December 4, 2012
Reflection Final 11am Perspectives
Religious practices are the fundamental features of religious life, and they can consist of sacred rituals which may include sacrifices or rites of passage, ways to be healed, and pilgrimages. In general, religious practices can encourage or control certain behaviors and they can also take part in a type of worship, which is an essential part of a religion. Christianity and Buddhism have many similarities and differences when it comes to their religious practices. In Christianity you can locate most of their religious practices in The Church or in the Christian Community. In Buddhism, you can locate the religious practices in The Sangha, which is a community of monks and nuns following in Buddhist practices. It is important to understand and acknowledge how both major religions and their practices can answer any underlying questions about the relevance for each tradition.
For both Christianity and Buddhism, religious practices can mean different things such as Christians might practice their tradition by showing praise to God through worship, prayer, sacraments, pilgrimage, and by reading their holy scripture, which is the Bible. As for Buddhism, one can meditate, take part in veneration, mudras, mantras, and also pilgrimage. However, both traditions can also just mean that there is a community that serves as a whole of each tradition. In Living Buddha Living Christ, Community as a Body, Thich Nhat Hanh writes “In John 15 Jesus says, “I am the virtue vine…Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me”. This is close to Buddhism. Without mindfulness we cannot bear the fruit of love, understanding and liberation. In Buddhism, it takes at least four persons practicing together to be called a Sangha” (Hanh 65). Defining the purpose for why each tradition chooses the way they practice is...
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