Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam
Types of Christantiy
- Orthodox such as Catholic, Coptic, East Orthodox following tradition of various sorts and believing to hold strictly to the Bible, the church is the main authority.
- Protestant types, such as Lutheran, ect... following tradition but rejecting various hierarchy of "orthodox" types, and believing to be more conservatively adherent to the Bible, still focusing on practice as Orthodox types but not practice in the framework of that hierarchy.
- Independent protestant types, such as Methodist, Baptist, ... believing to be more conservative, authority is based on the Bible, not the church leadership, viewed as more liberal. Pastors are guides with the Bible, not the authority strictly speaking.
- Charismatic types, these blend together with the Independent Protestant types today, some believe in speaking in tongues, they generally believe the Bible is true but they will believe that God is bringing messages today independent of the Bible. Authority shits away from the Bible to an imperceptible degree in some cases and a lot in other cases. some of these can be cult like, and group 5 can include cult like groups.
Hinduism is the religion of the majority of people in India and Nepal. It also exists among significant populations outside of the sub continent and has over 900 million adherents worldwide.
In some ways Hinduism is the oldest living religion in the world, or at least elements within it stretch back many thousands of years. Yet Hinduism resists easy definition partly because of the vast array of practices and beliefs found within it. It is also closely associated conceptually and historically with the other Indian religions.
Actually, he was born Siddhartha Gautama and the term Buddha was a title meaning "the awakened one", or "the one who knows", and was used from the age of thirty-five.
There are two aspects of the Life of Siddhartha Gautama - the historical way and the legend, which has embroidered the story of this amazing man. We will cover the three main parts of his life, the early years as a prince, his search for the truth, and the years spreading his teaching, and some of the details are no doubt part legend.
So now we come to the second part of his life. Gautama took on the life of a wandering monk, accepting food as it was offered to him. He pursued his spiritual quest and studied under the well-known teachers of his day. He learned of deep meditation and followed the yogic practices, but in the end discovered that he reached a point where the teachers could offer him no more. So he left with five followers and he was now called Sakyamuni, sage of the Sakyas, the clan of his father.
It was widely accepted by the holy men of the era, that the body and its desires were an obstacle to spiritual development and that these should be subdued. For six years, Sakyamuni starved and punished his body and lived the most austere life imaginable. In the end, he vowed to try even harder to limit his physical body.
The third part of the life of the Buddha covers the most years.
Gautama was now thirty-five years old. For the next forty-five years, until his death at about eighty years of age, he pursued his life’s mission. The Buddha accepted many men as followers. He even accepted some from the lowest caste, called the Untouchables, which set a new precedent and angered many people who suggested that this would disrupt the existing order of the society.
Despite opposition, the Buddha founded an order of monks and for nine months each year, walked the roads of India, to towns, villages and cities, teaching to whoever would listen. For the remaining three months of every year, corresponding to the wet season, he retreated from public life with his monks.
It is often said that Islam bans images of people or animals, but this is false. The Koran itself has very little to say on the subject and the Traditions of the Prophet are open to various interpretations. As Muslims believe that God is unique and without associate, He cannot of course be represented. As He is worshipped directly without intercessors, images of saints, as in Christian or Buddhist art, have no place in Islam. As the Koran is not a narrative like the Torah or the Gospels, there is little reason for Muslims to tell religious stories through pictures.
Instead, Islamic religious art has focused on the glorification of God's word, specifically by writing it beautifully, and accompanying the Arabic script with geometric and floral designs known as arabesques, in which plants grow according to the laws of geometry rather than nature. Some people believe that these designs have deep spiritual and mystical meaning, while others believe they are simply beautiful patterns. Believers are free to see in these designs whatever they like — this sense of ambiguity is one of the hallmarks of Islamic art. Examples of religious art range from beautifully calligraphied manuscripts of the Koran to intricately carved and inlaid pulpits or minbars, from which the Friday sermon is given in the mosque.