CH 5 MARGIN REVIEW QUESTIONS 1. What different answers to the problem of disorder arose in classical China? • Confucianism argued that • Dao/ Tao ism provided an social harmony could only be alternative, arguing that restored through the moral disorder stemmed from human example of superiors. actions and that order could Confucius emphasized that, return to life if people withdrew because human society (both from the world of political and within the family and in social activism and instead public life) consisted aligned themselves with dao, primarily of unequal the way of nature. relationships, social harmony • This meant simplicity in living, relied on the superior party small self-sufficient in these relationships communities, limited behaving with sincerity, government, and the benevolence, and genuine abandonment of education and concern for others. active efforts at selfimprovement. 2. Why has Confucianism been defined as a “humanistic philosophy” rather than a supernatural religion? • The thrust of Confucian teaching was distinctly this-worldly and practical, concerned with human relationships, effective government, and social harmony. • Confucianism is based on the cultivation of ren— translated as human-heartedness, benevolence, goodness, nobility of heart. Ren is not achieved through divine intervention but rather is nurtured within the person through personal reflection, education, and a willingness to strive continuously to perfect one’s moral character. 3. How did the Dao /Tao ist outlook differ from that of Confucianism? • Dao Tao ists found Confucian emphasis on education and the earnest striving for moral improvement and good government artificial and useless. Instead, Dao / Tao ists urged withdrawal into the world of nature and encouraged behavior that was spontaneous, individualistic, and natural. • Dao / Tao ists turned the spotlight onto the immense realm of nature and its mysterious unfolding patterns, while Confucians focused on the world of human relationships. 4. In what ways did the religious traditions of South Asia change over the centuries? • It is difficult to generalize about religious tradition in South Asia because of the variety of religious patterns in the region. However, there was a general evolution away from a religion based on external sacrifice and ritual to one of philosophical speculation, and finally to one of devotional worship and detached action in the world. 5. In what ways did Buddhism reflect Hindu traditions, & in what ways did it challenge them? REFLECT • Buddhism reflected Hindu traditions in the idea that ordinary life is an illusion, in the concepts of karma and rebirth, the goal of overcoming the incessant demands of the ego, the practice of meditation, and the hope for final release from the cycle of rebirth. CHALLENGE • Buddhism challenged Hindu traditions through its rejection of the religious authority of the Brahmins, the lack of interest in abstract speculation about the creation of the world or the existence of gods, and its rejection of the inequalities of a Hindu-based caste system through its belief that neither caste position nor gender was a barrier to enlightenment. 6. What is the difference between the Theravada and Mahayana expressions of Buddhism? THERAVADA • The Theravada expression was championed by monks and nuns who withdrew from society to devote themselves fully to the quest for nirvana. • It portrayed the Buddha as an immensely wise teacher and model, but certainly not divine. • It was more psychological than religious, a set of practices rather than a set of beliefs. • Gods, while never completely denied, played little role in assisting believers in their search for enlightenment. MAHAYANA • The Mahayana expression proclaimed that help was available to reach enlightenment. • Within this expression, bodhisattvas, spiritually developed people who postponed their own entry into nirvana in order to assist those who were still suffering, could help the believer. • The Buddha became something of a god, and both earlier and future Buddhas were available to offer their help on the path to enlightenment. • The Mahayana expression developed elaborate descriptions of these supernatural beings, together with various levels of heavens and hells that ultimately transformed Buddhism into a popular religion of salvation. • As part of this development, religious merit leading to salvation might now be earned by acts of piety and devotion, and merit might be transferred to others. 7. What new emphases characterized Hinduism as it responded to the challenge of Buddhism in India? • Hinduism emphasized more clearly that action in the world and the detached performance of caste duties might provide a path to salvation. • Another emphasis was on devotion to one or another of India’s many gods and goddesses. One manifestation of this emphasis was the bhakti movement, which involved intense adoration of and identification with a particular deity through songs, prayers, and rituals associated with the many cults that emerged throughout India. The most popular deities were Vishnu and Shiva. 8. How would you compare the lives & teachings of Jesus & the Buddha? In what different ways did the 2 religions evolve after the deaths of their founders? JESUS: BUDDHA: • from lower-class family. • Both became spiritual seekers, powerful religious experiences provided the motivation for their life’s work attracting bands of followers • Both were “wisdom teachers,” challenging the conventional values of their time • Jesus inherited from his Jewish tradition an intense devotion to a single personal deity with whom he was on intimate terms. • From a rich family • Both became spiritual seekers, powerful religious experiences provided the motivation for their life’s work attracting bands of followers • Both were “wisdom teachers,” challenging the conventional values of their time • The Buddha’s original message largely ignored the supernatural, involved no miracles, and taught a path of intense self-effort aimed at ethical living and “mindfulness” as a means of ending suffering. JESUS • Teachings had a sharper social and more political edge than those of the Buddha. • Public life was very brief, probably less than three • Both messages emerged soon after their deaths as separate religions proclaimed to much wider and more inclusive audiences. • The Christian faith was ultimately promoted as the single legal faith in the Roman Empire BUDDHA • Public life was over forty years • Both messages emerged soon after their deaths as separate religions proclaimed to much wider and more inclusive audiences. . Buddhism, while supported by some rulers, was never promoted to the exclusion of other faiths in India. In what ways was Christianity transformed in the five centuries following the death of Jesus? • Jesus became divine in the eyes of his followers. • Christianity developed from a small Jewish sect into a world religion that included non-Jews. • It spread throughout the Roman Empire, first largely among the “lower stratum” of people in the towns and cities, but as it gained in popularity, Roman rulers sought to use its popularity as a glue to hold together a very diverse population in a weakening imperial state. • In the fourth century, Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, and all polytheistic religions were banned. • Christianity adopted elements of religious practice in the Roman world as it spread and converted the population.