A Comparison of Symbols and Rituals of non-Judeo-Christian Religious Organization and Christianity

Symbols and Rituals of non-Judeo-Christian Religious Organization and Christianity

Non-Judeo-Christian religious organizations are different from Judeo-Christians. However, they have some symbols and rituals that match those of the mainstream Christians, even if they are not identical. One of them is the use of scripture as a religious guide and the holder of laws that the followers must obey. Muslims have Quaran while Buddhists Tripitaka. The sacred books in each religion focus on informing the followers of the word of God which they must follow (Nathan & Topolski, 2016). They all have a history related to the writing of the scriptures, and the respect they accord the scripture, just like Judeo-Christians do. Although different, those scriptures teach similar moral values that can be easily interchanged. Judeo-Christians can easily use some of the biblical scriptures to invoke similar religious feelings and obligations to non-Judeo-Christians.

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Prayer in non-Judeo-Christian Religious Organization and Christianity

Prayer is a common ritual to both Judeo-Christians and non-Judeo-Christians. The two use prayers as a form of speaking directly to God, to take their grievances, thanksgiving, requests, asking for forgiveness among other things. The two may pray differently, they use prayers as an important part of their faith and religious practice (Doc.wa.gov, 2013). Religions such as Muslims are required to pray about five times a day. Judeo-Christians do not have limited time for prayers. However, they regard prayers as one of the main ways to defeat evil. They are thus requested to be on their guard by being praying as many times as it is possible. Prayer is a common ritual that can be used to teach non-Judeo-Christians about Christ.

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Fasting in non-Judeo-Christian Religious Organization and Christianity

Fasting is another ritual common to both Judeo-Christians and non-Judeo-Christians. Fasting is done in both groups to bring people closer to God through prayers and giving. Just like prayers, fasting is unlimited in the Judeo-Christians group. However, for Muslims and others, there are specific fasting seasons with a guideline on how fasting should be conducted. Nevertheless, the motive is normally the same for both groups, praying, giving to the poor, or sharing and fighting evil (Doc.wa.gov, 2013). The fact that non-Judeo-Christians understand the importance of fasting, can aid in teaching the act of mercy and kindness, sharing with the poor, and praying for each other, and supporting each other to overcome the evil.

Worship in non-Judeo-Christian Religious Organization and Christianity

Worship is another common ritual to both Judeo-Christians and non-Judeo-Christians. They both believe in worship as a way of showing their dedication to God. They both have holy places where they worship. Though given different names such as Church, Mosque, or Temple, they are used for worship. The worship involves singing, chanting, praying, reading and interpreting scriptures, and offering gifts (Doc.wa.gov, 2013). The main difference in the worship includes the days of worship and how worship is conducted. Each religion has its ways of doing it, its specific songs and chants, and different ways of worship for different occasions. However, they may all have similar benefits from the worship. The worship ritual can be used to convey the importance of praising and worshiping God, living according to God’s teachings to makes the worship more worthwhile, and the importance of cleansing oneself before making an offering to God. Missionaries can use the concept of worship to teach more about forgiveness, fellowship, and giving to the needy or sharing (Nathan & Topolski, 2016). For instance, one way of worship among Buddhists involve giving offerings to the poor, mostly seated outside the temple. This can be used to preach more about kindness, and sharing while preaching about Christianity to non-Judeo-Christians.

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Christian Versus Buddhist Understanding of Suffering

Introduction

            The world is characterized by suffering, both physical and mental. Different religions have a different understanding of the concept of human suffering. This paper seeks to compare and contrast Christian and Buddhist understanding of suffering. Both religions have a long historical interest in suffering. Whereas the two agree that suffering is part of human life, they hold different views regarding the cause and end of suffering. Christians believe that suffering is promised as a retribution for their selfish act when Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the garden of Aden. On the other hand, Buddhist believe that suffering comes from human desires and cravings and that one can live a life free of suffering by achieving enlightenment through the Noble Eightfold path.

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Christian Understanding of Suffering

 Christians perceive suffering as normal. Suffering comes from the fact that the world is characterized by evil and corruption. The rebellion against God by Adam and Eve that resulted in the fall from grace for the entire human race also subjected the world to corruption and decay. The sinful nature of humans also increases suffering as people inflict pain and suffering on others through acts such as war, crime, and oppression. It is worth noting that God did not design the world to have suffering – He created it perfect. It was humans who fell into the devil’s temptation allowing him to turn them away from God (Lewis & Hill, 2019).

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When God created humans, He gave them free will so that they can choose between right and wrong. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they opened the door for evil to enter the world. Thus, the problem of suffering came as a result of human selfishness (Hall et al., 2018). Hall et al. explain that God is love and He desired to create people who would love Him. Since genuine love cannot exist unless it is freely given, God gave humans free will. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God they invited evil into the world. Thus, God is not evil nor did He create evil and suffering. Humanity brought suffering upon themselves when they selfishly allowed the devil to persuade them to disobey God.

