find itself arriving in China in the midst of the Han Dynasty. In China, there were many different views of the religion as it arrived and spread throughout the country. There were two main responses to the religion. One response was that Buddhism could stand alongside other Chinese religions and philosophies such as Confucianism, as it could do a lot of good for China; while another view was that Buddhism had no place in China, as it came from foreign people and was barbaric, stealing from the Chinese.
“What does Eastern Religions mean to Americans?” Starting in the 19th century, Buddhism began to make its way to America through the immigration of the Chinese whom brought their religious traditions with them. Buddhism continued to gain popularity in America when Buddhist texts, as well as Buddhist teachers, were brought here to share and spread their religion. It wasn’t until the late 1950’s/early 1960’s that we see the interest in Buddhism, particularly Zen Buddhism, blossom throughout the country. Through the memoir “Sacred Hoops” by Phil Jackson, an NBA player and coach, we are able to see how Zen Buddhism not only altered his life, as well as his players, but how the religion also adapts to American culture. From reading both “Sacred Hoops” and learning about Buddhism throughout this semester, I would argue that Eastern religions, specifically Zen Buddhism, is not only a way for Americans to escape the reality of American culture but also provides a complete alternative to Christianity and other similar religions that are predominate in America.
“’Worldwide, more than eight-in-ten people identify with a religious group,’ said a new comprehensive demographic study of more than 230 countries and territories conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life.” (Harper). Within the top five most popular religions, Christianity was found to be at the top with Buddhism ranked number four. There are millions of human beings participating in these religions and humans might wonder how they compare. When a human being explores Buddhism and Christianity, they will find that the importance of a spiritual master, shared values, and the follower strive to be enlighten. Buddhism and Christianity have an abundance of similarities within the religions, the fundamental differences in the view of God, salvation, and reincarnation ultimately outweigh their likeness.
Buddhism originated in the early Fifth century BCE, from the teachings of Siddhartha Buddha (Fisher, 2005). Plagued by the desire to help end human suffering, Buddha reached a state of pure enlightenment showing him the way to end earthly suffering. Through meditation, people can control the desires of their human nature. By gaining control of our desires we can end our suffering. He taught his wisdom to all that wanted to learn. After his death, three main forms of Buddhism emerged; there was the Theravada’s, the Mahayana’s, and the Zen Buddhists (Fisher, 2005). For the sake of this report, the local Buddhist
Buddhism for centuries, has long been influencing the population all over the world, specifically in China . Buddhism first came to China as a result of merchant traders from India. From there it spread within the merchant community. It mainly expanded because it gave people a sense of hope and faith with the chaos they were experiencing from the collapse of the Han Dynasty. It also spread because it covered what Confucianism lacked; a more spiritual and emotional approach that appealed to many people of different classes. It is because of this that Buddhism spread and was able to influence and greatly affect China during the period of 300-900 CE. Buddhism influenced philosophy and moral teachings, kept the Chinese society peaceful and orderly, as well as affecting the overall economy. Buddhism had strong religious teachings that appealed to the lower class with the idea of afterlife and nirvana as well as an emphasis on following your own path that transformed Chinese beliefs causing a large portion of the population to convert (doc’s 1,4). Buddhism kept the Chinese society orderly by reminding all of Buddha’s life and teachings with statues and the influence it had on monks to spread charity and missionary work (doc’s 2,3,6). Buddhism also had an effect on the economy of China. As it spread from other regions, it caused more farmers and silk producers to convert and spread the religion as monks and nuns. (doc 7,5).
By 100 C.E., Buddhism founded in India in the 6th century B.C.E was brought to China, gradually winning converts following the collapse of the Han dynasty in 220 C.E., but responses to the spread of Buddhism in China differed. Some faction of people didn’t see the spread of Buddhism as a threat they saw it as what it was, a religion brought to China even though it not an aspect of China,it still should be respected differed from faction of people who saw the spread of Buddhism as barbaric invasion and just overusing China, but to add some factions of people saw Buddhism as a good religion that differed from Confucianism in China but are both valued religions that have similar concepts.
Religion is a fundamental element of human society. It is what binds a country, society or group of individuals together. However, in some instances it destroys unity amoungst these. Religion is a belief in a superhuman entity(s) which control(s) the universe. Every religion has its differences but most strive for a just life and the right morals. The three major groups are the primal regions which consist of African, Aboriginal and Native American religions, Asian which consist of South Eastern Asian religions and Abrahamic religions which consist of Middle Eastern religions. The foci of this essay are the differences between the Abrahamic religion, Christianity, and the Asian region Buddhism as well as making reference to the Islamic
It is said that history is shaped by the lives of great men. Great men are leaders. They bring about change; they improve the lives of others; they introduce new ideas, models, and theories to society. Most of the world's religions were founded, developed, or discovered by great men. Two particular religions - Christianity and Buddhism - developed in different parts of the world, under different circumstances, and in different social atmospheres. But each religion is based upon the teachings of a great man. When one compares the life of Buddha with the life of Jesus, one finds that the two share many things in common. This essay aims to compare and contrast the lives of Buddha1 and Jesus in two key areas: conception and birth.
Importantly, this work avoided a Marxist analysis of the commodification of religion such as is described by the Comaroffs. In doing so it avoids claims about authenticity that end up as essentializing Buddhism, and instead shows that it “is not a static entity; it is continuously created through space and time” (16). Another important epistemological consideration is Scott’s treatment of Orientalism and the rationalization of modern interpretations
Buddhism in the twenty-first century is still applicable in such a fast paced and confusing world. Despite all of our advanced science and technology, we understand even less our reason for existing and we know more than ever just how big the universe is and how uncaring. These circumstances drive people to seek out spirituality even today in order to achieve the basic comfort required for them to conduct their daily lives. The recent episodes of tremendous violence have placed an unsavory patina of stifling ignorance over the religions of Christianity and Islam as they continue to carry on like demented spinsters in the decaying finery of their former glory with no intention of acknowledging the catastrophe of their current circumstances. Buddhism, with its sterling values of moderation, peace, and detachment from the impermanent things of this world, now appears dignified and splendid as the ancient beauty of Asia to modern seekers. No longer do we seek judgment and rigid, inexplicable rules from our God, with the hellfire and damnation that once drove us onward. We crave logic and sense from our world and in those circumstances, this faith tells us that lusting after expensive cars and clothes which we do not need will make us miserable. That is easy to understand. That makes
In the United States there are over four million buddhists, one thousand temples, study groups, or Buddhists associations (Monroe 108). This number has come from just one man searching to find happiness and eventually enlightenment. Buddha’s story is how buddhism became a religion all over the world. It teaches a peaceful manner, reveals the key to happiness for the mind, and eliminates the desire in life. Not just the history of buddhism is important, but how it has spread through the world and what it looks like today.