World Religions Overview - Halverson

World Religions Overview - Halverson - Overview A Religion...

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Unformatted text preview: Overview A Religion Profile from International Students, Inc. Usually, the gods of the dualistic and polytheistic religions are more like intermediaries than supreme gods. The supreme gods are either monotheistic or monistic in nature. Converse- ly, though, for reasons that will be explained later, the “folk” or “popular” forms of the monotheistic, monistic, and, to some extent, the atheistic religions, resemble polytheism. Other patterns are also present in the continuum pictured on the next page. To the left, where God is separate from His creation, there is more of an appreciation for the unique value of humanity compared to the rest of creation. To the right, there is less of a sense that humanity is unique and of special value. With respect to humanity’s primary problem (i.e., sin), to the left of the continuum there is the sense that humanity fails to live up to the moral precepts of a holy God. To the right, though, the issue of “sin” has to do with ignorance, whether of one’s true divintiy (Hinduism) or of a rational solution to humanity’s problems (Secularism). With respect to the afterlife, in the monotheistic and compet- ing dualistic religions, the person continues to exist as a conscious individual after death, either in a heaven-like or a hell-like place. Toward the right of the continuum, the goal is for the individual to lose his individuality by merging into the oneness of ultimate reality. At the extreme right, in atheism, because the person consists only of matter, at death he or she ceases to exist as a conscious entity altogether. 1 World Religions: An Overview World Religions A Timeline of the World Religions 1500 B . C . 1000 500 A . D . 0 500 1000 1500 2000 • Hinduism (ca. 1500 B . C .) • Shinto (ca. 660 B . C .) • Christianity (ca. A . D . 30) • Sikhism (ca. A . D . 1469) • Judaism (ca. 1440 B . C .) • Zoroastrianism (ca. 630 B . C .) • Islam (ca. A . D . 622) • Taoism (ca. 600 B . C .) • Buddhism (ca. 563 B . C .) • Confucianism (ca. 551 B . C .) Purpose The purpose of this profile is: 1) to help you make sense of what can be a confusing array of religions; 2) to give you an appreciation for the uniqueness of Christianity; and 3) to suggest some principles to keep in mind for evangelizing those in the non-Christian religions. The Spectrum of Religions The spectrum of religions shown on page 2 of this overview can be viewed as a continuum with certain patterns. On the far left side are the religions that say God is the transcendent Creator of the world, and, as such, He is distinct and separate from His creation. On the right side of the continuum are the monistic religions that emphasize God’s immanence; they believe that God’s essence and the world’s essence are one and the same. On the far right side are those atheistic world- views and religions that deny God’s existence. Yet atheism is similar to monism where the substance is spirit; with atheism, the substance is matter (or energy).the substance is matter (or energy)....
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This note was uploaded on 07/12/2011 for the course PHIL 104 B taught by Professor Aidoo during the Spring '11 term at Liberty.

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World Religions Overview - Halverson - Overview A Religion...

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