christianity buddhism

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Unmissable… a fascinating journey through the art of religions from India to Ireland” – Mary Beard

Our new exhibition Imagining the Divine is now open! This major exhibition is the first to look at the art of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam & Judaism as religion spread across continents in the first millennium AD.

Why do we think of Jesus Christ with a beard? Or Buddha as cross-legged? Today, the pictures people conjure when they think of the world’s major religions are distinctive and immediately recognisable. But two thousand years ago that was not the case.

The exhibition is open until 18 February 2018.

If someone is religious and queer, they’re not a hypocrite. They are valid. There’s nothing wrong whatsoever with believing in and worshiping a God and being gay or trans/nonbinary. I’m not a religious person at all, but just because LGBT is a sin in your God’s eyes, doesn’t mean someone isn’t in a religion. If you’re a gay Christian or trans Christian (other religions too), then you are valid and loved. 🏳️‍🌈

“There is a misconception that Buddhism is a religion, and that you worship Buddha. Buddhism is a practice, like yoga. You can be a Christian and practise Buddhism. I met a Catholic priest who live in a Buddhist monastery in France. He told me that Buddhism makes him a better Christian. I love that” - Thich Nhat Hanh.

I thought this might be a handy quote for those of you who have been asking whether you can practice Buddhism alongside other religions! 

~Avazen

Signs that someone has no idea what they’re talking about when it comes to religion:

  • Refers to “Catholics” and “Christians” as if the former isn’t part of the latter
  • Thinks the Council of Nicaea decided what books are in the Bible
  • Says anything about “bronze age fairy tales”
  • Thinks that there are “tens of thousands” of denominations of Christianity
  • Refers unspecifically to all Orthodox Jews as “Hasidic Jews”
  • Thinks Jews use “loopholes” in the Torah to “trick” God
  • Thinks that Salafism/Wahhabism is an “ancient” or “undiluted” form of Islam that’s “stuck in the seventh century”
  • Says Buddhism is “just a philosophy”
  • Thinks that they can practice Buddhism while unthinkingly discarding the religion’s entire metaphysical/cosmological system
  • Thinks that Hindus “worship cows”
  • Thinks that all religions teach that unbelievers will be damned/punished/sent to hell
(New) Index of Religions

Okay, this is a NEW post showing the complete list of everything I have included on this blog so far. Additions, editions, and new content will be listed on this page.

Abrahamic Religions:

  1. Judaism
    -Orthodox (Yeshivah, Hasidic/Haredim, Breslov, Chabad)
    -Conservative
    -Reform
    -Reconstructionist
    -Humanistic
    -Kabbalah (Mysticism)
    -Karaism (Lithuanian)
    -Shabbetaianism
    -Misc.: Abayudaya, Afghani, Amazigh, Ashkenazi, Bebe, Bukharian, Bulgarian, Cochin, Eritrean, Ethiopian, Igbo, Iranian, Iraqi, Japanese, Kaifeng, Libyan, Moroccan, Sephardi, Tunisian, Yemeni
  2. Christianity
    -Eastern Orthodox (Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian, Eritrean, Greek, Oriental, Romanian, Russian, Serbian)
    -Catholicism (Ambrosian, Chaldean, Chinese, Coptic, Croatian, Ge’ez, Greek, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Maronite, Melkite, Syro-Malabar; Nueva Jerusalen “cult”)
    -Protestantism (Amish, Anglican, Christadelphian, Disciples of Christ, Episcopalian, Holy Ghost People, Hutterite, Lutheran, Mennonite, Moravian, Pentecostal)
    -Adamites
    -Bardaisanites
    -Brethren of the Free Spirit
    -Christadelphianism
    -Christopaganism
    -Christian Science
    -Ebionites
    -Jehovah’s Witnesses
    -Millerites
    -Mormonism (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
    -Nestorianism
    -Quakers (Religious Society of Friends)
  3. Islam
    -Sunni (Hanabali, Hanafi, Maliki, Shafai’i)
    -Shi’a (Alawites, Alevism, Ismaili, Twelver, Zaidi)
    -Ahmadi Muslims
    -Ibadi Muslims
    -Khajirite
    -Moorish Science Temple of America
    -Mourid
    -Quranist
    -Sufism (Mysticism- Bosnian, Chinese, Cuban, Japanese, Macedonian, Mexican)
    -Wahhabism 
  4. Druze
  5. Babism
  6. Baha’i
  7. Samaritanism
  8. Marian Religions: Collyridianism, Ebionism, Helvidianism, Nestorianism, Valentinianism