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Because of the fall from grace, the world is now characterized by evil and suffering. The world is not in the state that God intended. One of the most persistent questions is why God allows humans to suffer if He truly loves them and is all-powerful. Lewis and Hill (2019) explain that suffering is a tool used by God to accomplish His purpose for human lives. Suffering is designed to build humans’ trust in God, but it requires the right response. Suffering compels humans to stop relying upon their resources and instead have faith in God’s resourcefulness. However, it is worth noting that suffering is not virtuous nor is it a mark of a person’s holiness. Hebrews 12:6 states that “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and He chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” Thus, people sometimes suffer because it is God’s way of disciplining them for their transgressions (Hall et al., 2018). Suffering is, therefore, promised for Christians. The Bible promises persecution and suffering for Christians due to their faith. In John 15:20, Jesus promises Christians that the world would treat them the same way it treated Him.

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Christians also believe that although suffering is promised for all humans, it is only temporary. God will eventually destroy evil and bring suffering to an end. For all believers, there is a new world coming where there will be no more suffering since God will make all things brand new. Revelation 21:4-5 states that “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new! …” However, while still on earth, Christians have an obligation to continue fighting evil and the corruption that renders the world full of suffering. God did not create the world with evil in mind. By following Christ’s teachings, Christians can alleviate suffering consequently making the world a comparably better place to live in (Lewis & Hill, 2019). Although suffering is not good, Christians can use it to accomplish good.

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Buddhist Understanding of Suffering

The Buddhist understanding of suffering is well-reflected in the “Four Noble Truths.” Notably, Buddhist define suffering as the tendency of human to cling or crave for impermanent objects or states which keep them caught up in an endless cycle comprising birth, suffering, and dying (Hall et al., 2018). The Four Noble Truths taught by Buddha include the truth of suffering, the cause of suffering, the end of suffering, and the path that frees one from suffering.

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Regarding the first truth, “the truth of suffering” Buddhists believe that all humans experience frustrations, surprises, betrayals, et cetera, which cause suffering. Buddha describes three key types of suffering namely “the suffering of suffering,” “the suffering of change,” and “the suffering of conditioning.” The first type comprises painful experiences related to being physically human. These include experiences such as birth, sickness, aging, and dying. The second type of suffering is related to happiness or pleasure. When one something or experience that gives one happiness or pleasure change, the person experiences suffering since pain is in the opposite continuum of pleasure. The last type of suffering comes from the realization that suffering will always be present as long as one continues to live an unenlightened life (Hall et al., 2018). Thus, Buddhists believe that acknowledging that one will encounter challenges and difficulties in their day-to-day lives is the first noble truth. Within the suffering, there are two causes – that is, natural suffering such as sickness, and the second one is self-inflicted suffering which results from habitual reacting to situations and unnecessary regret and anxiety (Hopfe, & Woodward, 2009). Thus, similar to Christians, Buddhists believe that suffering is part of living.

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The second Noble Truth, “the cause of suffering,” explains that all types of suffering result not from circumstances of external events but rather how a person reacts or deals with the occurrences; that is, their perceptions and interpretations. Buddha’s teachings elucidate that suffering stems from a craving for life derived from three “poisons.” One, ignorance of the fact that everything is impermanent and interdependent. Two, desire/greed of objects and people who can help one avoid suffering. Three, aversion/anger to the things one craves for but cannot achieve (Hall et al., 2018). Thus, people can learn to look at each other’s experiences as they happen to be prepared for when they happen to them or the next. The third Noble Truth, “the end of suffering,” explains that people hold limiting ideas about themselves, others, and the world in general (Hopfe, & Woodward, 2009). Buddha teaches that people should learn to let go of the limiting ideas. Consequently, this results in one unlearning everything from their social conditioning and bring down all barriers all of the separations that cause suffering (Hall et al., 2018). Thus, the end of suffering comes when one achieves enlightenment.

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The fourth and last Noble Truth is “the path that frees humans from suffering.” Buddha explains that the mind causes people to live in a dualistic manner. However, if one is aware of and embraces their habits and illusions, they can abandon their expectations about how things should be and instead accepts them the way they are (Hopfe, & Woodward, 2009). Buddha teaches that people utilize mindfulness and meditation to examine their views so they can achieve an accurate perspective. The fourth Noble Truth entails the Eightfold path for leading one out of samsara to nirvana so that one attains complete freedom from desire and suffering (Hall et al., 2018). Thus, unlike Christians, Buddhists believe that one can live a life free of suffering.

