Eastern World Religions Summer 2008

1950 words - 8 pages

Bryce GeigleApril 22, 2008Religion 14BC. McCandlessReligion in Western CivilizationDuring the expansion of Western Civilization, many different religions were formed. Each of these religions claims to be the true religion. Throughout this time period the Jewish faith, Roman Catholicism, the Greek Orthodox faith, and the Lutheran faith were all formed. Each of these different religions are an expansion of the other, yet are ultimately all different . While the main rivals of the religious world were the Greeks and the Romans, there were other religions that came before and after them (Neusner 4). Each of these religions played an important role in shaping civilization all together and they influenced how people of the time lived their daily life.Israel was the very beginning of civilization and was shaped solely by religion. This religion was viewed as particularly uncommon because it was monotheistic, based on one God only. The beliefs of all the Israelites were based off of the Hebrew Scripture other wise known as the Old Testament. Not only was Israel the first civilization, it was the first civilization that believed in human salvation in a special way. They had a highly developed vision of salvation. Salvation came about through a person's relationship with God. This was the center of salvation. If the relationship was strong and apparent, then the person would be saved. If it were not, the person would not be saved. Moses brought the Torah to the Jewish community. He received it from God himself. On Mount Sinai, God delivered the Ten Commandments to Moses and these were put in the Torah. The Torah described history and the series of laws that God wanted his people to follow. It also provided the definition of god and being a living human being. In Genesis, it is stated that God is the creator the world and humanity. Man is made to have a relationship with God. A person cannot be fully human unless there is an established relationship with God. To be subhuman, meant to not be fully man because there is no relationship with God. As a result of this, people are expelled from Paradise. Sin is a result from falling away from God (178). To insure that the Jewish faith is the only true religion, Kind David brings the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. The city is now seen as the capital and center of the religion because of this Ark. After Kind David died, King Solomon came in and Jerusalem became very prosperous and he built the Temple of Jerusalem on the tip of Mount Zion. The Ark of the Covenant was put inside to solidify the capital of the religious world. This, however, eventually changed.In Byzantium there was a huge rise of Monasticism. The Edict of Milan and the conversion of Europe to Christianity was what caused the rise of Monasticism. Martyrdom came to an end and now all joy is acquired through a struggle through the Passions. The Cross becomes a key part in the struggle against the Passions. The Monks were to keep Christianity focused...

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