Religions of the World - Final
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Peace and Surrender. Peace will come when one’s life is surrendered to God.
When and where was Muhammad Born?
570AD, born in Mecca, an orphan adopted by his uncle
Muhammad, 595 A.D.
595, at the age of 25, married a rich widow Khadija, 15 years older
Muhammad, 610 AD
at the age of 40, in a cave on Mt. Hira, angel Gabriel appeared and demanded him “recite in the name of your lord,” the first of a series of revelations he received in the next 23 years. He memorized and wrote them down—the Qur’an
Hijra—migration from Mecca to Medina, marks the beginning of the Muslin calendar, the turning point of world history, there he established the first Islamic society
Muhammad 629 & 630
*629, his pilgrimage to Mecca; *630, he conquered Mecca, destroyed idols, reestablished the rite of pilgrimage to Mecca;
Muhammad 632 AD
632, he died at the age of 63 as an undisputed political and religious leader of Arabia, the ever united new nation of Islam.
literal meanin is recitation. The record of God’s direct speech to all humanity, a holy pattern for all Muslims’ individual and collective life and thought.
Format and Contents of Qur'an
Textual format: 4/5 length of New Testament; 114 surahs/chapters, organized from the longest to shortest, with a name rather than a number for each chapter, such as “Night,” “The City,” “The Ant,” “The Cow,” “The Creator.”Contents: Hymns in praise of Allah; signs of Allah in the world; warnings about the coming of Judgment Day; urging for pious living and morality.
Qur'an cannot be...
Nature of Qur'an
Nature of Qur’an: (1) The God’s final and infallible revelation, culmination of the Old and New Testaments, based on reasons (a) OT & NT recorded only portions of truth; (b) those truths partially corrupted in transmission. (2) It is a vocal phenomenon, sets standard for grammatical rules in Arabic, and cannot be translated. (3) It is directly doctrinal, indirectly historical. God speaks in the first person, not in the third person, not in human form. OT & NT do not take the form of divine speech, only report things that happened. Allah directly describes himself and makes known his law. It is the truth, not about the truth. (4) It holds a central position in regulating all interpretations. It cannot be subjected to critical, historical or literary analysis. (5) Its guidelines are basic laws in Muslim societies. The Book emphasizes deed rather than idea. Islam walks a direct and explicit path, spells out the way of life it proposes. (6) Qur’an admits no contradiction between science and faith. The order and beauty of the creation are signs of Allah that human reason can discern. If science seems to contradict what Allah has revealed, eventually it will confirm Allah’s revelation.
Another Islamic holy text - means "speech" or "news."
Short narrative reports of the Prophet's words.
Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim. They are second in authority to Qur’an.
literally “Way” or “Law,” refers to the entire body of authoritative Muslim teaching on how to live, including personal/social morality, religion, philosophical reflection, in addition to legal matters. It is not so much a uniform law code as a legal framework.
Islamic Concept of God
(1) It is supernatural, personal, but immaterial, invisible, cannot be represented by images. Although the material world is good, the creation must be separate from the creator. (2) All idols must be removed from the religious scene. It focuses the divine on a single invisible God for everyone. Allah is not a god, but the only God. All other powers depend on Allah. Its great contribution to the Arabic religions and to all people is a rigorous monotheism
The Mandate of Heaven
Tien—heaven; Confucian notion of heaven is impersonal, a purposeful/moral universe. Ming—fate, destiny, decree, mandate. *The mandate of heaven is the moral call and order of the universe; it refers to the overall existential or external condition and the force of the universe, which is beyond any individual control; therefore it also involves the meaning of fate and destiny.*Confucius believes that doing what is morally right is the mandate of heaven, and therefore it is supported by heaven. *The best thing for humans to do is to carry out what one ought to do based on one’s moral conviction without worrying whether in the process one may succeed or fail— doing for nothing (not Taoist doing nothing).