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Conclusion

To sum up, both Christians and Buddhists believe that suffering is an instrumental component of human life. However, the two have a different understanding of the concept of suffering and its scope. Christian believes that suffering is the result of human selfishness exhibited when Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the garden of Aden. On the other hand, Buddhists believe that suffering is caused by people’s craving for what they think they should have rather than accepting things as they are. Another difference in the understanding of suffering is the belief by Christians that suffering is promised and will always be part of humans as long as they are alive while Buddhists believe that one can live a life free of suffering by achieving enlightenment through the Eightfold path for leading one out of samsara to nirvana. Nonetheless, the two agree that the world is characterized by suffering.

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Islam versus Christianity – Compare And Contrast Essay

Islam and Christianity are both Abrahamic monotheistic religions, with both believing in one God though Christians believe in One God in holy trinity; God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The two religions have holy book containing God’s message to His people, with Muslim Quran being written by one prophet; Muhammad and Christians’ bible being a collection of many books written by different God’s prophets, Jesus disciples and kings. They both believe in prayers, fasting, worship and charity. However, Christians believe in sacraments while Islam believes in pilgrimage. While Christians are founded on Jesus Christ, Islam is founded on Prophet Muhammad. While Christians believe in original sin, with purification through baptism, Islam believes in purity during birth and duty to retain this purity by doing what is right. While Christian congregation is led by priests, nuns, bishops, monks and monks, Islam congregation is led by Imam, Mufti, Sheikh, Mullah and maulana. However, unlike Christians, Muslims do not embrace women leadership (Diffen, n.d.).

Another major difference is that Christianity literary means Christ’s followers while Islam is an Arabic word that means obedience, peace, submission and purity. While Christianity perceive marriage as a holy sacrament and involving only one partner, Muslim believes in marrying at most four women, and harshly oppose celibacy and monasticism. The official Islamic language is Arabic while the official Christianity language includes Latin, Greek and Aramaic. Islam is extensive spread in Asia-Oceanic, Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and Middle East-North Africa with only a small percentage in America. Christianity on the other hand is found in Europe, New Zealand, South and North America, Australia and Parts of Africa and Asia (Diffen, n.d.).

Christianity was widely spread during the middle age. It was also experiencing division between Christians and Protestants. The Christianity states were normally governed by bishops who were acting as the main church leaders with assistance of priest and other church leaders. They also worked in collaboration with the empire of the region in most cases. Islam was spreading during that the middle years. It was mostly characterized by crusades to spread the religion. The Islam was headed by caliphs with the main focus of the religion at this age being spread wide.

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Elements of Religion – Christianity And Rastafarianism

Introduction

As an institution, religion acts as comprehensive technique for human kind to value their experience on earth. Organized religions, in particular, act as intensive and comprehensive ways of valuing the experiences that one goes through here. Religions found all around the world are often placed in a segment of human phenomenon with distinct characteristics. A common feature among all these religions is the presence of elements that appear to be common among them all (Molloy, 2013). A strong sense of community, belief system, rituals, central myths, emotional experiences, ethical systems, sacredness and a materialistic expression of the religion are some of the main elements central to all religions and are vital in keeping them afloat an ensuring that they stand the test of time. For the purpose of this expository essay, I will examine how religions fall into this pattern (strong sense of community, belief system and central myths) using my Christian religion while at the same time comparing these elements with those found in the Rastafarian religion.

Religious elements in Christianity

To begin with, all elements in a religion are equal in their significance and none takes precedence over the other. They share a symbiotic relationship where they are all dependent upon each to create a strong foundation for the purpose of posterity. As a notable monotheistic religion, Christianity has a belief system that follows laid out standards, rules, and codes that have to be followed to lead a pious life. In Christianity, the belief is in one God referred to as the Father with his son being Jesus (Molloy, 2013). In a Christian context, Jesus is recognized as the only begotten Son of God was sent to the world to save mankind and redeem them from eternal damnation. As God’s son, Jesus taught that the most important commandment was to love God and one’s neighbor, a law that Christians worldwide strive to adhere to. Additionally, faith plays a huge role in the Christian religion.

A Christian’s belief in the death and resurrection of God’s son Jesus automatically means that they have a right in as far as sharing a relationship with the father is concerned. It was the death and resurrection, a Christian context that absolved human kin of all sins that they were encumbered with. A firm belief in the Trinity (God the Son, Father and Holy Spirit) is simply meant to affirm that God is always present through actions of believers. Christianity is characterized by a sense of community or all those who subscribe to it. As a fundamental facet of church life, a Christian community creates a sense of belonging that is second to none. These strong linkages shared by its adherents creates a sense of identity and support that in turn leads to meaningful interactions that go a long way in assisting those who would be in dire need of support (Casserley, 2009, p. 34). Churches ensure that they check up on their congregants to establish their current status and how they are carrying on with life. It is a Christian duty to ensure the well-being of other members of the church as they all represent one community that is connected through their belief in the Bible and Christ as Lord and Savior.