Dharmic/Indian Religions:

  1. Hinduism
    -Shaivism
    -Vaishnavism (ISKCON)
    -Shaktism
    -ISKCON (Hare Krishna)
    -Samkhya
    -Mimamsa
    -Misc.: Bali, Cham (Vietnam), South Africa, Thailand
  2. Buddhism
    -Mahayana (Huayan School, Nyingma School, Pure Land, Sakya School, Tibetan Buddhism, True Buddha School)
    -Theravada
    -Vajrayana (Tantra, Tibetan)
    -Zen/Chan (Chinese, Japanese)
    -Falun Dafa/Falun Gong “cult”
  3. Jainism
    -Digambara
    -Svetambara
  4. Sikhi (Sikhism)
    -Akhand Kirtani Jatha
    -Brahm Bunga Trust
    -Dam Dami Taksal
    -Gurdwara Tapoban Ontario
    -Happy Healthy Holy
    -International Institute of Gurmat Studies
    -Kes Dhari
    -Namdhari
    -Neeldhari Panth
    -Nihang Akali
    -Nirankari
    -Nirmala
    -Radha Soami
    -Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee
    -Sikh Dharma International
    -Sindhi
    -Udasi
  5. Mahima Dharma

African/African Diaspora Spiritual Traditions & People:

  1. Akan (West African- Ghana & Ivory Coast)
  2. Ancient Egyptian
  3. Atenism (Ancient Egyptian monotheism)
  4. Berber (Moroccan- Amazigh)
  5. Bori (Nigerian)
  6. Bororo (Cameroon)
  7. Candomble (Brazilian- diaspora)
  8. Galla (Ethiopian)
  9. Hoodoo
  10. Kemeticism (Egyptian revivalist)
  11. Moorish Science Temple of America
  12. Obeah (Caribbean- diaspora)
  13. Quimbanda (diaspora)
  14. Rastafarianism (Jamaican)
  15. Santeria (Cuban- diaspora)
  16. Suri (Ethiopian)
  17. Tuareg
  18. Umbanda (Brazilian- diaspora)
  19. Voodoo/Vodoun (Haitian, Benin)
  20. Yoruba (Nigerian)
  21. Misc.: Efe, Ibibi, Luba, Yaka, Zulu

Asian Religions & People:

  1. Bon Po (Indigenous Tibetan religion)
  2. Caodaism (Vietnamese)
  3. Chinese Popular(Folk) Religion
  4. Confucianism (Chinese, Korean)
  5. Dao Mau (Vietnamese)
  6. Hmong (China, Laos, Vietnam)
  7. Ifugao (Philippines)
  8. Juche (North Korean ideology/”cult”)
  9. Kejawen (Javanese)
  10. Muism (Korean)
  11. Onmyodo (Japanese)
  12. Phillipines: Indigenous
  13. Ryukyuan (Okinawan)
  14. Sanshin (Korean)
  15. Sarnaism (Indian)
  16. Shinto (Japanese)
    -Jinja
    -Konkokyo
  17. Shugendo (Japanese indigenous- syncretic)
  18. Tana Toraja (Indonesian)
  19. Taoism/Daoism
    -Wu Wei
  20. Tengriism
  21. Vedic Religion (ancient Indian)
  22. Vietnamese Folk Religion
  23. Wuism (Chinese)
  24. Yakut (Siberian)
  25. Yiguandao (Chinese)

Australian Cultures & People:

  1. Australian Aboriginal
  2. Yolngu

European Religions, Mythology, & People:

  1. Arthurian mythology
  2. Asatru (Nordic)
  3. Baltic mythology
  4. Celtic mythology (Irish, Scottish, Welsh)
  5. Church of the Last Testament (Russian cult)
  6. Damanhur “cult”
  7. Dievturiba (Latvian)
  8. Druidism (Neo-druidry)
  9. Etseg Din
  10. Finnish mythology
  11. Greek mythology
  12. Hellenism (ancient and revivalist Greek & Roman religions)
  13. Icelandic
  14. Kukeri (Bulgarian)
  15. Mari (Russian)
  16. Minoan (ancient Crete)
  17. Mithraism (ancient Roman cult)
  18. Norse mythology (Nordic)
  19. Religio romana (Roman religion/paganism)
  20. Rodnovery (Slavic: Russian, Ukrainian, Polish)
  21. Roman mythology
  22. Romani
  23. Romuva (Lithuanian)
  24. Sami (Indigenous: Scandinavia, Russia)
  25. Sicilian Folk Religion
  26. Stregheria (Italian witchcraft)

Mesoamerican Religions & People:

  1. Aztec
  2. Curanderismo
  3. Huichol
  4. Maya
  5. Mexican Folk Religion
    -Narco
    -Santa Muerte
  6. Nahuatl (Aztec, etc.)
  7. Zapotec

Middle Eastern Religions & People:

  1. Ashurism (ancient Sumerian)
  2. Babylonian mythology
  3. Canaanite mythology
  4. Collyridianism (pre-Islamic Arabia)
  5. Ebionism (heretical early Christian movement)
  6. Etseg Din (eastern Iranian folk)
  7. Kalash
  8. Mandaeism
  9. Manichaeism (ancient Gnostic Persian religion)
  10. Mesopotamian mythology
  11. Pre-Islamic polytheism (ancient Arabian paganism; Wathanism)
  12. Ugaritic (ancient Syria)
  13. Valentinianism (heretical Gnostic)
  14. Wathanism (ancient Arabian paganism)
  15. Yazdanism (Kurdish: Yarsanism)
    -Yezidi/Yazidi (people)
  16. Zoroastrianism (Persian & Parsi)

North American People & Cultures:

  1. Aleut
  2. Apache
  3. Cahuilla
  4. Cherokee
  5. Chumash
  6. Comanche
  7. Dakota
  8. Haida
  9. Hopi
  10. Inuit
  11. Iroquois
  12. Kiowa
  13. Lakota
  14. Maricopa
  15. Midewiwin
  16. Mohawk
  17. Native American Church
  18. Navajo
  19. Nez Perce
  20. Ojibwe
  21. Peyote
  22. Pueblo
  23. Seminole
  24. Sioux (Dakota, Lakota, Nakota)
  25. Ute
  26. Yup’ik (Alaskan)

South American Religions & People:

  1. Incan
  2. Kyikateje-gaviao (Brazilian)
  3. Mapuche (Chile & Argentina)
  4. Munduruku (Brazilian)
  5. Q’ero (Peru)
  6. Quyllurit’i (Peru)
  7. Santo Daime
  8. Yanomamo (Venezuela) 
  9. Misc.: Candomble, Santeria, Umbanda

Polynesian Religions & People:

  1. Hawaii’an
  2. Maori (New Zealand)
  3. Polynesian mythology (Maori)

Others:

  1. Agnosticism
  2. Astrology
  3. Atheism
  4. Christopaganism
  5. Dadaji
  6. Deanism/Filianism
  7. Discordianism
  8. Eckankar
  9. Elevationism/ International Church of Cannabis
  10. Folk Religion: China, Congo, Hungary, Iran, Italy, Japan, Korean, Kyrgyzstan, Lakota, Laos, Mexico, Ossetia, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Seto, Sicily, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thaliand, Ukraine, Vietnam
  11. Freemasonry
  12. Gnosticism
  13. Humanism
  14. Luciferianism
  15. Magic
  16. Mysticism
  17. Omnism
  18. Paganism (Neo paganism)
  19. Philosophy
  20. Rosicrucianism
  21. Satanism
    -Demonolators
    -Devil Worship
    -Duotheism
    -Laveyan
    -Luciferianism
    -Theistic Satanism
  22. Shamanism
  23. Thelema
  24. UFO Religions: Aetherius Society, Church of the SubGenius, Heaven’s Gate, Nuwaubian, Raelism, Scientology
  25. Unitarian Universalism
  26. Wicca
  27. Witchcraft


If you see anything missing that you’d like added to the blog, please let me know! I’m constantly trying to find new content for this blog; this is my passion <3

