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World Religions

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Discuss monotheism as compared to animistic or polytheisticreligious belief Polytheism is the name given to the worship of many gods and it is associated with magical thinking about the cosmos In theprimitive world the designation of god was given to both natural andsupernatural beings who were believed to guarantee to their worshippers the continuance and orderly succession of those physical phenomena uponwhich mankind depends for subsistence Frazer Specific gods hadspecific duties in that regard--for example a god of fertility and anothergod of

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[iii]Harvey xi. Polytheism is the name given to the worship of many gods,and it is associated with magical thinking about the cosmos. The content of that enlightenment is a matter of dispute amongsectarian Buddhists. In due course, Muhammad encountered opposition to his teachings, asituation amplified after Muhammad's wife died. Buddhism has various sects, but certain doctrines are basicto all strands of the religion. Explain ways in which the particularities in the lives of Mohammedand Buddha affected the religion that each spawned. [xxiv]Ibid. [W]hereas the Old Testament communitywas tribal, the Koran was addressed to mankind." The declaration of faith,replicated on the national flags of various Muslim nations, isstraightforward: "There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is hismessenger." Founded in the early decades of the seventh century A.D., Islamappropriated Judaism and Christianity as prophetic but imperfect religions,and Muhammad and his successors set about the task of conquest, first ofthe polytheistic desert tribes of Arabia, Asia Minor, and North Africa andthen into Europe. In the Theravadatradition, Gotama charged missionary monks whom he became acquainted withto teach to all peoples what he had discovered about the benefits ofasceticism, meditation, and the relinquishment of materiality. Important to the task was the development of Islamic law as auniversal principle, "the one authentic social order under its god . However, there is a provenancefrom the Buddha himself, who is said to have urged missionaries to preachto the wider populace; it was a version of enlarging religious practicefrom the exclusionary elitist Brahmanism typical of India.[xxiv] Ritual observances, which may range from celebratory rites toconfessional rites, are usually conducted in the environment of amonastery. Itinvolves self-discipline, moral behavior, and meditation of the kind thatis consistent with withdrawing from craving, desire, or grasping. Nor should he totally ignore the laity; if he does not teach them, recruitment to the Sangha will cease and Buddhism will die out, to the detriment of future generations.[xxiii]Because devotional practice in Buddhism is individual, not congregational,the role of the sangha may seem a paradox. Saunders speculates that the Buddha was in fact an agnostic "as towhat full Nibbana really meant" but at the same time felt that hisexperience could "carry [others] on into that great Beyond. There, rather suddenly, he achieved enlightenment. Three important themes are morality,worshipful practice, and doctrine. It overlaps and convergeswith the moral content of a religion, and it may be relevant to worship. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1987.Prabhavananda, Swami. Creel, Chinese Thought From Confucius to Mao Tse-tung(Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1953) 3 7. [ii]James G. 444ff. [xxviii]Juliane Schober, Sacred Biography in the Buddhist Traditionsof South and Southeast Asia (New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 2 2) 165. In Medina, he gained adherents, and soon he set about the task ofuniting various Arab tribes under his religious banner--polytheisticadherents as well as Jews and Christians. The basis for Islam's unity--which took only one century to spreadacross Persia to the east and the Mediterranean Levant, Africa, and Europeto the west--was the holy Quran, and the basis for the Quran was the lifeand thought of Muhammad, born in Mecca in A.D. In theprimitive world the designation of god was given to both natural andsupernatural beings who were believed to "guarantee to their worshippers []the continuance and orderly succession of those physical phenomena uponwhich mankind depends for subsistence" (Frazer 2 9). He cites the figure of the (human) Pharaoh as god-king, typicallyidentified with the god Osiris when dead and with Osiris's son andresurrected self Horus when alive and ruling. Near despair, he one day rested by a riverunder a tree. Animism: Respecting the Living World. Islam grew in influence, but its rigid monotheism contrasted sharplywith the tribal polytheism typical of the Arab world. 