East Asian Faiths


#1

Can someone provide me with some information on some of the big East Asian Faiths, such as Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Sikhism, Hinduism, etc.? They can be either links to good sites or just straight information.

Thank you.


#2

Wikipedia articles are sometimes quite good, but can be a bit messy as a result of being written by committees.

Religious Tolerance articles are written by professionals and may be better.


#3

[quote=SilentRick1]Can someone provide me with some information on some of the big East Asian Faiths, such as Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Sikhism, Hinduism, etc.? They can be either links to good sites or just straight information.

Thank you.
[/quote]

You look as if you think someone’s out to get you :smiley:

FWIW - Confucianism had some of the social functions of a religion, but it’s not a religion so much as a philosophy. IIRC, the Analects of Confucius are its basic text:

chinapage.org/confucius/kungtze1.html

The remarkable thing about the sixth century BC is how it is the century of so many ethical and religious influences: Zoroaster (died c.550 ?),Thales (died 546), Pythagoras (died c. 500), Confucius (551- 479 ?), the Buddha (546), Ezra (after the Exile in Babylonia ended in 538).

Pretty impressive. ##


#4

[quote=SilentRick1]Can someone provide me with some information on some of the big East Asian Faiths, such as Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Sikhism, Hinduism, etc.? They can be either links to good sites or just straight information.

Thank you.
[/quote]

We learned a bit about them in history, and this is what I remember-

Buddhism was started by Buddha of course, and the basic premise is that deisre causes suffering. If one gets rid of desire, he does not suffer, and reaches Nirvana, a state of mind. Man in relation to self. It evolves and introduces I think deities, or deity-like things. I don’t know much of the evolution

Confucianism is more of a philosphy than religion, indeed. It emphasizes superior inferior relations (master to servant, husband to wife, parents to children) and believes that education gets rid of ignorance and brings virtue. Man in relation to man.

Taiism/Daoism(sp) was started by Lao Tzu. I call it “ancient hippieism.” They believe in the power of nature, and being one with it. The idea of Qi (sp) comes from here, and is comparible to the Force. He believes that it is best for man to remain ignorant so that his views aren’t “tainted” by society. Man in relation to nature.

Hinduism is something I don’t remember all that much about. I remember that its polytheistic, and has something to do with some ultimate reality, and their main god (spiritual stuff I didn’t get). Unless its changed, the ancient belief was that one most follow their dharma-their caste or class (there were a few. I believe it went something like priests-warriors-merchants-farmers, laborers etc, and the untouchables.) if one followers their caste and does not rebel, etc, then they have good kharma, and will reincarnate in the next life to a higher caste. This religious system kept the early folks happy with their lot in life so they wouldn’t rebel. I don’t know what happens to those of the highest caste if they are good (maybe joined with the ultimate reality or whatever) The oldest religion on earth, I thought but could be wrong, and the Rig Veda, (1?) of their holy book(s) is the oldest religious book on earth.


#5

Dear SilentRick1

I spent 25 years reading Eastern Philosophy, trying

to understand.

You’re best bet, I think, is to just to put each term in the

Google search engine, and see what websites are

offered.

I find that it’s best in life to see what practioners of

these philosophies hold, not what an article *about *

them says.

Just keep in mind that Buddhism, or Taoism are not
"religions.’" There is no deity involved. Yes, temples
are built, statues of Buddha abound, yet these are
philosophies, not religions.

I don’t know a thing about Hinduism.

It also helps to keep in mind that both religion
[revealed] and philosophies [world-views] all
attempt to answers the perennial questions:

-who am I
-how did I get here
-what is the nature of a human being
-what happens at the end of my life
-what is right conduct
-what can I make of evil and suffering in the world

There are many websites that offer the basics of
Buddhism and Taoism. www.google.com will
bring up a helpful listing.

Best regards,
reen12


#6

[quote=SilentRick1]Can someone provide me with some information on some of the big East Asian Faiths, such as Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Sikhism, Hinduism, etc.? They can be either links to good sites or just straight information.

Thank you.
[/quote]

You don’t say whether you want sites from a Catholic perspective or sites from the perspective of the eastern religion. These links are in the latter category:

Short introduction to Buddhism: Buddhism in a Nutshell.

Theravada Buddhism: What is Theravada Buddhism?

Zen Buddhism: Sit Down and Shut Up!.

rossum


#7

[quote=rossum]You don’t say whether you want sites from a Catholic perspective or sites from the perspective of the eastern religion. These links are in the latter category:

Short introduction to Buddhism: Buddhism in a Nutshell.

Theravada Buddhism: What is Theravada Buddhism?

Zen Buddhism: Sit Down and Shut Up!.

rossum
[/quote]

Eh… it really doesn’t matter to me. I know NOTHING about any of these institutions, if you will (I notice people are calling them “philosophies” rather than “faiths”, so I’ll just stick with "institutions).

Yeah, I’ve tried search engines, encyclopedias, etc., but they never seem to have what I’m looking for. I was hoping there was someone in here that had an understanding of these Eastern institutions to give me some university-style links or something. Or a book that could be found at any library (I happen to be going there not too long from now).

Thanks.


#8

I don’t buy this. First of all, there are many deities in both Buddhism and Taoism. It’s true that in Buddhism especially the ultimate goal, nirvana, is not directly related to a deity. But the everyday lives of many Buddhists are affected by deities as well as Buddhas and boddhisatvas. I recognize that what I’m saying is truer of Mayahana than of Theravada Buddhism.

I know that Westerners interested in these traditions often study them purely as philosophies, and I can understand that that is how they were presented to you. But I’ve done enough reading on the subject to be confident in saying that for people who actually practice Buddhism and/or Taoism in East Asia they are religions.

The bigger question is whether a religion has to involve a deity. I can’t see why it does. Buddhism and Taoism look and function like religions–they involve sacred texts and rituals and an understanding of the goal of human life. They are not simply philosophies in the sense of intellectual systems you can learn from a book.

Edwin


#9

[quote=Contarini]I don’t buy this. First of all, there are many deities in both Buddhism and Taoism. It’s true that in Buddhism especially the ultimate goal, nirvana, is not directly related to a deity. But the everyday lives of many Buddhists are affected by deities as well as Buddhas and boddhisatvas. I recognize that what I’m saying is truer of Mayahana than of Theravada Buddhism.

I know that Westerners interested in these traditions often study them purely as philosophies, and I can understand that that is how they were presented to you. But I’ve done enough reading on the subject to be confident in saying that for people who actually practice Buddhism and/or Taoism in East Asia they are religions.

The bigger question is whether a religion has to involve a deity. I can’t see why it does. Buddhism and Taoism look and function like religions–they involve sacred texts and rituals and an understanding of the goal of human life. They are not simply philosophies in the sense of intellectual systems you can learn from a book.

Edwin
[/quote]

You look like you may know something about Eastern Faiths… could you share something that you know?


#10

Culture, art, music, politics and, of course, Buddhism:

Tibetan Government in Exile

Reminds me, in form, of what one finds at the Vatican. The definitive word on the faith but much more. No need to wonder if you are getting the straight story.


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