Mythology also plays a central role in the Christian doctrine. It serves to educate the adherents of the religion on the origin of life in the world while teaching them important lessons mean to ensure they follow the right path in life. The creation story serves to explain the origin o life on earth. From this perspective, we understand God’s role in creating all that exists in the power that He wields (Olson, 2016). As a lesson, Christians now understand that God is the force behind their being and should be revered and respected. Furthermore, the Fall of Man in the Garden Of Eden and the story the birth of Jesus are just but a few instances where the use o mythology is intended to put across vital pieces of information. These stories are often retold and reenacted to ensure that a belief in the power of an all-seeing omnipotent God is inculcated in the Christian psyche.

Elements in the Rastafarian Religion

The Rastafarian religion is a relatively new religion which began in the early 1920s. It is a monotheistic with teachings based on a specific type of Biblical interpretation referred to as “Rastology. It has a clear belief system like any other that believes God is in the form of a spirit and is manifested to man though His Imperial Majesty the late Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia. In this religion, Jesus is also a central figure with the only difference being that he is a black man and a descendant of Kind David. Moreover, Rastafarians believe that they will be repatriated back to Zion by God (Barnett & Nettleford, 2012, p. 156). In their context, Zion is located in Africa and more specifically in Ethiopia. They hold that they were taken away from the Promised Land (Ethiopia/Babylon) was taken away from them by the White Man and taken into servitude in a Babylonian system. Babylon alludes to the West Indies where they were enslaved.

Rastafarians have a strong sense of community that is driven by their urge to help their fellow brothers (brejin) and sisters (sistren) (Middleton, 2015, p. 162). Most of sects in the Rastafarian religion partake in the use of marijuana that is often used for religious purposes and moments of self-reflection. It is for this reason that they create close-knit relationships with the members of the same community as marijuana is a banned substance in most countries and even classified as a Schedule 1 drug in the United States. As a fringe community, they stick together to uplift each other economically while educating their children on the ideals of the true “Rasta way”. They derive pleasure from seeing their own prosper in a world that has been very unkind to them by continually labeling them as drug-abusing hipsters involve in illegal activities.

Myths also make up the Rastafarian doctrine and have for the longest time heavily influenced it. They believe that though His Imperial Majesty the late Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia was the 225th emperor descended from a union between Queen Sheba of Abyssinia and King Solomon. It is this myth that is used to propagate the argument that His Imperial Majesty the late Emperor Haile Selassie was a direct descendant of King David from the tribe of Judah. Additionally, while it is largely known that His Imperial Majesty the late Emperor Haile Sessie passed away in the year 1975 after a communist takeover of his throne, Rastafarian mythology has it that the Savior (His Imperial Majesty the late Emperor Haile Sessie) would go into hiding and later come back to deliver all his people back to Zion.

Conclusion

            All religions share a sense of community, belief system, rituals, myths, emotional experiences, ethical systems, sacredness and a materialistic expression of the religion as core elements in their doctrine. All elements are just as important and none is more important than the other. Christianity and Rastafarian religion differ in dogma but are similar in the core elements that make creed what it is.

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The Elements Of Christianity

Beliefs. There are many beliefs in Christianity, with the central belief being the presence of only one Supreme God. God is Supreme and is the only God to be worshiped. God sent his only son, Jesus to save mankind from sin and death. Moreover, there is a belief in the holy trinity. According to (Mackey, 2006) the belief in holy trinity is based on the fact that God manifests Himself in three forms, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The belief in the presence of God is outlined in the book of Isaiah 43: 10-11. The book of Genesis 1:26 and 2Cor. 13:14 discusses the importance of the Holy Spirit as the way God manifests Himself to the mankind.

In addition, there is the belief in life after death and that the spiritual experiences that occur in the daily life determine what the life will be like when one dies. Christianity is grounded on the belief in the sanctity of life as enshrined the holy Bible. It is believed that life is scared and no one is allowed to take his/her life or the life another person.

Ethics. The life of a Christian are governed by the codes of behavior, which are outlined in the Holy Book; The Bible. The codes of behavior are outlined in the Bible through the Ten Commandments that Jesus often taught his disciples and followers (Grudem, 2009). The Ten Commandments assert the need to love one another, to love God with all of one’s heart, not to steal, kill, and not seek vengeance, exercise forgiveness and to recognize the superiority of God and Jesus over the mankind. In addition, there are numerous stories, which perpetuate Christian morals and virtues. For example, the story of the prodigal son reiterates the need to be forgiving when somebody asks for forgiveness.

Rituals.  The main ritual in Christianity is that of going to church every Sunday and reading of the bible. Sunday is considered a holy day among all Christians as taught in the Bible. Upon the creation of the Universe, God took a rest on the seventh day and this day has been marked by all Christians to be on a Sunday, a day to go to church and give thanks to the Almighty God. In addition, many Christians read the bible and pray every day.