43. In Christianity there is the doctrine of the messiah, which had aplace in Jewish tradition and the fulfillment of which was claimed for theappearance of Jesus of Nazareth in Judea. New York: Association Press, 192 .Schober, Juliane. The doctrine ofMuhammad's singular position as Allah's messenger is central to Islam, forexample. Hassan, "Islam in Africa," CRS Report for Congress 9May 2 8, . Sources of Japanese Tradition. 6. xii. M.C.E.B. 26 April 2 1 . Later there emerged the Sufi sect, more mystical than theother two. [xxxi]Watt passim. Specific gods hadspecific duties in that regard--for example a god of fertility and anothergod of rain. Islam is perceived as nonracist. Monotheism as a controlling principle is specifically articulated inthe Hebrew Bible: "I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you;I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing" (Gen. .Johnson, Paul. Egyptian emperor Akhenaten, who reigned from 1353 to 1336B.C., appears to have closed the temples of the god Amon, replacingpolytheism with a single god, Aton, identified with the sun. However, Saunderspoints out that the Buddha retained a sense of mission and that he linkedhis experience to the need to disseminate ethical practice. 433. Describe the appeal of Islam in modern Africa and America.Fundamentally, the appeal of Islam in modern Africa and America can bereduced to what it is not: Christianity, in particular institutionalChristianity. [xix]H.G. Another faction declared that his son-in-law Ali was his successor. Mahayana Buddhism is one of the major strands of Buddhist thoughtand practice. His life was one ofcomparative poverty until he married well. .magnified to match the new knowledge of a larger world."[viii] If the lawis universal, if faith is the law, and if monotheism is the foundationalarticulation of faith, then it follows that the law is the experience oflife, and the experience of the one God confers a sacral dimension to life.Though this does not account for sectarian rivalry among Sufi, Sunni, andShi'a Muslims[ix] or for the low spiritual status of women, its veryrigidity is a logical extension from monotheism to rigid social structure.The missionary zeal of Islam, and the presumption of Islam as the truefaith, had their counterpart in Christianity, does seem to be anchored atleast in part to the power of the Islamic elaborations that flow from itsmonotheism. Harvey identifies two main kinds. Extinction of fire, lust, anger, and infatuation; 3. Monks, who live in common and whoreceive everything from food to shelter from the laity, safeguard variousrelics and their repositories, which along with ritual observances (mainlyfunerals) could be the focus of devotional practice. Theravada Buddhismalso provides for the acquisition of merit, with the objective beingelimination of suffering. In 61 , herather fearfully explained that he had had a vision of God's angel Gabriel,who declared that Muhammad was God's own prophet. 12.2-3).However, God has a condition, which is exclusivity: You shall not bow down to them [other gods] or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me (Exod., 2 .5). The firstpart is associated with "right belief" or "right view," followed by "rightaspiration; right speech; right action; right livelihood; right effort;right mindfulness; right meditation."[xx] The aim of an individual life is to finally and completely transcendthe body (reality, existence). Theravada Buddhism: A Social History From Ancient Benares to Modern Colombo. Until this is achieved, the being (notstrictly the soul) will be reincarnated until craving is fully expunged andone achieves nirvana, or the joining of right moral conduct, an absence ofcraving, and the importance of a bodhi (enlightenment), to the effect thatmaterial existence itself is illusory. [v]David Van Biema, "In Search of Moses," Time 14 December 1998: 85. "Buddhism." Our Religions. [xii]Albert Schweitzer, The Quest of the Historical Jesus(Minneapolis, Minn.: SCM Press, 2 ) 17, 15 , et passim. . 1. Critique ofJudaism, at any rate, seems to have been the Christian standpoint. The earth-goddess Isis is the"mother bride of Osiris,"[vii] and the three figures together representcycles of life and death, including but not limited to vegetation cycles. Another major strand is Theravada Buddhism. 2 4-2 9.. Freudconnected Aton with Adonai, a Hebrew name for God and argued that Egypt'smonotheistic "heresy," suppressed by priestly-cult influence on Akhenaton'ssuccessor, prefigured Jewish monotheism.[v] Christian monotheism was undoubtedly a direct inheritance from Jewishtradition, though it had several strands of thought before being codified,most decisively in the postapostolic period by Paul, who was Christianity'sfirst apologist and became what Campell characterizes as Christianity's"first organization man."