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Studies of Religion

Topic: Religion is a worldview that acknowledges a Sacred Mystery that is imminent and/or Transcendent. Explain this statement.

Religion is a worldview that acknowledges a Sacred Mystery that is imminent and/or Transcendent. Religion is a set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader, it can also be an activity practised with devotion or prayer. In this sense, imminent means living within you and transcendent means beyond and outside the ordinary range.

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There are a variety of religions and they all can be put into two groups which are imminent and transcendent. Judaism, Christianity and Islam have transcendent religious worldviews whereas Buddhism and Hinduism are characterized under imminent religious worldviews.

Judaism, Christianity and Islam focus on the transcendent religious worldview. They are all similar in the sense that they go back to Abraham. They believe in one God, who created the universe. They also believe that God made himself known to us by sending us prophets (messengers). The prophets showed and taught the will of God to the world.

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Buddhism and Hinduism focus on the imminent religious worldview. Buddhism and Hinduism have an Indian background. Buddhists and Hindus rely on their inner-self and their experience for religious truth; they do not rely on books or people that have to be followed.

The Islam religion is transcendent in the sense that they believe in one God, Allah who has created mankind and all that exists. The Islam religion also believes that Allah is above the heavens raised over the Throne and separated from His creatures (which is a transcendent religious worldview).

The Islam religion believes that Allah is settled over His Mighty Throne, but He is with them by His Knowledge, hearing, seeing and other powers. As He said: “Fear not verily! I am with you both hearing and seeing (V,20. :46), from this you get a sense of imminent as they believe that God’s knowledge, hearing, seeing and others are within them.

Judaism is transcendent; it is the cultural, religious, and social practices and beliefs of the Jews. They practice together, religion, based on the Torah and the Talmud. It is one of the first recorded monotheistic faiths and one of the oldest religious traditions still practiced today. They believe in one God, Yahew and he is in heaven and they are still waiting for their messiah to come.

The Christian religion is transcendent, they believe in Father, Son and Holy Spirit as being one. They are transcendent because they believe God to be in Heaven and watching over them in everything that they do. The Christians came from the jews and many of their beliefs originated from them, an example is the commandments. They believe in Jesus as being Lord and the Son Of God, he came down to earth in the form of a human and preached the good news to the people. He died on the cross to save us from our sins and rose on the third day (this is all said in the Apostle Creed). Christians also believe that Jesus is living in our hearts, hence that gives us a sense of imminent religion.

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The Buddha religion is an imminent religion. The Buddha who was the founder of the Buddhist religion is called Buddha Shakyamuni “Shakya” is the name of the royal family he was born in, and “Muni” means “Able One”. It was said that he knew sixty-four different languages, each with its own alphabet, and he was also very skilled at mathematics. He once told his father that he could count all the atoms in the world in the time it takes to draw a single breath. Although he did not need to study, he did so to please his father and to benefit others. The Buddhists had an imminent religious worldview because their religion was based on what is within them. Buddha Shakyamuni’s aim was to leave the palace and go to the forest so he could engage in deep meditation until he achieved enlightenment, and he did so at the age of twenty-nine.

The Hindu religion is an imminent religion. Hinduism differs from Christianity and other Western religions because it does not have a single founder, a specific theological system, a single system of morality, or a central religious organization (1). It consists of thousands of different religious groups that have evolved in India since 1500 BCE. It is the oldest religion and the third largest.

Even though Christianity, Judaism and Islam emphasize transcendence they still have a bit of imminent in it (e.g. for Christians, they believe that Jesus lives in our hearts. Buddhists and Hindus emphasize a great deal on the imminent side even though they might have a bit of transcendent but they focus a great deal on imminent religious worldviews (e.g. yoga).