There exist also other rituals that are observed in church and during the life of every Christian. The holy sacrament and baptism are the other important rituals in the life of a practicing Christian. According to (Grudem, 2009) the life of a Christian begins through baptism during birth or in his/her adulthood. Once one has been baptized, s/he can take the holy sacrament, a ritual that was given by Jesus Christ himself during his time on earth. The communion is taken as sacred and holy.

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Comparison of Christianity and Yoruba Tradition

The Yoruba people believe in gods, who have supernatural powers. Similarly, Christianity in entrenched  in the belief of the supernatural powers of God, the creator of, human beings earth, seas and the giver of life and protection. However, the Supreme Being in Christianity is more defined, with God as the ultimate creator and Jesus as His son. In contrast, the Yoruba have many gods depending on the event. For example, they have god for harvest and gods for seeking define interventions (Ifa).

Christianity and Yoruba religions belief in life after death and that life after death is determined by the kind of life that one leads on earth. The Yoruba belief that leading good life will lead to union with good spirits after death. Christianity is rooted on the belief that leading a holy life leads to eternal life after death. However, the rituals in Christianity differ from those in Yoruba tradition. Whereas Christianity employs the use of communion, the Yoruba offer yams to appease gods.

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Significance Of The Triumph Of Christianity Over Paganism

The passing of transgression and religious sensuality.

    • Using Evans, Bataille, and Nietzsche, what is the Significance Of The Triumph Of Christianity Over Paganism?

Bataille supports the triumph of Christianity over paganism stating that Christianity has saved the word from Crime. According to Bataille, the pagan faith appears to be monstrous because it prevents people from understanding the Gospel. Christianity prevents people from committing crime because it has brought about “light”. He adds that Crime wants night, and bringing crime to light tends to dissolve it. According to Evans, Christianity is both an urban and a rural phenomenon because it requires everyone to accept a common belief system. Therefore, it is really a good thing than Christianity replaced paganism because it plays a very big role in uniting the world (Bataille, 2001).

Nietzsche’s thoughts about the significance of the triumph of Christianity over paganism tell how deeply he assesses metaphysics, the history of mankind, and his revaluation of moral and values. This atheist despises Christianity by claiming that it teaches human beings wrong values, it has a false moral strength, and that Christianity prefers dishonesty and weakness (Nietzsche, 1968). In his views, Nietzsche feels that Christianity is against the truth and religious sensuality, and it has replaces positive values with morbid piety and blind faith. Moreover, Nietzsche believes that Christianity is essentially anti-scientific since the whole faith is focuses on obscuring physical truth. To explain his point, Nietzsche narrates that Christianity thwarts all questions that are inclined to science. Since Christianity has no point with reality, it tends to mislead the society more than paganism did. Nietzsche sees Christianity as a religion formed by flotsam of humanity, and one that is steeped in illness and sickness (Nietzsche, 1968).

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Cultural Identification – Azande Culture Vs Christianity Culture