[vi] The centrality of the figure of Jesus andChristianity's doctrinal departure from Judaism is the content ofmonotheistic Christianity. To the extent belief must be explained and justified, themonotheistic religions tend to position themselves in ways that enable andencourage explication of their moral and doctrinal views. New York: Routledge, 1988.Harvey, Graham. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 2 2.Schweitzer, Albert. Amos quotes the Lord's word that "time is ripe to have donewith my people Israel; I will forgive them no longer" (Amos 8.3). His wife supported hisclaims. [xvi]Albert Schweitzer, Indian Thought and Its Development, trans.M.C.E.B. Russell (Gloucester, Mass.: Peter Smith, 1977) passim. [xxii]Richard Francis Gombrich, Theravada Buddhism: A Social HistoryFrom Ancient Benares to Modern Colombo (New York: Routledge, 1988), 89. They offered hope, as opposed to the resignation or fatalism of Afro- Asian norms, which Egypt so strikingly exemplified.[x] If Judaism as a moral religion can be said to have evolved out of theinability of Egyptian religion to cope with moral complexity, it seemsarguable that Christianity's response to Judaism evolved out of theossification of Jewish law as promulgated by the Pharisees. [xiv]Rose-Marie Armstrong,"Turning to Islam--African-AmericanConversion Stories," The Christian Century 12 July 2 3, 19-23. While each individual monk is supposed to be seeking his own enlightenment--the wisdom ideal--he is also to contribute to an atmosphere in which his fellow-monks can do likewise. Hassan, "Islam in Africa." CRS Report for Congress 9 May 2 8. "What Is Religion?" In Vedanta for Modern Man, ed. It is an irony of history that Islamicscholarship during the Dark Ages preserved pre-Christian and non-Christiantexts for the West. When Ali was assassinated the Sunni became politically dominant andestablished a long-standing caliphate government. At Matt.23.25, Jesus says, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Indian Thought and Its Development. The appealof Islam in Africa has similar reasons behind it, though Islam has been inAfrica in some form since the seventh century, but that presence waslargely ignored by scholars until recently. The Sangha appears to be the closest thing Buddhism has to anecclesiastical structure. Thereafter, God would periodically reveal truths to Muhammad, whowould convey them to a growing body of followers. M. . The firstkind "alleges a 'belief in spirits' or 'non-empirical beings,' and/or aconfusion about life and death."[i] Frazer sees this kind of animism as aspecies of primitive worship that involves totemism and sacramentalkillings.[ii] The second kind "refers to a concern with knowing how tobehave appropriately towards persons, not all of whom are human."[iii] Thesecond kind is in more wide use in the modern period and is said to entail"consciousness, environment and ethics in a number of disciplines andsubjects"[iv] and can be taken as a critique of (industrial) modernization. "Beat Zen, Square Zen, and Zen." Chicago Review (Spring 1958). This would help explain how Islam was able to flourish and growover such as wide area, starting in the seventh century, the same time asEuropean Christendom was declining into its Dark Age and the JewishDiaspora was retreating into insular invisibility throughout the Levant andEurope alike. Monks,indeed, exercise a certain leadership position in devotional and meditationexercises. 5. In its most general formulation, animism refers to the idea that non-human beings, as well as the cosmos and objects of nature such as rivers,trees, and rocks, have souls. . 67. The mythic narrative of the Jews is problematized repeatedly in theBible because in book after book for various reasons the Jews abandonmonotheism. 23. The Quest of the Historical Jesus. In the modern period, it is associatedwith three world religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, each of whichfollows a text and doctrine that elaborate on the nature of the one god.Christianity and Judaism share a concept of the Godhead, while Islamidentifies the Godhead as Allah. Complete extinction of being; 2. The discovery of monotheism, and not just of monotheism but of a sole, omnipotent God actuated by ethical principles and seeking methodically to impose them on human beings, is one of the great turning-points in history, perhaps the greatest of all. BibliographyAbe, Masao. At the time this was happening, Christian Europe wasdescending into the Dark Ages. As has been noted,"The paradigmatic biography begins with renunciation of the world,continues with religious exertion, and concludes with the attainment ofnirvana."[xxviii] The impact of the Buddha's example demonstrates thefallibility of followers on the path. Trans. These four truths, which are the common property of all schools of Buddhist thought, are part of the true Doctrine (Sanskrit dharma), which reflects the fundamental moral law of the universe.