6 stages of Confucian spiritual devolopment
- In the Analects, Confucius taught the six stages:
- 1. Age of 15: set up your mind on learning;
- 2. Age of 30: stand up firmly by yourself;
- 3. Age of 40: never yield to any temptation;
- 4. Age of 50: know the mandate of heaven;
- 5.Age of 60: totally obey the mandate of heaven;
- 6.Age of 70: be able to follow your own desire without ever overstepping the boundaries of what is right; the harmony between heaven and human being.
(372-289 BCE), born in the southern part of present Shandong provincein east China. *A disciple of Confucius’ grandson, he became a famous Confucian scholar; his rank in Confucianism was only second to Confucius himself. *His only book is also titled Mencius, a collection of his teachings in his dialogues with rulers and students, compiled by his disciples after his death.
Latinized name for Kung Tzu (or Kongzi) Kung—family name, Chiu—first name. *Life span: 551BCE-479BCE
or Analects was a collection of various sayings of Confucious, compiled by his students after his death.
4 Confucian virtues
1. Chih—moral knowledge. Learning and scholarship are indispensable means to know about Tao.
2. Yi—righteousness, moral oughtness. One has to do something morally right and do it only for that reason, not for personal profit (li). The ideal or superior person seeks after Yi, not seeks after li.
3. Li—social/moral responsibilities, rules, customs, rites, manners and proprieties. (1a) The oldest meaning of Li refers to some sacred rites. *Confucius did not reject rituals; he advised people to observe customs and rituals.
4. Ren/Jen—human kindness, human-heartedness, humaneness.
1st of the five pillars
Literally “bear witness” Definition: confession of faith—“There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet.” At least once, a Muslim must say in public the Shahadah correctly, slowly, aloud and whole-heartedly.
The Daily Prayer
2nd of the five pillars of Islam
Five times a day at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and evening; at any place one prays in the direction of Mecca, even in solitude; washing- purifying the body—hands, face, mouth, teeth, feet—before prayer; standard themes are praise, gratitude, supplication; fetal position/prostration required, prostrating on the knees, head and hands on the ground, which symbolizes the complete submission; congregational worship/prayer is not stressed as much as in Judaism/Christianity, but is practiced at Friday afternoon for males in Mosques.
3rd of the 5 pillars of Islam
Almsgiving Qur’an prescribes a tax of 2.5-10% on property including income and holdings for all Muslims to pay at the end of each year, to help the poor and needy, and to keep up mosques.
Observance of fasting in Ramadan—the holy month (the 9th month of Islamic lunar calendar, memorizing Muhammad receiving his first revelation) is required for all Muslims who are in good health, to abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual behavior during daylight hours each day of the month. [Positive aspects of fasting: a) practices self-discipline, b) underscores dependence on God, c) reveals human frailness, d) sensitizes compassion towards the weak/needy]
Pilgrimage to Mecca
5th pillar of Ismlam
At least once in lifetime during the 12th month of Muslim calendar, wearing white garments, circumambulating the Kaaba (housing a black meteor,believing it was built by Abraham and Ishmael) seven times, visiting a spot of Abraham’s footprint, and the well of Zamzam memorizing the story of Hagar and Ishmael who must flee because of Abraham’s wife Sarah’s jealousy.[Positive aspects of pilgrimage: a) heightens Muslims’ devotion to Allah, b) reminds Muslims of human equality, removing distinctions of ranks/hierarchies, c) shares loyalty beyond the identity of nations and ethnic groups, promoting universal brotherhood/sisterhood]
*Literally means “striving” or “exertion” *It refers to Muslims’ duty of strenuous exertion in the cause of Allah rather than just “holy war” in which the martyrs who die are assured of heaven.
Great jihad—struggle against all forms of inner evil
Lesser jihad—the armed defense of the faith, or of the house of Islam
Literally means “instruction” that were given by God to the people. Three different types of the definition of Torah: (1) Narrowly, it refers the Books of Moses, the 1st five books of Old Testament—Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, which are also called Pentateuch. (2) Broadly, Torah=Tanak=Hebrew Bible=Old Testament. Tanak is an acronym of the three parts of the Hebrew Bible: torah (the 1st five books), nevi’im (prophets), kethuvi’im (writings). (3) More broadly, it also refers to both the “written Torah (Tanak)” and the “oral Torah (authoritative commentaries on Tanak).”