To Asexual/Aromantic Girls

You can still be ace/aro and religious. Your God (or Gods) won’t hate you, won’t keep you out of a happy afterlife, and won’t see you as sinners. You’re loved. This goes for Christian girls, Muslim girls, Jewish girls, Pagan girls, Buddhist girls, and Hindu girls ❤

Buddhism Misconceptions
— 

by Samsaran

  1. Buddhists have to be vegetarians. Not so. Buddhists are directed not to kill or order others to kill for them. The Buddha ate meat.
  2. Buddhists can’t defend themselves. No. Buddhists can use force to defend themselves or others and that includes deadly force.
  3. The Dalai Lama is the “Buddhist Pope”. No. The Dalai Lama is the head monk of one order of Tibetan Buddhism and not even the largest one. He is famous in the west as the result of his exile from Tibet after the Chinese takeover of his country.
  4. Buddhists have to be poor. No. While Buddhist monks live in poor communal communities there is no such restriction on lay Buddhists.
  5. Only monks and nuns can become enlightened. No. Any human being has the potential for enlightenment. This is “Buddha Nature”.
  6. Buddhists cannot have sex. Monks and nuns are celibate. Lay people can have all the sex they want. If this were not the case there would soon be no more Buddhists.
  7. White people can’t be Buddhists. Nonsense. Buddhism started in India and moved into places like China and Japan just as Christianity started in the Middle East and moved into Europe.
  8. Buddhism is one religion. Nope. Buddhism is even more fragmented and diverse than Christianity or Islam. Even within a single nation such as Japan there are many different Buddhist traditions.
  9. Buddha is worshiped as a God. Buddhism is diverse and even within each tradition there exist differing levels of understanding. A shopkeeper may not meditate or study the suttas but may light incense or make offerings to a statue much the same way a Catholic might light a candle to the Virgin Mary.
  10. Buddhists are atheists. No. Buddhism does not recognize a single personal God like Christians or Muslims. The truth is that a Buddhist can believe in one god, many gods or no gods.  It is irrelevant to the practice of Buddhism.

llyesterdat  asked:

What do you think about Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, paganism, and other beliefs?

Judaism is plain false. They believe in the same war god the Christians believe in. Their eschatology was either borrowed or at best co-created alongside Zoroastrians. The rabbis condone unspeakable things in the Talmud and that’s not to mention open disagreements that can’t be coming from the same source. Judaism is plagued by the same thing other religions are plagued by: the fingerprints of religious men. If it were truly a revelation, the fingerprints of men wouldn’t be present at all. If it were a religion revealed by a god that is nothing like humans, there wouldn’t be obvious examples of pedophilia considered halakah, which is a term signifying that an act is in accordance with Jewish law. Jews till this day celebrate Simeon ben Yohai, a rabbi who endorsed pedophilia.

Hinduism and Buddhism are quite connected. The ancient asceticisms were noble, in part, but today’s Hinduism is quite disconnected from that. It’s far more diverse with each locality having their gods and representations of certain gods. Secular versions of Advaita Vedanta or Zen Buddhism are unproblematic as these would ask us to achieve mental equanimity, inner peace, self-control, and a number of valuable things. There’s that and meditation is beneficial. I regard Hindu and Buddhist myths as false; asuras, the Narakas, reincarnation, and their entire eschatology are bunk. I also regard the gods of Hinduism as false, for some are credited with creating the universe and I maintain that this universe simply isn’t created and could not have been.

Sikhism has a militant history, but also has palpable connections to Islam and Hinduism. The issue in Sikhism is similar to what I discussed about Judaism: too many gurus purporting to have a revelation from Ik Onkar. This revelation is achieved through nadar and this is how truth is received and known. Yet the gurus had known disagreements. Once again, the fingerprints of men are too present, the desires of men too pronounced. 

Paganism is quite the umbrella term, but included in it are mythology like the now dead religions of the Ancient Greeks, Romans, and indigenous African cultures, the mystery religions that emerged alongside Christianity, and the occult: theosophy, Thelema, Satanism, and Wicca. My knowledge of each varies, but I’ve found enough in all to know that while some of them teach lessons of value and point to truths, specifically about humans, none of them are worth my affiliation. Thelema, for example, has a Kantian principle at its core: in the Liber, the Thelemite is to respect the autonomy of others. “Do what thou wilt” extends not only to oneself, but to others, and this is achieved in realizing that the distinction between oneself and other people is entirely an illusion. As such, the autonomy in you is also the autonomy in them; implicit in this is the Kantian idea of treating others as ends in themselves rather than as means, treating them as self-governing beings rather than seeking ways to use and exploit them. This, to my mind, is probably the marquee truth in all of ethics and it is echoed in Thelema. Despite that, however, I see no good reason to devote myself to the three gods in The Book of the Law.