[xix]The method of stopping craving belongs to the Eightfold Noble Path. 165-6. Christopher Isherwood, 49-55. The Medinafaction of his surviving family took the view that Muhammad had named nosuccessor and proceeded to elect one. 2. There is, however, compelling evidencethat monotheism in the West originated not with the Jews but predatedJudaism in Egypt. 3. . [xxix]Ibid. Indeed,the Buddha is an object of devotion, and Theravada Buddhism anticipatesthat additional Buddhas may be born in the future; that belief has beencharacterized as a species of "messianic aspirations."[xxii] That brings inthe Buddhist idea of life distinguished by careful and disciplined activitybuilt around a concentration and meditation associated with monks. .----------------------- Notes [i]Graham Harvey, Animism: Respecting the Living World (New York:Columbia University Press, 2 5), xi. The term Mahayana, or the OneVehicle, is associated with the experience or "Way" to the oneness oruniversality of enlightenment.[xxi] The enlightenment may come gradually orsuddenly. Muslims are called to prayer several times a day to performthat rite. The Jews'periodic abandonment of God for various desert godlets helps explain thesocial marginalization of Jews that was a fait accompli by the time of thegreat historical empires such as Greece and Rome. Whereas Anglicansand Catholics might display statuary of revered religious figures inchurch, Protestants would be less likely to do so. [xxvi]Ibid. [vi]Joseph Campbell, The Masks of God (New York: Penguin, 1964), 379. This is not to argue that religious warfare is entirelyabsent from the non-Christian world, as the sectarian violence betweenHindus, Muslims, and Sikhs (for example) vividly shows. . 69-137.Creel, H.G. Examples of merit would be charitable gifts tothe Sangha or good deeds done for others. The factions were irreconcilable; violentclashes between the Medina faction (Sunnis), and the faction loyal to Ali(Shia). [xiii]Alan Watts, "Beat Zen, Square Zen, and Zen," Chicago Review(Spring 1958) 26 April 2 1 . When he died in AD 632 he was themajor Arab leader, having received revelations on a multiple issues offaith, and social organization, and worshipful practice.[xxxi] The effectwas that Muslims were armed with divine sanction for expanding theirbeliefs even further afield. The theory appears to be that active engagement in religiouspraxis tends to alleviate suffering. . Reincarnation occurs to the extent thattranscendence of vulgar existence, or unity with the cosmic Soul, is notaccomplished by the individual. Paul sums it up at Gal. "In Search of Moses." Time 14 December 1998: 8 -88.Watt, W. Jesus is one person of the Trinitarian Godhead,with the Father and the Holy Spirit making up the other two. Islam continued to spread, in part because of its military strength,and in succeeding centuries it clashed with an increasinglyinstitutionalized Christianity; both religions claimed universal authorityover humankind. Meanwhile, sectarianChristianity vividly demonstrates a variety of rituals. New York: Columbia University Press, 2 5.Hussein D. It is a way of understanding the meaning of humanexistence, the purpose of which is to subordinate itself to mysticalexperience. These revelations werecollected in what was to become the holy Quran.[xxx] By 613 the prophet haddevised a mode of worship that had adherents prostrate themselves on theground before God and facing Mecca; that persists as worshipful practice ofmodern Islam. 84-5. [xxiii]Ibid. [iv]Ibid. The biography of the Buddha is the foundation of Buddhist belief. Religion as a foundation for moralityhas been linked to the development of Judaism and monotheism. Through it all,however, was retained the fundamental idea that all life was suffering andthat if the cause of suffering could be identified (craving) and expunged,then enlightenment nibbana became an achievable goal. [xxv]Kenneth James Saunders, Gotama Buddha: A Biography (New York:Association Press, 192 ) 19. [vii]Ibid. A haven of bliss.[xxvi]What these attributes share is a drawing-away from material experience,specifically the experience of craving. Thebig picture of the life of the Buddha in regard to the religion associatedwith his name is that as a young prince, complete with family and children,he abandoned everything to set about the task of meeting the people.Appalled by their poverty and hopelessness, he amplified his journey tostudy with a series of teachers, always seeking wisdom. Christian-Muslim rivalry was to resurface in the modernperiod, a rivalry that remains unresolved. [ix]Ibid. "Probably hissystem was ascetic meditation, and his doctrine that the soul can be setfree from the body."[xxv] He spent some six years traveling from teacher toteacher, always unsatisfied. . Gotama Buddha: A Biography. New York: Columbia University Press, 1964.Van Biema, David. In Hindu tradition, religious experience is conceived of as theaim of life, and religion itself "springs from man's desire to transcendthe limitations and bondages of life."