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Compare and Contrast Buddhism Study

For this project you will choose a religion that is not your own and then visit a place of worship and interview a person of that faith. In addition to the site visit and interview you will compare and contrast this religion with at least one other religion you are familiar with through this class.

Contain the following elements:
1. Introduction of the religion
2. Name, location and review
of the site.
3. Interview summary
4. Comparing and contrasting with another religion
5. Conclusion
6. References

Any help will be much appreciated. Thank you.

Solution Preview

One approach to help your with an essay assignment like this is to provide an outline (which is already given), and then look at information from various sources to consider for each section, which you can draw on for your final copy.Specifically, we will look at the three sections as asked: (a) introduction, (b) the comparison section, and (c) conclusion.

(a) Introduction to Buddhism

In general, an introduction includes a brief introduction of the topic, in this case the religion, including a purpose statement (e.g., The purpose of this paper is to...).

Let's look at some information to consider for the Introduction:

According to the Drepung Loseling Institute: "Like all major religions, Buddhism contains an explanation of the origin of existence, a morality, and a specific set of rituals and behaviors. ... Buddhism presents a transformational goal, a desire to improve one's situation, and a distinct moral code (http://www.religioustolerance.org/buddhism4.htm). However, Buddhism is also a philosophy of life. Most historians attribute its beginnings with Gautama Buddha ("Buddha" means "enlightened one"), who lived and taught in northern India in the 6th Century B.C. The Buddha was considered a the last "human" prophet, not a god, and the philosophy of Buddhism did not entail any theistic world-view until after it was introduced into China (http://www.yutopian.com/religion/compare/). This paper investigates Buddhism through an interview at... and then compares Buddhism with...)

Specifically, Buddhism stresses the teaching of no self (Atman). There is a famous saying, 'where can dust be collected if there is nothing to start out with.' Thus, an attachment to the belief of substantial and enduring self is only an illusion ('like the reflections of moon in the water and flowers in a mirror'), which can only lead to suffering. The self is an illusion, with the 'eternal' soul as the truth. For the Buddhist, then, suffering is a consequence of one's volitional actions. The body/self (Atman) is the cause of all desires and passions, which is the cause of all 'human' suffering. This is consistent with the Buddhist doctrine of causes and effects. ('If one sows melon seeds, one harvests melon; and if one sows beans, one reaps beans'). The Buddhist is thus responsible for all the consequences of her or his psychological states and volitional actions (karma). These good or bad actions or karma can be carried from one life to the other (re-births). Your well being in this life is affected by your karma in your previous lives, and your karma in this life dictates your well-being in your future lives. For example, the Chinese believe that if you are a good person, you may become a good person in your next life. However, if you are a bad person in this life, you may end up reincarnating into an animal or even an insect (http://www.yutopian.com/religion/compare/). Buddha taught the Four Truths and the Eightfold Path, (see more detail below (http://www.yutopian.com/religion/compare/), which is the path to enlightenment and eternal life in the bliss of Brahman (all eternal souls join in eternal bliss in Nirvana). Thus, joy is in the afterlife; suffering is in this world, for the Buddhist.

So, Buddhism teaches that the way to enlightenment leading to salvation is to follow The Four Noble Truths and ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides assistance for writing a research project involving interviewing a person of another religion and compares and contrasts this religion with another religion. Supplemented with a comparison chart for Christianity and Buddhism.

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