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Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism

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I need to write a paper and need help with this problem. General information will be acceptable to help me put this paper together.

I need to know the country of origin of: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism.

For each of these religions I need some information on the: Historical figures and events, brief description of their central beliefs, nature of God, Texts, Ritual and practice (sacred elements and their meaning brief), Ethics and morality.

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Please see response attached for active links. I hope this helps and best of luck!

RESPONSE:

Your tentative outline might looks like this:

I. Introduction (about ½ page, including a purpose statement: The purpose of this paper is to...)
II. Eastern Religions
A. Hinduism
i. Country of origin
ii. Historical figures and events
iii. Central Beliefs
iv. Nature of God
v. Texts
vi. Ritual and practice (sacred elements and their meaning brief)
vii. Ethics and Morality

B. Buddhism
i. Country of origin
ii. Historical figures and events
iii. Central Beliefs
iv. Nature of God
v. Texts
vi. Ritual and practice (sacred elements and their meaning brief)
vii. Ethics and Morality

C. Confucianism
i. Country of origin
ii. Historical figures and events
iii. Central Beliefs
iv. Nature of God
v. Texts
vi. Ritual and practice (sacred elements and their meaning brief)
vii. Ethics and Morality

D. Daoism
i. Country of origin
ii. Historical figures and events
iii. Central Beliefs
iv. Nature of God
v. Texts
vi. Ritual and practice (sacred elements and their meaning brief)
vii. Ethics and Morality

III. Conclusion

Now let's look at some information to complete this outline.

I. Hinduism

Hinduism differs from Christianity and other Western religions in that it does not have a single founder, a specific theological system, a single system of morality, or a central religious organization. It consists of "thousands of different religious groups that have evolved in India since 1500 BCE." [David Levinson, "Religion: A cross-cultural dictionary," Oxford University Press, (1998].

Origin: No single founder. Beliefs about the early development of Hinduism are currently in a state of flux, but most agree it was in India. Many early historical events occurred:

The classical theory of the origins of Hinduism traces the religion's roots to the Indus valley civilization circa 4000 to 2200 BCE. The development of Hinduism was influenced by many invasions over thousands of years. The major influences occurred when light-skinned, nomadic "Aryan" Indo-European tribes invaded Northern India (circa 1500 BCE) from the steppes of Russia and Central Asia. They brought with them their religion of Vedism. These beliefs mingled with the more advanced, indigenous Indian native beliefs, often called the "Indus valley culture.". This theory was initially proposed by Christian scholars in the 19th century. Their conclusions were biased by their pre-existing belief in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). The Book of Genesis, which they interpreted literally, appears to place the creation of the earth at circa 4,000 BCE, and the Noahic flood at circa 2,500 BCE. These dates put severe constraints on the date of the "Aryan invasion," and the development of the four Veda and Upanishad Hindu religious texts. A second factor supporting this theory was their lack of appreciation of the sophisticated nature of Vedic culture; they had discounted it as primitive. 2 The classical theory is now being rejected by increasing numbers of archaeologists and religious historians. The originators of the theory were obviously biased by their prior beliefs about the age of the earth and the biblical story of the flood of Noah.

Emerging theory: The Aryan Invasion view of ancient Indian history has been challenged in recent years by new conclusions
based on more recent findings in archaeology, cultural analysis, astronomical references, and literary analysis. Archaeologists, including Jim Schaffer and David Frawley, have established convincing arguments for this new interpretation. 3 Archaeological digs have revealed that the Indus Valley culture lasted from about 3500 to 1800 BCE. It was not "destroyed by outside invasion, but...[by] internal causes and, most likely, floods." The "dark age" that was believed to have followed the Aryan invasion may never have happened. A series of cities in India have been studied by archaeologists and shown to have a level of civilization between that of the Indus culture and later more highly developed Indian culture, as visited by the Greeks. Finally, Indus Valley excavations have uncovered many remains of fire altars, animal bones, potsherds, shell jewelry and other evidences of Vedic rituals. "In other words there is no racial evidence of any such Indo-Aryan invasion of India but only of a continuity of the same group of people who traditionally considered themselves to be Aryans...The Indo-Aryan invasion as an academic concept in 18th and 19th century Europe reflected the cultural milieu of the period. Linguistic data were used to validate the concept that in turn was used to interpret archeological and anthropological data." 2 "There was no invasion by anyone." 7 (excerpted from http://www.religioustolerance.org/hinduism2.htm).