- Tanak is an acronym of the three parts of the Hebrew Bible: torah (the
- 1st five books), nevi’im (prophets), kethuvi’im (writings). (3) More
- broadly, it also refers to both the “written Torah (Tanak)” and the
- “oral Torah (authoritative commentaries on Tanak).”
literally, “assembly.” Definition: local centers of study and prayer
literally, “my master.” Definition: a person of learning who could interpret Jewish teaching to others.
Origin: for the Jewish communities’ need to apply the commandments of the written Torah to changing times and new situations, a series of guidelines were developed by Jewish teachers of the law.
near the end of 2nd century C.E., a collection of 4000 legal instructions were written by Rabbi Judah, including conflicting opinions regarding seasonal festivals/fasts, prayers, agricultural laws, rights of the poor, marriage/divorce, civil/criminal law, ritual offerings/sacrifices and purification, but carried the same authority as the Tanak.
a collection of rabbis’ interpretations of the Tanak during the first five centuries C.E., including legal interpretation (halakhah) and non-legal commentary (haggadah).
rabbis continue to write and compile extensive collections of both legal interpretation and non-legal commentary, and produce two versions (Palestinian and Babylonian) of Talmud (literally “learning”), which include Mishnah, in the 5th century. The Babylonian version of Talmud becomes the most popular one. The Talmud represents the development of classical Judaism, and the emergence of a teaching/learning style that defines Jewish tradition (gemara).
the high priest of the Jerusalem Temple and his alliance formed a party, a wealthy, aristocratic movement, rejected the Oral Torah, acknowledged only Pentateuch as authority, favored cooperation with the Roman Empire, and were willing to adopt Hellenistic culture.
after the destruction of the 2nd Temple, they became the ruling party. They were liberals, from the middle class, lay people and the lower priests, adapted the written Torah to changing circumstances, open to new teachings, maintaining ritual/moral purity, opposing external authorities. The Talmud and classical Judaism is the product of the Pharisaic movement.
Mencius's doctrine of four beginnings
The mind of commiseration is the beginning of Ren; the mind of shame and dislike is the beginning of Yi; the mind of respect and compliance is the beginning of Li; the mind of right and wrong is the beginning of Chih. A human being has these four beginnings, just as he or she has four limbs. . . . Since all human beings have these four beginnings in themselves, they should know how to give them full development and completion. The result will be like fire that begins to burn, or a spring which has begun to find vent. (cf. p. 69-70)
Significance of Mencius's teachings
Significance of Mencius’ teaching (1) To provide a more philosophical foundation, a meta-ethics, for Confucian ethical teachings. (2) To justify that morality is not something being imposed on individual human being from without, but is something that could be naturally developed from within. (3) The sage, in his original nature, is similar to everyone else. Everyone could be a sage, if he or she fully develops his or her original good nature.
The six confucian classics
The Six Classics are: Book of Changes, Book of Poetry, Book of History, Book of Rites, Book of Music, and Spring and Autumn Annals (a chronicle history of his own state of Lu).
Rectification of names
Important way to practice Li in Confucianism
*This teaching reminds people thateach name implies certain responsibilities to be fulfilled, and each name contains the essence of that kind of things to which the name applies.*It emphasizes the agreement between name and the ideal state of reality,between name and actuality, orbetween name and responsibility. *Names represent social relationship. Confucius specified five cardinal relationships:father/son (or parent/child), rulers/subordinates, husband/wife, brothers/sisters, friend/friend.
the active aspect of Ren, conscientiousness to others or loyalty, “do to others only what you wish others do to you.”
the passive aspect, altruism or moral reciprocity, “do not do to others you don’t want others do to you.”
human kindness, human-heartedness, humaneness. Practiced via chung and shu, niggah.
The idea that Jesus only appeared to be human
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