Component Parts of Culture

Azande Culture

Christianity Culture

Kinship and Marriage There is a strong patrilineal bias with respect to kinship in the Azande society. Relationships are rarely traced back for a couple of generations. Marriage is viewed a contract that is fulfilled by payment of bride-wealth (Baxter and Butt, 1953). The father is the head of the family and the father’s name remains the family name even as the kinship spreads. Christians view marriage as sacred and a man is expected to marry his wife in a church wedding. Additionally, marriage is considered a union that becomes complete after payment of bride prize (Eliot, 1949).
Subsistence Strategy Cassava is now the main staple food. Other crops that are grown in the gardens include legumes, sorghum, sweet potatoes, bananas, maize, and rice. Daily diet is supplemented by fish women catch and game men hunt. Termites are largely eaten in the dry season (Evans-Pritchard, 1971). The stable food among Christians varies according to tribe. However, majority of Christians grow maize, sweet potatoes, and rice as their subsistence crops. Examples of domestic animals kept by Christians include cows, sheep, bigs, dog, cats, and goats. Christians supplement their subsistence crops with meat from other domestic animals like cows and pigs (Eliot, 1949).
Religion Azande people believe in a soul known as mbisimo. This soul is sometimes separable from the body. People’s souls are believed to turn into ghosts after death. The term ‘Zagi’ is used to refer to the universe in general as well as to the Supreme being (Baxter and Butt, 1953). Christians believe in God as the most Supreme being. Additionally, they believe in Jesus Christ as the son of God who came to the world to rescue human beings from sin. When  a person dies, Christians believe that his or her soul ascends to heaven where God resides (Eliot, 1949).
Political System and Social Control The Azande society comprises of various tribal kingdoms separated by huge unpopulated bushes. Each kingdom is divided into provinces, each of which is ruled by the king. The main thing that governs people’s behaviors in the Azande culture is a universal belief that witchcraft is the source of misfortunes, and that witches can only attack those people with whom they hold a grudge (Evans-Pritchard, 1971). Christians are led by politicians who are elected as per different administrative boundaries. They are free to elect their political leaders during election times. Behaviors of Christians are controlled by the belief that those who commit sin will be punished by God by being denied a chance of getting into heaven (Pannenberg, 1989).
Economics The Zandes generate money through pottery, wood carving, and blacksmithing. People who live near towns engage in trade, and both women and men earn their wages by playing roles that shows division of labor and specialization (Evans-Pritchard, 1971). Christians generate money through trade as well as though manufacturing and production. They take their farm produce to the market and they earn profits from them. Other Christians also earn wages by working as laborers in manufacturing companies (Pannenberg, 1989).
Characteristics of Culture The patrilineal male kin are charged with the obligation of inheriting property, debts, and wives. Children remain around their mother and girls learn women’s occupations until marriage. A woman always has her own hut where sleeps with her children (Baxter and Butt, 1953). Christians believe in one God whose Holy words are documented in the Bible. Every Christians therefore believes that the Bible contains the word of God that can be used to encourage others. Children remain under the care of their parents and girls are expected to learn women occupations. Some Christian families believe in wife inheritance (Pannenberg, 1989).
Learned Behavior Children learn new behaviors from their mothers with whom they spend most of their time. Girls are expected to learn new behaviors from women in the society (Evans-Pritchard, 1971). Children learn new behaviors from their parents as well as from school where they are taught by their teachers. The type of behavior learned influence what a person does as well as how he or she behaves in the society (Eliot, 1949).
Adaptive behavior The Zande people expect that their behaviors be transferred from generation to generation. Young ones prohibited from developing behaviors that are contrary to the society’s norms. However, new generations have adapted new behaviors that have lead to changes in some components of the Azande culture (Baxter and Butt, 1953). Christians encourage the transfer of moral behaviors from one generation to another. Basically, children are expected to live as they have been taught by their parents and it is expected that they live to teach their children similar behaviors (Eliot, 1949)
Constantly changes The Azande culture constantly changes due to variations on the society’s structure. The number and sizes of kingdoms are varied over time (Evans-Pritchard, 1971). Christian culture constantly changes due to influence of the Western culture and civilization. The young generation is replacing the Christianity culture with the Western culture (Pannenberg, 1989).
Is a System The Azande culture is a system that is led by two different dynasties. Although these dynasties differ in political strategy and in origin, they have similar organizations that help to unite the Azande society. The kingdoms have continued to expand and they are also characterized by in-depth consolidation (Evans-Pritchard, 1971). Christian culture is a system that is strengthened by religious leaders who are very strict about the word of God. These religious spread the word of God to people through constant preaching as well as through prayers (Pannenberg, 1989).
Is Symbolic Behavior Azande culture is symbolic in nature demonstrated by colorful ceremonial dresses that witch doctors are expected to put on. Instruments such as drum skins, wooden gongs, xylophones, whistles, and large bow harps form a very important part of the Azande culture (Baxter and Butt, 1953). Christianity is a symbolic behavior because the Christians behave in a manner that easily distinguishes them from non-Christiana. In addition, Christians use instruments such as, a piano and a drum, to praise God (Eliot, 1949).

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Monotheism In Christianity, Islam, and Judaism

Monotheism

Monotheism is the act of believing in one God. Western religions that practice monotheism include Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. These religions worship in the same conspiracy that the Supreme Being is included in any part of the world. According to Christianity, Judaism, and Islamic the Creator has divine power and also is involved in the present world. Even though these religions have one thing in common, they differ in various terms; how they are worshiping the creator, the words they use to refer to Him and how they describe Him (Corrigan, 79).It is believed that all the three religions worship one God because they originated from Abrahamic religions. The Christians refer to the Creator as God; they also call Him Alpha and Omega. The Islamic religion calls him Allah and the Judaism religion refers him as Yahweh. Despite all these different names, all religions also call him the Provider, Almighty, most Merciful and the Creator.

As far as monotheism is concerned, these three religions have different guidelines when it comes to worshiping the creator. For instance, the Muslim women wear hijab that covers their head or their whole body leaving only the eyes. This depends with the strictness of a country. The purpose of the veil is to symbolize modesty. According to this religion, it is Allah’s wish for women to remain sexually pure and protected. Christianity, Judaism, and Islamic both have holidays but these holidays are celebrated in a unique way. They also worship in different ways.  Taking, for instance, the Islamic religion believes in five pillars faith, unlike the other two religions.

