Essay, Research Paper: Hinduism And Christianity


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One would think that Christianity and Hinduism would have nothing in common, but
in some ways they are. But mostly there are differences between the two. In this
comparison that I am making one can find these similarities and differences.
First I will start off by helping one understand Hinduism. To define Hinduism is
very nearly impossible. Actually it is not so much a religion as a
religion-social system. Although Hinduism contains a whole farrago of
theologies, philosophies, and sacrificial systems, nevertheless its one dominant
note is that of caste. Elaborate tissues of ancient religion-social laws were
created and were indestructible. Hindu’s tried to build a wall of law around
the faith so that none could stray from it. The main part of the wall was
naturally the caste distinctions, and these therefore received the most careful
attention of the lawmakers. The superiority of the Brahmans and the inferiority
of the laborer were declared to be ordered in heaven according to divine plans
for the prosperity of the world. The cast system was with a man like his breath,
was with him instantly from birth to death. Indeed, unlike his breath, it was
suppose to follow him into the grave. These laws that regulate the caste are
saved for there is no other unifying element in all Hinduism. Also Christians
often form castes or endogamous bodies analogous to castes. This is done to form
a more or less separate community. There are two major sections in Hinduism and
at least fifty-seven sub sections, each are seeking to attain salvation with the
aid of its own gods and ceremonies. Christianity, which is even more intensively
divided, is at least united by its recognition of Jesus. Hinduism has no such
common doctrine. It is true that about 300 A.D. an attempt was made to created
such a doctrine by combining the there main Hindu gods into a universally
acceptable trinity, but the attempt failed. By popular account it is known that
Hinduism has thirty million gods, and Christianity belief is just one main god
and only one god. Like Hinduism, Christianity has one God, but the similarity is
that Hinduism has one main god Brahma. This chief god in the trinity never
became popular safe with the priests and philosophers. He was not nearly
concrete enough a deity for the plain people to believe in and now there are
only a couple of temples in all of India that are devoted to his worship.
Christians and Hindu’s are also alike because of temples and churches. Both of
these places are used to worship their gods and are also very sacred. Hinduism,
despite the fact that it has never been united on any creed or rite, has rarely
if ever led to bloodshed. Unlike the Christians, who again and again have
resorted even to wholesome slaughter in order to extirpate all heresy. The
Hindu’s have rarely persecuted divergence of faith. They have been wise enough
to see that each man has a right to worship as he sees himself fit, and that no
man is justified in seeking to force his doctrine on his neighbor. No matter how
many evils that have been debited against Hinduism, it at least has this one
virtue that must be listed to its credit, it is tolerant. The Christian religion
is known as the first, only, and true religion, meaning that Christianity was
inherent in the beliefs of man since the creation of the world. The vie that
Christianity represents a unity of divine service, knowledge of God, and
morality long impeded the conceptual definition of the essence of Christianity.
The unity of life and teaching that was determined for the essence of
Christianity in the early church was not maintained for long. Because the
development of a doctrine along the lines of true and false religion involved
relationships with numerous heretical groups and external critics, the earlier
and less rigid concept of unity was displaced. In Christianity there is what is
known as a true Christian. Being a true Christian brings a new understanding of
the essence of Christianity. As the spiritual Christianity for the reborn, true
Christian consisted not in the acknowledgement of formal orthodox in the church,
but rather in the spiritual rebirth of a person according to the image of
Christ. This mystical theology developed in accordance with a personal
experience of Christ as the proper essence of Christianity. But in comparison to
Hinduism, because of the vast number of reincarnations of any given individual,
Hinduism recognizes that most people’s lack of spiritual development means
they must lead normal lives. However, it is thought that as a person matured he
can grow closer to the ideal of full renunciation of the personality. Yet no
mater what stage of life one is in, “renouncing the fruits of your labors”
is the supreme law of morality. Hindus seek to remain conscious of the illusory
Nature of this world and so progressively deny themselves, at least in thought,
all forms of material, emotional, and even spiritual rewards and property.
Hindu’s through assimilating some Christian ideas, often regard missionary
propaganda as an attack on their national genius and time-honored institutions.
In this they take offense at what they regard as the disrespectful utterances of
Christian missionary literature. Hindu’s are averse to the organization, the
reliance on authorities, considering these obstacles to be harmful to
cooperation. Hindu’s subscribe that missionaries should confine their
activities to humanitarian service. Since independence, many influential people,
who often find in Hinduism what might be attractive in Christianity, have indeed
viewed conversion with disfavor. Movements that support a Hindu theism designed
to rival Christianity make serious effort to reconvert Christians to the Hindu
community. The ordinary people tolerate the proximity of Christian converts,
even if these transgress Hindu taboos. Provided they form a more of less
separate community. Christians often form castes or endow with bodies to castes.
For the undisputed educated Hindu, who believes that religion is a matter of
personal realization, every religion is true and a path to truth. If the
adherents of Christianity sincerely follow it, the Hindu’s attitude toward it,
notwithstanding what he believes to be intolerant disposition of the followers
of Christianity, which is regretted by the Hindu’s continues to be one of
respect and understanding of tolerance and even sympathy. The Hindu is ready to
accept the ethical teachings of the Gospels, particularly the Sermon on the
Mount but still rejects the theological superstructure. Many adherents of bhakti
movements, the Christian influence on which has been grossly exaggerated, feel
that the Christian conceptions are regard as a kind of bhakti. And that
Christians do not realize in God the multiplicity of human relation of love and
service. As one knows Christianity and Hinduism are different. There are few
similarities that can be found. Each is accustomed to the people that worship
that religion. Religion is what makes peoples lives. Even though a Christian and
Hindu would not be worshiping together, both are still very unique and various.

BibliographyGoetz, Philip W.. (1987). The New Encyclopedia Britannica Volume 16. Chicago:
Encyclopedia Britannica Publisher. 273 – 278, 288, 308, 310. · Goetz, Philip
W.. (1987). The New Encyclopedia Britannica Volume 20. Chicago: Encyclopedia
Britannica Publisher. 584 – 588, 608. · Davidson, Marshall B.. (1964). The
Horizon of Christianity. New York: American Heritage Publishers Co. · Magill,
Frank N.. (1961). Masterpieces of World Philosophy in Summary Form. New York:
Haper & Row. 564 – 567. · Severy, Merle. (1978). Great Religions of the
World. New York: National Geographic Society. 34 – 40, 47, 48.
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