[xvii] One impact of this might be todistract attention away from what is insupportable about material existencefor all but the social elites. Hassan cites the varieties of local Islamic practicethroughout the continent, even though some efforts have been made toradicalize the African Muslim population in recent years.[xv] 4. Identify three (3) important themes of religion and explain how anunderstanding can be used to explain a modern American fascination with non-Christian religious phenomena. [xxx]W. In the United States, meanwhile, Christianity was culpable inthe enslavement and ongoing suppression of black Africans. 3.28:"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there isneither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." The emergence of new religions implies the emergence of divergentworshipful practice. People whose lives have united with thatSoul, however, obtain the "bliss of deliverance from reincarnation."[xviii]To that extent, the doctrine is a mechanism of hope. This they did by way of military strength andthe sharia, a totalistic articulation of ideology and law meant to beeternally relevant, exceptionalist, and unchanging.[xxxii] Even so, sectarian rivalries survived Muhammad's death. They for their part no doubt interpreted his teachingaccording to their own preconceptions and needs."[xxvii] That, plus theBuddha's subsequent wanderings and attempts to arrive at a certaincodification of his ideas, would help explain the various strands ofBuddhist practice that emerged in various parts of Asia. [x]Paul Johnson, A History of the Jews (New York: Harper & Row,Publishers, 1987) 3 -1. Frazer, The Golden Bough: The Roots of Religion andFolklore (New York: Avenel, 1981), 133-4. Identify the major tenets of Buddhism and describe at least twomajor groups. But negative comments about Christianity and its associations with slavery and discrimination regularly accompany their expressions of gratitude to Islam.[xiv] Christianity's talk of freedom and justice was simply not born out bythe experience of American slaves, and Armstrong cites the view of manymodern African Americans that the black church has routinely suppressed thereligiosity of non-Christians. Muhammad: Prophet and Statesman. [xvii]Swami Prabhavananda, "What Is Religion?" in Vedanta for ModernMan, ed. Reincarnation is a familiar feature of Hindudoctrine that is relevant to belief about the nature of human existence.The role of reincarnation as a doctrine has been described as a solutionoffered by Hindu Brahmanism--the most elite part of the religion--to thephilosophical problem of resolving the tension between what Hindus see asthe absolute reality of the immaterial soul and the inevitable tanglingwith vulgar reality that the soul encounters over the course of conscioushuman experience.[xvi] Reincarnation is represented as an opportunity ormechanism for replicating the experience of existence but on a higher, moreimmaterial plane that transcends vulgar life. Russell. M. Another example would be thedoctrine of the Kingdom of Heaven, which is a phrase found with someregularity in the synoptic gospels--but which turns out to be a complex andvexed issue in theological commentary.[xii] How these themes intersect with a modern American fascination with non-Christian religions seems most readily apparent where institutional mattersintrude. Sacred Biography in the Buddhist Traditions of South and Southeast Asia. Campbell seesa direct relationship between the Christian Trinity and the Egyptian god-concept. Muhammad's insistencethat he was speaking with God constituted a threat to established socialcustoms. [xv]Hussein D. Even so, it isperhaps worth noting Alan Watts's trenchant comment in his famous essayabout Zen that those "who feel a profound need to justify themselves havedifficulty in understanding the viewpoints of those who do not, and theChinese who created Zen were the same kind of people as Lao-tzu, who []said, 'Those who justify themselves do not convince.'"