To understand the position of Christianity in China today, one must review and assess the long sweep of the history - over thirteen hundred years - of the Christian faith in China. Confucius, the Buddha, and Christ does that and addresses the essential question of why Christianity over all those centuries has remained foreign to the Chinese - why it has remained an outsider never able really to enter the warp and woof of Chinese life. Dr. Covell's book details and analyzes the history of Nestorians, Catholics, and Protestants, who, in various eras, have tried unsuccessfully to knit Christianity into the fabric of Chinese culture. He argues that Christianity's failure to become Chines has two roots: its foreign connections and its foreign message. Works have been written to address the history of one or another of the waves of missionary activity in China. This book is unique in that it puts together and assesses the core of Christianity - it's message and form - in its varied contexts over more than a millennium of Chinese history. What was preached? How? Why did it fail? Also studied here is the only major attempt to Christianize China from within - the Taiping Movement in the mid-nineteenth century. Confucius, the Buddha, and Christ is a thoroughly-documented, in-depth case study of contextualization - the most significant theme in contemporary world mission studies. It is deceptive, not prescriptive. Its historical perspective opens the door to the only way that other Christians can wisely relate to Chinese Christianity, whether in the People's Republic or in the worldwide Chinese diaspora.
A fascinating look at the founders of the world's main religions. The major religious traditions of the world owe their existence to the vision of an ancient founder. This important volume explores the lives of the five founders of major world religions-Moses, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, and Muhammad-chronicling what is actually known of these charismatic men and introducing readers to the cultural and religious worlds that heard their messages. Readers in predominantly Christian lands, in addition to learning about the lives of Confucius, Buddha, and Muhammad- whom they might not be familiar with- will also be introduced to modern research now casting fresh light on the careers of Moses and Jesus. Whether studied individually or in comparison with one another, these biographies, together with a chapter on the characteristics of religious leadership, chart the spiritual rivers that continue to feed the diversity of religious expression today.
In the second half of the twentieth century, the failure of Enlightenment rationalism and the spiritual bankruptcy of Western materialism have opened the door for Eastern religions, especially the nontheistic religions that promise enlightenment and peace of mind. Any major bookstore today has copies of the I Ching, the Tao Te Ching, and books on Taoism, Zen, and other forms of Buddhism. This volume and the volume on Hinduism in this series together present a comprehensive overview of Eastern religions, their views, and their impact on contemporary North America. This book includes - A concise introduction to Eastern religions - An overview of the movement's theology -- in their own words - A biblical response - Tips for witnessing effectively - A bibliography with sources for further study - A chart comparing the groups' beliefs with biblical Christianity - A glossary
A century ago the average person knew little to nothing about Eastern religions like Buddhism or Hinduism. But as globalization has brought the East and West together, eastern religious teachings and practices are rapidly influencing more and more western culture and beliefs. For example, in 1900 an estimated 1% of North Americans believed in Hindu or Buddhist reincarnation compared with approximately 25% of the U.S. population who believe in reincarnation today. With missionary zeal, Hindu gurus and Buddhist monkssuch as the Dali Lama of Tibetan Buddhism and the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi of Transcendental Meditationhave traveled to the West to spread their beliefs. Some eastern religious beliefs and practices have been popularized in western culture through meditation, feng shui, martial arts, acupuncture, and Asian medicine. But the foundational beliefs of the eastern religious worldview remain in stark contrast to the Christian worldview. Christianity and Eastern Religions helps Christians understand their own beliefs as well as those of other religions. The pamphlet contains a detailed comparison of Christianity with 11 Eastern religions, including the major types of Hinduism and Buddhism. Christianity and Eastern Religions looks at the following topics: Key Beliefs on God and the purpose of life/salvation Origins, founders, and other major historical figures Sacred writings Distinctive practices and major celebrations denominations, and number of adherents The focus on the Dalai Lama Profiles of other Eastern religions, including Sikhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shinto, as well as beliefs and practices such as reincarnation and karma, yoga, Eastern meditation The growth of Eastern religions and what it means to Christians This pamphlet also teaches the scriptural basis for why Christians Believe there is a God who is personal, powerful, and has a fatherly interest in our lives Believe that there is only one physical life, and then the judgment Believe that man can never be good enough to evolve to perfection, inner peace, or pleasing God Believe that Christ is the only way Believe that Christ is the means to inner peace, blessedness, and pleasing God