Nature of God: Most forms of Hinduism are henotheistic religions. They recognize a single deity, and view other Gods and Goddesses as manifestations or aspects of that supreme God. About 80% of Hindus are Vaishnavites, who worship Lord Vishnu. Others follow various reform movements or neo-Hindu sects. Various sects of Hinduism have evolved into separate religious movements, including Hare Krishna, Sikhism and Theosophy. Transcendental Meditation was derived from a Hindu technique of meditation. The New Age movement has borrowed many of its concepts from Hinduism. Henotheistic and polytheistic religions have traditionally been among the world's most religiously tolerant faiths. For example, during the first few centuries CE, many sects were created, each dedicated to a specific deity. Typical among these were the Goddesses Shakti and Lakshmi, and the Gods Skanda and Surya. Source: http://www.religioustolerance.org/hinduism2.htm.

Texts: Hindu sacred texts are perhaps the most ancient religious texts still surviving today. Some appear to be millennia older than the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) which conservative Christians date to circa 1500 BCE and liberal scholars date to circa 900 BCE. The primary sacred texts of Hinduism are the Vedas: the Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda. The Vedas contain hymns, incantations, and rituals from ancient India. 4 The Rig Veda (a.k.a. Rigveda) may be the oldest of the four. Estimates of its date of composition in oral form range from 1500 BCE to 4000 BCE. The Yajur and Atharva Vedas refer to the vernal equinox having occurred in the Pleiades constellation -- an event dating from about 2500 BCE. The date when the Vedas were placed in written form is unknown. Various dates from 600 to after 300 BCE have been suggested. The Upanishadas deal with Vedic philosophy and form the conclusions of each of the Vedas. "They elaborate on how the soul (Atman) can be united with the ultimate truth (Brahman) through contemplation and mediation, as well as the doctrine of Karma-- the cumulative effects of a persons' actions." 4 http://www.religioustolerance.org/hinduism2.htm

Ritual and Practice (sacred elements and their meaning brief):

Categorizing the religion of Hinduism is somewhat confusing: Hinduism has commonly been viewed in the west as a polytheistic religion - one which worships multiple deities: gods and goddesses. Although a widespread belief, this is not particularly accurate. Some have viewed it as a monotheistic religion, because it recognizes only one supreme God: the panentheistic principle of Brahman, that all reality is a unity. The entire universe is seen as one divine entity who is simultaneously at one with the universe and who transcends it as well. Some view Hinduism as Trinitarian because Brahman is simultaneously visualized as a triad -- one God with three persons:

? Brahma the Creator who is continuing to create new realities
? Vishnu, (Krishna) the Preserver, who preserves these new creations. Whenever dharma (eternal order, righteousness, religion, law and duty) is threatened, Vishnu travels from heaven to earth in one of ten incarnations.
? Shiva, the Destroyer, is at times compassionate, erotic and destructive.
Strictly speaking, most forms of Hinduism are henotheistic; they recognize a single deity, and recognize other gods and goddesses as facets, forms, manifestations, or aspects of that supreme God.

Most urban Hindus follow one of two major divisions within Hinduism:
? Vaishnavaism: which generally regards Vishnu as the ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides a comprehensive overview on Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism on several dimensions, e.g. the country of origin, historical figures and events, central beliefs, nature of God, texts, ritual and practice (sacred elements and their meaning brief) and ethics and morality.

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