Ultimately, a religion that earns my affiliation would either have a god that actually exists, rituals that have demonstrable utility, and/or an cosmogony and/or eschatology that is in keeping with what we know about the universe through science. Any religion that is false, unethical, inhumane, or impractical in some way isn’t worth my affiliation. That’s precisely why I’m not religious. Religion is a product of culture, but it is also a response to some sociopolitical need at some given time in that culture’s history. This is why ancient religions that still exist today have as a part of them these inexplicable stories and laws that make modern folks cringe. There’s obviously something repulsive about asking parents to take their disobedient children to the city to get stoned to death and yet, this is exactly what we find in the Bible. Whatever the ancient Jews’ needs were are unbeknownst to us, but such a law makes no sense in the eyes of modern people. Religious law, philosophy, and cosmogony are outmoded and should be treated as such. No religion is a revelation; they are all an inadequate response to a problem at some time in a culture’s history. Clearly, these purported solutions might have covered the wound, but in many cases, they allowed for it to get infected.

Note: I’d like to point out that I lumped in what some may consider cults, but cults and religions are difficult to demarcate and develop over very similar trajectories. While religions serve more communal needs, cults may serve a personal need or the needs of a small group. Joseph Smith may have fabricated his numerous visions just so that he could have multiple wives. Or he could have been trying to undermine the Orthodoxy. Whatever his motivation, it was personal. Mormonism might have started out as a cult, but today it’s a recognized religion.

The Five Principles: Wisdom of the Axial Age

by Saṃsāran

These five principles form the foundation of just about every major religion and philosophical system which emerged in that incredible span of years from the 8th to the 3rd century BCE called the Axial Age when Taoism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Confucianism, Classic Greek Philosophy, and Christianity all flowered in the same time period. Why? Simple, it is because they are universal and when put into active practice in our daily lives they work. 

The practice of these principles will garb you in a suit of spiritual armor.  Even in the midst of chaos and in the face of evil your heart will be unsullied, calm and serene.

THE FIVE PRINCIPLES: WISDOM OF THE AXIAL AGE

1. Be compassionate. Compassionate in both thought and deed. Learn to recognize that the actions of others are often caused by spiritual pain. Avoid contempt. Avoid those mental judgments we always make of others. Compassion leads to harmony and harmony and balance is the key to inner peace.

2. Be kind.  Very simple. In every interaction, you have you have an opportunity to add to the sum total of good.  No act of kindness or charity is too small. It does not matter if you receive gratitude.  At times your acts of kindness will even cause resentment in others. That is their way.  Let yours be kindness.

3. Be Forgiving: Forgive others and mostly yourself.  Forgiveness is not easy.  It requires effort to let past harms and slights go.  You may be perfectly justified in your anger, sorrow or resentment but it does not matter.  Resentments do not harm the object of your resentment.  They harm only you.  Much of our spiritual disharmony is caused by our own self-contempt.  We magnify our failings.  We mull over our mistakes and shortcomings again and again.  We compare ourselves to an impossible ideal and then hate ourselves when we fail to measure up.  Forgive yourself. Let it go. There is so much that is good in you and tomorrow brings a new opportunity to achieve your dreams.

4. Be Loving. When you have been compassionate, kind and forgiving you will sense a flood of a unique form of love.  Love of all.  It will well up within you and influence your every action.  It will baffle and confuse others.  People who would confront you, engage you in argument or dispute and who would transmit their own anger to you will be astounded when they see that you are unruffled.  They will not know what to do.  Your calm and peace will affect them.  

5. Be Accepting:  You are not in control of the universe.  Stop taking everything so personally.  It is not all about you. Be humble before the majesty of the universe knowing that it is you and you are it. Things are often not going to go your way.  You may be treated unfairly by others, or be the target of hatred or cruelty.   You are not going to get everything you want. Accept this. Move on.