This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Eastern And Western Religions Essay

902 words - 4 pages

The “Soul” According to Eastern & Western Religions
The idea of the soul varies widely in religious tradition. While these variations exist, its basic definition is unvarying. The soul can be described as the ultimate internal principle by which we think, feel, and will, and by which our bodies are animated. The soul is seen as the core principle of life or as the essence of a being 1. Views on the permanence of the soul vary throughout religious tradition as well. While some view it as a mortal entity in flux others believe the soul is an immortal and permanent unit. These interpretations vary from time period to time period and between religions. These characteristics of the soul are interpreted differently through an Eastern or Western perspective. In general, Eastern and Western Religions, with the exception of Buddhism, consider the soul to be a permanent entity, which is either reborn or sentenced to a permanent heaven or hell.
Christianity views the soul as the permanent entity within oneself, which is judged by God. The purity of one’s soul decides whether it passes to heaven or hell. Christianity shares this basic belief with both Islam and Judaism which also say heaven or hell is the final resting place of the soul. The Eastern religion, Hinduism, preaches that Atman, or permanent soul, is in every being and is the embodiment of the ultimate divine, Brahman. Buddhism, on the other hand, believes in Anatman, or impermanent soul, because everything in the world is changing, making the idea of a permanent soul improbable.
Atman, the deepest self or inner soul, is the totality of the universe that is present in an individual 2. Hinduism believes that realizing the soul is the embodiment of Brahman is essential to being released from the cycle of rebirth, Samsara. Hindus understand that the soul, atman, is permanent and only inhabits a physical shell which dies and passes the soul on to the next mortal shell, which can be better or worse than the previous depending on karma. With that said, Hindus believe in rebirth until one realizes the ultimate divine at which point they would be free from the punarjanma, the transmigration of the soul, liberating their souls to achieve moksha. Buddhism, on the other hand, challenges Atman with the belief in Anatman, which is non-self. Buddhists believe that the world is constantly changing, nullifying the concept of the permanent soul, Atman. There is no reason the soul remains unchanged in a perpetually changing environment.
Anatman is the idea of “no permanent soul” 3. A common misconception is that Anatman means people have no soul. In reality it describes the constant change of the soul during its time on earth. Buddhism holds that...

Find Another Essay On Eastern and Western Religions

German History: Eastern and Western Germany

650 words - 3 pages Like the division of South and North Korea, Germany was once separated, too. The two countries were called Eastern, Western Germany. Compared with the case of Korea’s partition, Germany was also affected by World War2 and conflict between U.S. and the Soviet. However, among the comparison, there is one big thing that is dissimilar to us. It is that Germany had achieved “reunification”. Then, even at the same situation, receiving similar affects

Issues and Traditions in Western Religions

1506 words - 6 pages Current Issues in Western ReligionsReligion is a value system; a set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader. Religion in society is not always a welcome topic or subject for conversation, many times religion will spark an argument rather than a typical conversation. This paper will highlight two current concerns facing the religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and in addition, identify and discuss

Issues and Traditions of Western Religions

1358 words - 5 pages Issues and Traditions of Western ReligionsReligion can be defined with many different meanings. "The English word "religion" is derived from the Middle English "religioun" which came from the Old French "religion." It may have been originally derived from the Latin word "religo" which means "good faith," "ritual," and other similar meanings. Or it may have come from the Latin "religãre" which means "to tie fast." (Religious Tolerance

Pain and Acupuncture in Eastern and Western Medicine

1829 words - 7 pages Pain and Acupuncture in Eastern and Western Medicine Acupuncture is an ancient medicinal art that has been practiced for thousands of years. Acupuncture today is mainly seen by Western medicine as a "new alternative" medicine (2). This basically means that while Western medicine acknowledges the value and positive medical research supporting acupuncture in many realms of medicine, for the most part it is not a practice that has been

Multiple Views on Multiple Dimensions: Eastern and Western Perspectives

688 words - 3 pages Multiple Views on Multiple Dimensions: Eastern and Western Perspectives Multiple Dimensions are levels or objects in space, depending on one's perspective, that provide rationale for various forces in the universe. Western postulators only fathom the mystery of multiple dimensions while Eastern thinkers simply accept their existance. To throw in a quick southern perspective, the word dimension is Latin for 'measured out'. In essence, it is the