In Christianity through monotheism, God exists in tri-unity, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.  God, the father, is the creator of the earth, God the Son is the human form of God. This is evident in the Bible, “…he has spoken to as by a son, whom he appointed…” (Corrigan, 78). In other words, the son is the incarnation of God. The Holy Spirit is the spiritual influence of God. This brought an issue during the early Christianity; the council of Nicea had a different opinion compared to the council of Chalcedon. The main debaters were Augustine and Athanasius. According to Nicea the father and the son were both gods. The council supported their argument by saying that the son was the begotten from the father and he was not made. On the other hand, the Council of Chalcedon said that the son that is Jesus was pure and heavenly but truly human. According to the thus council, Jesus existed in two natures as a spirit and as human. From the viewpoints of  Athanasius  Jesus was inferior compared to God, he was not fully divine and not co- eternal. Augustine did not agree with Athanasius he suggested that the son fully human and divine, he was more based on the grace of God. Unlike Islamic which beliefs in Tawhid. According to this religion, god is not supposed to be compared or connected to any aspect of creation (Corrigan, 81). Despite this difference, they both worship one Supreme Being, monotheism.

The Jews and the Muslims concur with a central point that Jesus is not extremely important compared to God. In fact, it is reasonable to infer that the Jews and the Muslim view Jesus as a threat and argue that Christians idolize God through Jesus. In a more general point, the monotheistic religions are based on the simple fact that it is only God that deserves to be worshiped. The Muslims and Jews still wait for the promised Messiah meaning they did not recognize Jesus. Other than this aspect, Jews Christians and Muslims as the western monotheistic religions have the same beliefs about God. Christians have the same books in their Bible. Monotheistic religions in western countries are mainly characterized by the way they describe and distinctly acknowledge God. Even though it is arguable that it is the same God they refer to, they have different names and different worship styles. Their only central point of conflict and disagreement is the holy trinity. This Christian belief goes against what both the Jews and the Muslims believe terming it blasphemy.

The biggest difference between these three religions is the art of trinity. Both Judaism and Islamic religion view this as blasphemy. For instance, the Judaism religion views Jesus as a false idol. They support their argument by further saying that was the reason why Jesus was crucified. In addition, they have their support from their worshiping guideline and the same applies to Christianity and Islamic. Christians get their guidelines from the Bible and Muslims from Quran.Under monotheism, the Jewish worshipers have three covenants between them and God. There is the Abrahamic Covent which illustrates the covenant between God and Abraham. The covenant entails God’s promise to Abraham of making him the father of a great nation and gives him many decedents and also a promised land. Abraham main purpose in the covenant was to have faith in God. The Mosaic covenant between God and Moses. God made a promise to Moses that he would free the Jews from slavery in Egypt, make them a holy nation and also a kingdom of the priest. The only condition in this covenant is that Moses was to obey all the commandments. The last covenant was the Davidic covenant which entails the covenant between David and God. King David was promised an honest dynasty in his line. David does not obey the covenant, but God forgives him because the covenant is unconditional.

On the issue of the Trinity, Muslims practice a concept called Tawhid which means ‘to make one’ or rather a oneness. This concept is taught in Muslim text, and a lot of emphases is laid upon this concept. The Muslims believe that God cannot be divided into three essences because it would take away the divinity of God or deny Him the respect He deserves. Similarly, Judaism does not believe in the Trinity. In more general terms the monotheistic western religions are of the idea that monotheism entails worshiping a single God who is indivisible (Corrigan, 90). The monotheistic religions believe that God is beyond us and beyond this world but he is highly interested and involved in our daily lives in the world.

As much as Christianity shows some form of deviation from the other two religions, all the three use monotheism for the same purpose; to advocate that there is only one God. The Jews show their monotheism through their covenants with God, Christians, on the other hand, express their monotheism through the Holy Trinity with God at the top. Christians argue that the father the son and the Holy Spirit in the holy trinity make up one God. Lastly, the Islamic people express monotheism through the concept of Tawhid which advocates for one God; Allah. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are all monotheistic religions. However, they show that they believe in one God in particular and unique ways making each religion monotheistic, original and special.

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Integrative approaches to psychology and Christianity – 4-MAT Review

Theology and psychology have in the past been regarded as opposing perspectives of thinking about certain major questions in human experiences and about life. Well, Entwistle in his book, “integrative approaches to psychology and Christianity,” uses two totally different depictions for describing these. He labels theology as depictions for describing these. He labels theology as “Jerusalem” and describes psychology as “Athens” (Entwistle, 2010. P.9).in these ideologies, psychology is seen to be using empirical methods of study while theology holds the primary overview of human interpretation of God’s word in its studies.

In his opinions and thought, Entwistle goes on ahead to look into how these two fields of behavioral view can be assimilated and enriched. The primary motive behind the book is to enable its readers apprehend the cohesion of the two disciplines.