Confucius, the Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad are among the most thoughtful and influential people in history. By their words and examples, they have inspired countless individuals to live better and more meaningful lives and have shaped the institutions and worldviews we live in today. Four Wise Men is an accessible introduction to each of these sages in his historical context and a provocative comparison of their lives and teachings. Through careful study, this book examines the ways these fascinating figures speak as one and the ways they differ. Although their voices come from the distant past, they still have wise words to say to us today. ""Four Wise Men offers a compelling and provocative comparative study of extraordinarily gifted leaders whose lives and teachings not only shaped great world religions; they provided invaluable, timeless guides for how to live well even in the face of great adversity. Many who know Mark Muesse from his popular contributions to The Great Courses have already discovered his rare gifts as a teacher-scholar able to reach a wide audience. Four Wise Men is a superb, yet accessible resource for college and divinity students, book clubs, serious adult study programs in churches, and a wide range of interested nonspecialists. I'll be using this book in courses on comparative religion for many years to come "" --Charles Kimball, Presidential Professor and Director of Religious Studies, University of Oklahoma; author of When Religion Becomes Evil: Five Warning Signs Mark W. Muesse is the W. J. Millard Professor of Religious Studies at Rhodes College. He is the author of The Hindu Traditions (2011) and The Age of the Sages (2013).
Was Jesus just a spiritual leader, like Buddha, Krishna, Confucius, and Muhammad? Or is he something more--something else entirely? In God among Sages, apologist Ken Samples offers readers a biblical and historical portrait of Jesus, grounded in the claims Jesus makes about himself. Then Samples compares and contrasts Jesus with Buddha, Krishna, Confucius, and Muhammad using eight relevant categories of evaluation. He also helps readers understand the competing philosophies of religious pluralism, inclusivism, and exclusivism. The result is a clearer understanding of what sets Jesus apart as not simply a teacher to follow but God himself, worthy of our full allegiance and worship. Christians who struggle to answer claims that Jesus was just a good teacher, as well as those haven't quite made up their minds about Jesus's claims to divinity, will value this accessible introduction to comparative religions.
An essential and concise introduction to eight of the world's major religions. For the Christian, there's value in learning about different religions and unfamiliar expressions of belief. First of all, it gives us a greater understanding of the world we live in. But a study of other faiths can also deepen our own while making us more effective witnesses to those who don't share a belief in Christ. In World Religions, Gerald R. McDermott explains what you need to understand about major world religions so that you can be equipped to engage people of other faiths. McDermott offers an overview of the central beliefs of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Shinto. Features include: Insights from members of each religious community. Discussions of each religion's major traditions, rituals, and leaders. A glossary of important terms.
Based on manuscripts from the once inaccessible former Jesuit library of Zikawei in Shanghai, this book breaks new ground in focusing on the generation that followed Matteo Ricci and other luminaries of the early China mission. Unusual in its coverage of both Jesuits and their Chinese literati converts, The Forgotten Christians of Hangzhou traces the development of the Christian presence in seventeenth century Hangzhou through the work of Jesuit fathers Martino Martini and Prospero Intorcetta, and Confucian scholar Zhang Xingyao, whose struggle to demonstrate the compatibility of Neo-Confucianism with the "Lord of Heaven Teaching from the Far West" forms the focus of D. E. Mungello's penetrating study. Zhang and his fellow literati converts were in almost all respects highly orthodox Confucians who nevertheless regarded Christianity as complementary to, and in some respects transcending, Confucianism. Their search for an intellectual blending of the two religions shows that, contrary to important recent studies, Christianity was inculturated into seventeenth-century China far more than has been realized. Prior to their dissolution at the hands of a hostile imperial government a century later, the Hangzhou Christians had built one of the most beautiful churches in East Asia, a seminary for training young Chinese priests, a library and printing center, and a Jesuit cemetery. The church and cemetery have since been reopened and the works of Hangzhou Christians are preserved in libraries in Shanghai, Beijing, and Paris. These architectural and literary monuments help reconstruct the features of one of China's most colorful and historical cities and the experiences of some of her most remarkable inhabitants. The Forgotten Christians of Hangzhou not only tells us their story but adds a new dimension to our knowledge of the assimilation of Christianity by Chinese culture - a process that is still under way today.