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Buddhism And Christianity Essay

1891 words - 8 pages

Systems of faith and religious practices have been a part of human society dating back 30,000 years ago during the Late Stone Age. Religion has been accepted as one of the cultural universals, which is a trait common to all human cultures worldwide throughout the history of humanity. While it is somewhat unclear exactly why the theory of religion has been formulated, it is clear that many societies have used a variety of religions as mediums to communicate and establish a general code of ethics to certain groups of people around the world. Two of these religions include Buddhism and Christianity. Both Buddhism and Christianity have implemented their doctrines into modern-day society and continue to influence different ethical views and values held by diverse cultures around the globe. When simply taken at face value, one might think Buddhism and Christianity only share drastic differences, however, after researching the two religions and exploring my own personal walk of faith, I’ve come to realize that Buddhism and Christianity not only share drastic differences, but also possess similarities. Some of these differences and similarities can be seen in the followed scriptures of each religion and how each religion views death and the afterlife.
Buddhism’s roots lie in the Indian subcontinent and contain a colorful range of customs and beliefs as well as a complex history. “The Enlightened One” lived and taught somewhere between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE (Before Common Era). Siddhartha Gautama, who is now known for becoming the Buddha, was son to an Indian warrior-king who decided to seek understanding in the word by renouncing his position as prince and leaving his social caste behind him. During Siddhartha’s ventures outside of his usual royal surroundings, he came across “an old man, an ill man, a corpse and an ascetic.” These three experiences lead him to believe that suffering was inevitable. At this point, Siddhartha became determined to find an understanding of life, which he eventually found through enlightenment while meditating under a tree after months of self-inquiry and self-reflection. After experiencing such a spiritual revelation, he decided to spend the rest of his life spreading the idea of enlightenment throughout Indian. Buddha’s main purpose of teaching was to help fellow beings relieve themselves of suffering so that they may reach enlightenment, which is also known as nirvana. Today, Buddhism currently has a total of 360 million followers, which accumulates to 6% of the world’s total population as reported by the Buddha Dharma Education Association & BuddhaNet. This makes Buddhism the world’s fourth largest religion, having two major divisions: Theravada and Mahayana.
In comparison, Jesus Christ, the Son of God taught Christianity in the mid-1st century. Christian teaching explains that God, who is the believed creator of the universe, including the creator of man, sent “the Word”—his direct teachings—in the...

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