Religion, “part of the human experience that has to do with a god or gods, a higher power, or the ultimate values of life” (Cason & Tillman 6-7), is one of the most controversial and interesting subjects for humanity. It has been around for as long as anyone can recall and they have difference and similarities in their founders, beliefs, and history. Religion has served to give some sort of a meaning to life and everything around it. In modern society, some religions have grown and expanded significantly. These larger religions have been classified as world religions. In addition, these world religions have been split into two categories known as Eastern and Western religion.
Eastern religions have originated from the east side of the Earth from countries such as: China, Japan, and India. The Eastern religions have different histories some of which include a founder like Buddha in Buddhism and others without a founder like Shinto. Most of the Eastern religions have similar belief systems which must be applied into their way of life. According to the authors of World Religions, “These religions profess living in harmony with nature and seeking a balance between the spiritual world and reality.” In addition to balance and harmony, these religions also share the belief in the use of meditation, treating nature as sacred, and most importantly a polytheistic universe.
As the Eastern religions grew and expanded throughout history, their beliefs and cultures began to mix and blend with others. This created tolerance and acceptance between religions. A great example of this is Hinduism because, it accepts any belief that has a different philosophy on how to reach salvation, as long as it does not divert from the core beliefs. In addition, as these religions grew and became more accepting they merged together as well. This began to create blended religions such as the well-known Zen Buddhism. A religion that developed through Buddhism and it mixed with Taoism, Confucianism, and Shinto. As mentioned before, in the process of the growth and expansion of these Eastern religions they became more tolerant of each other and began to blend and make new religions centered in the same core belief.
On the other side of the world are the Western religions, also known as the “Abrahamic” religions. The main three religions that will be discussed are Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. All three of these religions are monotheistic, believers of only one God. In addition, all three of these religions emerged out of hard times and conflict with other nations. As a matter of fact, the basis in which the Islam religion began was through religious intolerance. The people of Mecca did not accept Muhammad as a prophet and demanded that...