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'. at any time when their religions aren't 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, besides the fact that, stresses that there's enormous overlap and interpenetration among the 2 varieties and components, and that you will need to see the historic inter-relation among those religions and to monitor how, in the course of given sessions of heritage, there are parallel advancements or major divergences. He covers the interval 1500 B.C. to the current time, offering an summary of the improvement of Asian and eu spiritual traditions and associations, and discussing the social and financial components keen on the improvement of religous traditions, even supposing he indicates that such components by myself don't account for the non secular lifetime of guy. Dr Ling is going directly to interpret the modern value 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; now not all religions convey this personality, yet none has but exhausted the chances of improvement. This ebook is meant to be used an an advent to the learn of faith. even if reference is made within the textual content to resources of additional info, 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
23) is compared with the somewhat later and already amplified form found in Josh. 24, it will be seen that certain features in the older statement have been considerably expanded, in the direction of thaumaturgy, or heightening the element of the marvellous. Deut. 26 speaks simply of 'signs and wonders'; whereas in Josh. 24 these are spelt out in detail, in connection with the Egyptian army's miraculous destruction in the waters of the Red Sea after the Hebrews' equally miraculous safe crossing.
It is, however, possible to assert that it 'was in the charge of a priestly elite who served a military aristocracy' (Renou, 1953; 6). It was essentially a ceremonial rather than a private or domestic cult, although it was not a public cult in the sense of being congregational. Its purpose seems to have been to gratify the heavenly power or powers being invoked, and to whom the sacrifice was offered. On the principle of a supposed reciprocity between gods and men, the worshipper, through the priests, offered oblations on an open-air altar specially set up in an area carefully marked out for the purpose, and the gods in return bestowed upon the worshipper such boons as he was seeking - victory in battle, offspring, increase of herds, or other largely mundane benefits.
We have, therefore, to examine the circumstances in which this prophetic breakthrough occurred. Out of Egypt came Israel. A group of tribes, by tradition herdsmen rather than cultivators, whose ancestors had perhaps taken refuge in this land where food supply was more secure because of skilful centralised administration, had by that same administration been forced to toil as slaves, contributing to some of the vast state enterprises of the Egyptian monarch. But at last there emerged among them a man of great charisma under whose leadership they escaped from this oppressive rule, from this land of highly organised agriculture, with its great urban centres and massive temples which a potentate had built and where power was worshipped.
A history of religion East and West; an introduction and interpretation by Trevor Ling