Differences between family in western and eastern culture

1404 words - 6 pages older relatives, even if they are part of the same generation.This topic, of disrespecting elders, can be carried on ad nauseum by anyone who has seen the differences between the Eastern and Western cultures. The difference is striking. In India, were a parent to ask their child to vacate the living room, as family was about to visit, the response would almost invariably be "Haa ji... abhi jhaatha hoon", meaning "yes, of course... I will go right

Differences and similarities of Eastern dragons and Western Dragons Now with the original text

519 words - 2 pages Differences between Eastern dragons and Western dragonsThere are many differences between Western and Eastern Dragons. Western Dragons are perceived as mean, cruel, and vicious nasty creatures. They are mean in many ways to humans and are hated by many people who believe in them. In comparison, Eastern Dragons are wise, friendly, and beautiful creatures. By people who believe they exist, they are loved and worshipped.Western Dragons are mean and

Why was the relationship between western and eastern Europe so hostile between 1946 and 1961?

547 words - 2 pages Between 1946 and 1961, the relationship between western and eastern Europe deteriorated significantly in the context of the Cold War. Three major events will be discussed: Churchill's Iron Curtain Speech, the Berlin Blockade, and the Berlin Wall.Churchill's Iron Curtain Speech in 1946, calling for an alliance between English-speaking countries, seemed to predetermine a worsening European situation. By 1945, the USSR already controlled Albania

Comparing and Contrasting the Social & Economic Systems of Western and Eastern Europe

1710 words - 7 pages The economic and social systems of Western Europe and the Soviet Eastern bloc in 1945-1955 were very different yet very similar in several ways. The East was definitely trying to reconcile with the West, whereas the West wasn’t as in to interacting with the East after World War II. Based on my new found knowledge of both the West and East of Europe, I can say that from an economic aspect, both received very different treatment from different

Three Western Religions and their View on Women: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

651 words - 3 pages My paper studies the three most significant and most commonly known western religion Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in terms of the role that the woman played and a brief synopsis of the religions itself. Religion is a system of human though which usually includes a set of narratives, symbols, beliefs and practices that give meaning to the practitioner’s experiences of life through reference to a higher power, deity, or ultimate truth

To what extent did traditional and commoditized relationships shape and influence Western/ Eastern Europe and Middle Eastern Eurasia 500 to 1000 CE?

1716 words - 7 pages Sabina Abayeva04.10.07Block DTo what extent did traditional and commoditized relationships shape and influence Western/ Eastern Europe and Middle Eastern Eurasia 500 to 1000 CE?From 6th to 11th century Afro Eurasia developed two kinds of relationships including commoditized and traditional. "Traditional relationships are born of such things as kinship, ethnicity, and geography and shared spiritual visions. They are glued together by reciprocal

Similar Essays

Comparative Religion: Eastern (Hinduism, Buddhism, And Taoism) And Western (Christianity, Judaism, And Islam) Religions Compared. This Was A Term Paper And Is Quite Long (About 5 Pages)

1297 words - 5 pages When classifying the world's major religions they can easily be split up into two groups: Eastern religions and Western religions. The Eastern religions consist of Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism. The Western religions consist of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Almost all of these religions have come about within existing religious frameworks. Eastern and Western religions share many qualities while differing in many as well.Hinduism, Buddhism

Eastern And Western Parallels Essay

1666 words - 7 pages Throughout time, Westerners have more or less oppressed Eastern culture, creating the west as the metaphysical head of the world. The west’s ethnocentric tendencies, have acted as a suppressant to the spread of non-western thought. Even though Eastern ideologies tend to differ greatly from thoughts of the western world, there is some level of unity between the two. Unlike the ecclesiastical influences, seen in the west, Confucianism and Sikhi

Eastern And Western Philosophy Essay

799 words - 3 pages The subject of philosophy has always been divided along two lines of thinking - the eastern and the western. Though each line is concerned with finding the right path to follow, the methodology and teachings of the philosophers from either line of thinking has been distinct and different. This paper aims to examine the ideas of one eastern and one western philosopher - Confucius and Socrates respectively and compare the two for similarities and

Eastern Religions Elements Matrix (Confucianism And Shinto)

689 words - 3 pages Eastern Religions Elements Matrix (Confucianism and Shinto)Religion: Confucianism1.Country of origin : China2.Time of and key figures in origins: From the 2nd century BCE, Confucianism influenced behaviors of China politically, socially and intellectually.•c.551-479 Life of Confucius•c.390-305 Life of Mencius•c.340-245 Life of Hsun Tzu3.Other key figures and/or events from the origins to today:China faced a cultural revolution