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Asian and Indian Religions

Asia, in addition to being the birthplace of the Abrahamic religions, is also home to the Taoic (East Asian) and Dharmic (Indian) religions.¹

Taoic religions include Daoism (Taoism), Confuscianism, and Shinto. Other Asian folk religions are covered under Indigenous Religions.  Dharmic religions include Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism.¹

Taoism, based in China, has spread across Asia and focuses on the concept of wu wei – action through inaction, as well as teaching compassion, humility, and moderation.¹

Confucianism has a strong history in China and was created by the Chinese philosopher K'ung-fu-tzu (Confucius).  The basis of Confucianism was to teach morals, and social and political rituals, but has expanded to include metaphysical religious elements.¹  Rules about relationships, family, and duty are central to Confucianism. Deities are accepted but not encouraged in Confucianism.¹

Shinto, “the way of the gods”, is Japan’s indigenous religion.¹ Shinto ties closely with Buddhism and also has Taoic ties.  Nature and kami (spirits of the elements, animals, and the dead) are important in Shinto.¹ Ritual cleanliness, tradition and family values are important to adherents of Shinto.

Dharmic religions are based in India but especially in the case of Buddhism, have spread to neighbouring Asian countries.  Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world.¹ Hinduism and Jainism are two of the oldest religions still in practice. Buddhism is common throughout most Asian countries.  Sikhism is a growing monotheistic religion founded in Punjab.¹

 

 

 

Reference:

1. Religion & Public Project. The Global Religious Landscape. Retrieved May 22, 2014, from http://www.pewforum.org/2012/12/18/global-religious-landscape-exec/

Categories within Asian and Indian Religions

Buddhism

Postings: 36

Buddhism is based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha (the awakened one). The Four Noble Truths teach of dukkha (suffering) and the Eightfold Path teaches wisdom, ethical conduct, and concentration.

Hinduism

Postings: 40

Hinduism has many traditions and philosophies including laws and rules of morality using karma, dh and dharma. Hinduism is diverse in its traditions and philosophies. The two main texts are Śruti ("revealed") and Smriti ("remembered").

Sikhism

Postings: 2

Sikhism is a system of beliefs that rejects the idea of separating the spiritual and secular lives. Community and sharing are vital to a Sikh, and Sikhism holds ethical and moral behaviour (honesty, equality) in high regard.

Taoism

Postings: 12

Taoism stresses harmonic living in "the way" (also known as the path or principle). Tao is the source and also the force of life but, under Taoic belief, cannot be explained. The Tao Te Ching is the major book of the Taoic religion.

Jainism

Postings: 3

Jainism professes non-violence and equality in all life, and stresses self-control as ways to achieve liberation. Jains "fight" to conquer bodily passions and pleasures. Jains believe in pluralism and the idea that no one can know absolute truth but that each person's truth is a part of the whole.

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