As the book unfolds, Entwistle devotes a greater part elaborating on the concept of worldviews (Entwistle, 2010.p.56). It can be thought a worldview being like a window through which one views the world (Entwistle, 2010.p.56) the window incorporates beliefs and assumptions that people make regarding the events in spotlight. If one has a biased worldview, then it resultantly distortsthe way in which they think. In these disciplines, one’s world view can positively or negatively interfere or integrate. It is therefore imperative to avoid the negative side. By this, one then should have a world view whose foundation is firm on correctly interpreted Biblical philosophies inorder to properly integrate theology and psychology.Entwistle makes it clear that a person learns a worldview they embrace.

The author puts forth five paradigms for integration (Entwistle, 2010.p.154). The first paradigm is enemies. These enemies comprise of both Christian and secular combatants (Entwistle, 2010.p.151). According to these two combatants, there can be no way in which integration can occur between theology and psychology. They believe that there is no reconciliation possible between the two fields. Spies both “foreign” and “domestic” will hold allegiance with a particular way of thinkingbut ideas will run from both parties. Apparently, ideas are cherry-picked to be used in thinking in a way that will be useful with the view held. Those who claim territories which they did not discover or work for are colonialists. On another degree, neutral parties tend to stick to their own neutral state and stay in their own territory. Finally, there exists those who believe that both psychology and theology belong to God. They are regarded as allies and believe that truth is affiliated to God’s truth.

Entwistle, infers that theology and psychology if reviewed together can enlighten the human condition superior to each one of them. He conclusively wraps up his work while describing God’s two books. The two books are based on Bacon’s work. The fact that when theology and science do not agree with each other leads to the ending with the right representation.

Entwistle sums up his work with the biases and worldview and how they change the way in which the world is viewed. The end sentence is much worth to remember as one searches for the truth; “we will sometimes have to live with ambiguity and uncertainty be we affirm that God is the author of all truth.” (Entwistle, 2010, p.275).

By taking the example of this book, I think the issue of intellectual inquiry in theology is ambivalent.Discovered knowledge has the capability of crossing the lines of existing beliefs, doctrines and traditions.New ideas therefore are always net with skepticism up to the time when they are vetted for the bearing they could have on religion.Doctrinally accepted ideas that are consistent with present belief structures are tolerated and indorsed while the ideas born out of orthodoxy are frequently denounced and ignored. It is within such contexts that ideas are born in the psychological fields and then later enter in the realms of religion and spirituality.

Psychology however in one way or another poses challenges to spirituality and religion. Some threats in other fields such as biology, physics and anthropology challenge human thinking. Evolution theories offer alternatives to ideas that are related to divine creation theories. Psychological theories on another degree examine on how people reason towards religion and spirituality. In this way, psychology doesn’t directly challenge religion but rather the way people think towards it.

Taking a case of Jesus resurrection, the story is a major cornerstone of Christian faith. Any evidence supporting challenging or supporting the veracity of the event has a very crucial significance of all believers.So, if we take everything at face value, then we will end up having contradictory conclusions.

Seemingly, the point at which religion and psychology meet is an uneasy and complex intersection point.Social processes such as group dynamics, interpersonal relations and leadership styles inform congregational functioning and life itself. Like Entwistle advocates, the ultimate solution and rest to the argument stops at the point at which we see both theology and psychology as two intersecting fields rather than two fields which are far apart.

The view that theology and psychology are intersecting fields highlights the distinctive yet intertwined positive and negative nature of the two subjects.Theology largely relies on the belief and moral setting of and individual which is largely emotional thus acts as a form of natural filter on a person’s character.   On the other hand, psychology is based on intellect and science which seeks assurance from facts and figures and translates this into a coherent set oftheories. These theories work against beliefs and moral affiliations since it provides a form of assurance to an individual while theology merely relies on a person’s degree of association with their emotion’s. However, these differences cause the two fields to collide since a person’s mind setting directly influences their emotional state thus positively or negatively influencing their belief system. In order to maintain the newly acquired beliefs, all the facts and figures must allude to the accuracy of the information that makes up theology.

The theology and psychology of a person are dictated by their social environment, so in order to determine their level of connection, a study of their environment will showcase their individual decision concerning the two fields.

Given the conditions and my reflection on the religion-psychology bridge, it is quite surprising to learn that there are psychologists that define themselves as people of faith. People believe that positions in faith that exists are not conservative but rather liberal.

As someone who knows the bounds of knowledge and reasoning, I deserve the explanations of the final answers and I also need evidence to believe. However, I can choose to live and act in my faith position in theology. Though I make my choice, there is a probability that I may be wrong but it is very rational to believe in a reality that understandably transcends our understanding.

The question of existence is definitely beyond human understanding. From such a premise to a belief that the world was created, Christianity is engulfed by theology. There are questions that we cannot answer considering the limits of our intellect. As a psychologist, I consider this and as a result I can go along with intellectual integrity and humility to a God who transcends the limits of my intellectual capability.

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