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World Religions - Essay Example

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Religion is commonly referred to or defined as “a group of beliefs concerning the supernatural, sacred, or divine, and the moral codes, practices, values, institutions, and rituals associated with such belief…
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Download file to see previous pages “In summary, it may be said that almost every known culture involves the religious in the above sense of a depth dimension in cultural experiences at all levels – a push, whether ill-defined or conscious, toward some sort of ultimacy and transcendence that will provide norms and power for the rest of life. When more or less distinct patterns of behavior are built around this depth dimension in a culture, this structure constitutes religion in its historically recognizable form. Religion is the organization of life around the depth dimensions of experience – varied in form, completeness, and clarity in accordance with the environing culture.” (Winston King, Encyclopedia of Religion, p.7693).
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Christianity is a monotheistic religion which is centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, who is known more familiarly by Christians as Jesus Christ. Christianity is considered to be the world's largest religion; Christian views of the afterlife generally involve heaven and hell, with Catholicism adding an immediate realm of purgatory. Judaism is the religion of Jewish people, and is one of the oldest religious traditions still practiced today. Buddhism is the fourth largest religion in the world, being exceeded in numbers only by Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. The Buddhist religion was founded in Northern India by the first known Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama. Hinduism is a religion which originated in the Indian subcontinent, based on the Vedas and the beliefs of other people of India. "It is one of the oldest religious traditions still practiced today." (Wikipedia, 2006). Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world with approximately 970 million adherents.
The term 'heresy', according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is a "theological or religious opinion or doctrine maintained in opposition, or held to be contrary, to the Catholic or Orthodox doctrine of the Christian Church, or, by extension, to that of any church, creed, or religious system, considered as orthodox. By extension, heresy is an opinion or doctrine in philosophy, politics, science, art, etc., at variance with those generally accepted as authoritative." 'Heresy' means opinion, and "the wisdom of such orthodox tradition is certainly not something to be denied or perverted on the basis of mere opinion." (Wilson, 1991). Christianity is a heresy of Judaism in that Christianity actually began in the first century as a Jewish sect. Therefore it shares ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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