Buddhism and Christianism: Differences and Similarities
The history, beliefs, paradigms, rituals and practices of both Buddhism and Christianism are as evidently vibrant and intriguing as they are conceived and observed by two intricately different religious sects in the world. These religions have both profoundly grown throughout ancient eras and regimes to finally demand the following and influence of majority of the contemporary world populations. Their appealing nature seems to be propped by their integral teachings on the harmonious and healthy human living in the world, spiritual survival and the life after death (Borg & Riegert, p. 9-121). Herein, an integral and intricate attempt is made to compare and contrast the conceptions and observations of these two currently significant religions in the world.
To begin with, these two religions employment of divergent approaches to the idea of faith both make it unique, but at the same time serve as the key ingredient that has inspired huge followings. For instance, in both religions their foundational teachings were streamlined by fundamental spiritual masters (Jesus Christ in Christianity and Buddha in Buddhism) (Borg & Riegert, p. 9-121, p.133). However, they employed two very different approaches in emancipating and demystifying various religious paradigms and terminologies to the human race. The paradigms are seen in the choice of different thought processes on matters regarding to the idea of a monolithic God which can be expanded to encompass the terminologies they used to disseminate these thought processes. One example is that Christ taught about the Holy Trinity (that is, the belief in one God who comprises of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit) whereas in Buddhism the thought processes given by Buddha were highly nontheistic in nature (that is, Buddhists do not believe in the existence of a supreme creator). Thus, their approach is often remarked to follow a very large interpretation of Buddha’s teachings in Dharma (Borg & Riegert, p.187)that often lead to self-awareness and the emancipation from an endless circle of rebirths. Despite these two differences, both religions missionary teachings were initiated by disciples who followed that teachings of their spiritual masters.
Secondly, these two religions can be compared and contrasted by using their daily routine practice of rituals and beliefs. Rituals such as continuous and constant prayer to God by the Christians in order to receive the grace and salvation of God through Christ, his son, and the constant practice by Buddhists of meditation and mindfulness for the attainment of complete spiritual awareness away from materialistic desires and rebirths are cried out on a daily basis to attain a greater spiritual perfection. For both, spiritual perfection rituals and beliefs seek to attain divine consciousness and spiritual perfection (Borg & Riegert, p. 9-121). Such rituals include the approach to fasting as a ritual that will lead you to the attainment of the forgoing spiritual well-being and perception. Other supporting rituals to these achievement include: Charity to the impoverished, the observance of ethical living, the love of one another or compassion to other human beings and creatures in the universe and daily observance of abstinence values such as sexual immorality (this regards to infidelity and rape), consumption of intoxicants and killing (in Christianity, these rules of virtue are given in the Ten Commandments while in Buddhism these are given in the Tripitaka or Gandhara).
To sum it up, the foregoing analysis utilizes two core foundations to compare and contrast Buddhism: their foundational teachings from spiritual masters and the daily practices of rituals and beliefs. From these approach, we are able to know that Buddhism began with Buddha while Christianity is based on the life practices and teachings of Jesus Christ. Finally, the rituals and beliefs are explained to be both contrasting and similar.
Borg, Marcus J., and Ray Riegert. Jesus and Buddha: the parallel sayings. Berkeley, CA: Seastone, 2002. Print.
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