[xiii] Given theabundant evidence of religious-institutional failure and the attempts by atleast some religious actors to impose their moral notions on both adherentsand nonadherents of their faith, it is perhaps not to be wondered at toomuch that American Jews and Christians of serious purpose and ethicalintent might be intrigued by religious or ethical traditions that falloutside what is familiar. Discuss monotheism as compared to animistic or polytheisticreligious belief. For yemake clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they arefull of extortion and excess." It is a statement typical of the moral claimto be made by Christianity over Judaism. . Being dynamic, and therefore offering the idea of progress, ideas current in ancient Mesopotamian society were much preferable to the dead hand of Egypt. Italso, however, may have an institutional component. [xxvii]Ibid. The lush ceremonies of the Catholic Church wereabandoned by more austere Protestant rites. That precipitatedMuhammad's flight, or hegira, from Mecca to Medina in AD 622, andopposition to Muhammad helps explain his dogged persistence in spreadinghis teachings. Christopher Isherwood (Hollywood, Calif.: Vedanta Press, 1951) 49. New York: Oxford University Press, 1974.Watts Alan. The bitter legacy of European colonialism in Africa, of whichChristian missions were an integral part, has been noted by a number ofcommentators. Out of thatexperience came the rather complex structure of Buddhist doctrine, citedearlier. Gotamamust have striven in vain to make Nibbana a living reality to the rank andfile of his people. Chinese Thought From Confucius to Mao Tse-tung. A History of the Jews. One source cites TheAltar Call, found in Evangelical worship, Speaking in Tongues, found inPentecostal worship, and Spirit-Led Worship, found among Quakers.[xi] Doctrine refers to the systemized presentation of beliefs and tenets,grounded in books of scripture and/or tradition. As onecommentary puts it: African-American Muslims I spoke with consistently explained Islam's appeal in terms of four benefits: a new sense of personal empowerment; a rigorous call to discipline; an emphasis on family structure and values; and a clear standard of moral behavior. Shia developedindependently. Lack of a formal structure oforganization on the order of the ecclesiastical form of the Catholic Churchis one aspect of this. [xi]"Christian Rituals & Practices," Religion Facts: Just the Facts onReligion. It is, however, a burden onmaterial experience. [xxxii]Campbell 434-5. Over the course of the texts, the prophets scold and scold, tolittle avail. Monotheism, as the Greek root of the word implies, is a category ofreligion that worships one god only. [viii]Ibid. Left unaddressed is "thesoteriological potential of most human beings, who will not renounce theworld in this life and attain the goal, but will instead continue totransmigrate in a time conceived according to a devolutionarycosmology."[xxix] Enlightenment and nirvana remain elusive goals for mostpeople. These principles are relevant irrespective of inclusion of theBuddha's multiple incarnations prior to enlightenment. Hollywood, Calif.: Vedanta Press, 1951.Rose-Marie Armstrong,"Turning to Islam--African-American Conversion Stories," The Christian Century 12 July 2 3, 19-23.Saunders, Kenneth J. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1953.Gombrich, Richard Francis. . San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1993. Minneapolis, Minn.: SCM Press, 2 .Tsunoda, Ryusaku, de Bary, William Theodore, and Keene, Donald, eds. [xviii]Schweitzer 161. Sadly, thehistory of extended religious explanations and justifications has beennothing so much as war and strife--witness the pre-Renaissance Inquisition,the religious wars that followed hard upon the Reformation, the Crusades,the Islamic conquest in the seventh century AD versus the Islamic-fundamentalist missions of violence in the twenty-first century, variousprojects of anti-Semitism, the intractability of Jewish hardliners inmatters relating to the future of Israel vis-a-vis its Arab neighbors, thesex scandals in the Catholic Church, the rampant corruption of Protestantevangelicals, etc. [xx]Masao Abe, "Buddhism," Our Religions (San Francisco:HarperSanFrancisco, 1993) 75 [xxi]Ryusaku Tsunoda, William Theodore de Bary, and Donald Keene,eds., Sources of Japanese Tradition (New York: Columbia University Press,1964) 113ff. A merchant, he appears to havebeen intensely religious and frequently meditated in private. 27. Summarize the doctrine of reincarnation and explain how it hasaffected life in India. In Theravada sects ofBuddhism, the exemplary biography of the Buddha is extremely important,along with righteousness (dhamma) and the monastic order (sangha). They are consistent withenlightenment as the achievement of nibbana (nirvana). Watt, Muhammad: Prophet and Statesman (New York: OxfordUniversity Press, 1974) passim. 57 . Gloucester, Mass.: Peter Smith, 1977.----. This begins with the Four Noble Truths: 1) that all life is inevitably sorrowful; 2) that sorrow is due to craving; 3) that it can only be stopped by the stopping of craving; and 4) that this can only be done by a course of carefully disciplined and moral conduct, culminating in the life of concentration and meditation led by the Buddhist monk. However, three possibilities have been mentioned: 1. A more monochromic monotheism marks Islam, which has elements ofethnically based religious practice akin to Judaism but which is meant toserve "the group favored of God .

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