By Trevor Ling
The spiritual traditions of Asia and Europe, the 'East' and 'West' of the name, are often considered as being in sharp distinction with one another, the single 'mystical', the opposite 'prophetic'. each time their religions usually are not so contrasted they're often taken care of in isolation from one another: the faith of Israel, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. Dr Ling, even though, stresses that there's substantial overlap and interpenetration among the 2 kinds and parts, and that you will need to see the old inter-relation among those religions and to monitor how, in the course of given classes of historical past, there are parallel advancements or major divergences. He covers the interval 1500 B.C. to the current time, delivering an overview of the advance of Asian and ecu spiritual traditions and associations, and discussing the social and monetary elements considering the improvement of religous traditions, even if he exhibits that such components by myself don't account for the non secular lifetime of guy. Dr Ling is going directly to interpret the modern importance of those religions and their strength for the longer term lifetime of humanity. He means that the current level of non secular improve is characterized by way of open-endedness in the direction of the longer term; no longer all religions express this personality, yet none has but exhausted the chances of improvement. This booklet is meant to be used an an advent to the learn of faith. even if reference is made within the textual content to assets of additional details, the publication can be utilized irrespective of them.
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Extra resources for A history of religion East and West; an introduction and interpretation
In fact, he has a number of the characteristic marks of the classical prophet. 1. There is first of all the strong tradition of a profound personal experience of an inaugural kind - inaugural, that is, to his activity as a charismatic leader - the tradition which is contained in the narrative of Exod. 3. The vision of the bush which glowed as with fire and yet was not consumed; the overwhelming consciousness of a divine presence; the awareness that he was being personally addressed by this divine reality whose name (that is, whose nature) he did not as yet know; the enigmatic name which was conveyed to him in this experience - YHWH, meaning possibly 'I will be what I will be' or 'I am what I am' or even simply 'He who is' (the name which in the English translation of the Old Testament is indicated by the word 'LORD' in upper-case letters): all these are characteristic features of the initial vision and 'call' of a prophet in Hebrew tradition.
A certain amount of intermarriage was now taking place between some of the Aryan tribesmen and the dark-skinned Dravidian women, and in this way a lower class of Aryan society, less hostile to agricultural pursuits, was gradually developing. A further factor which has to be mentioned is that in moving south-eastwards down the Ganges valley the Aryans were leaving behind the somewhat cooler climate of the Punjab for the hot, humid and more enervating atmosphere of the Indian midland plain. This does not mean that they soon settled down into less vigorous ways and into the contemplative habits of a hot climate: the energetic way of life which modern Americans and Europeans continue to carry on in such tropical regions is an indication of how attitudes to work and vigorous activity persist even when conditions are against them.
For these and other reasons it is difficult to find any clear differential factor between what are broadly the original religious traditions of West and East, and even these now overlap one another geographically. This overlapping came about, first, by the large-scale missionary expansion of Islam into Asia from the eighth century onwards, to be followed later by Christianity; and then in modern times by the missionary expansion of the Hindu and Buddhist systems into the Western world. It is therefore inappropriate to speak of the religious tradition of the West as monotheistic, or prophetic, and that of the East as pantheistic, or mystical, as some people especially in the West are inclined to do (and more especially if when they call something pantheistic or mystical they are thereby indicating its inferiority to what is monotheistic and prophetic).
A history of religion East and West; an introduction and interpretation by Trevor Ling