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National and Religious Identity in Buddhism and Islam - Essay Example

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The paper "National and Religious Identity in Buddhism and Islam" highlights that Buddhism, like Jainism and many forms of Hinduism, maintains that its adherents not kill or harm other beings in any way, but instead help them at all times, practising loving-kindness and compassion…
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National and Religious Identity in Buddhism and Islam
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Download file to see previous pages The parable is often used to illustrate the reason we have the divisions that created world religions, as different people in various parts of the planet have experienced and expressed religion in their own unique cultural ways, yet continue to argue and fight over what is the ultimate truth. This same parable can guide us to be careful when speaking of Christianity, Hinduism or other religions as a whole, as sects or schools within the greater religion may hold tenets and practices that are widely divergent from each other even within the same theological context. When conducting research into comparative religions from a contemporary viewpoint, one must avoid generalizations that sweep over divergent views within the larger tradition and instead look for the diversity, valuing the records of minorities and dissenting views that define the mainstream accepted values. Through this, we can avoid stereotypes and present an accurate overview of the dynamics of a religious system in a historical period without losing perspective of the diversity of views and practices. This approach integrates the two methods of inquiry used in the study of religion as proposed by Linda Woodhead in ‘Religions in the Modern World,’ the “broadly sociological” and the “ethnographic or anthropological”. (Woodhead, 1) Through this methodology, for example, the effects of post-colonial occupation on religious traditions such as Buddhism and Islam can be studied in a manner that values all parties equally in judgment, tracing the consequences of historical decisions into modern times.
In the aftermath of the Second World War, a number of historical situations arose that can be termed “post-colonial occupations”. In the time that many nations which were colonized during the first period of European expansion, such as India, Pakistan, and African nations, came to be liberated from foreign rule, a number of new occupations began that initiated a similar paradigm of conquest on a new model. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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