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University Degree: Buddhism

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  1. Comparison between Christianity and Buddhism

    (Nelson, 1987:116) Christianity and Buddhism are both religions that were founded by famous characters. Buddhism was founded by one of the most charismatic characters ever known, Prince Siddhartha Guatama also known as Buddha ("Enlightened One"). He is known as a very influential and an utmost charismatic person (Samovar, Porter, McDaniel 2003:67). He was born in 563 BC into a wealthy Hindu family and forced into marriage at the age of 16. By the age of 29 he was disillusioned with his opulence and ventured out of his palace.

    • Word count: 2399
  2. Buddhisms: Yogas

    Adoring a deity more than one's kin, lovers and friends is the essence of Bhakti Yoga. The deity is the beloved and the devotee is the lover. "Bhakti Yoga is based on the doctrine 'Love is God and God is Love.' " (Johari, "Bhakti Yoga," par. 2) In Bhakti yoga, everything is a manifestation of the divine and all else is meaningless. Bhakti Yoga is regarded as the most direct method to merge in cosmic consciousness and is advocated by Krishna in the Gita as the best and quickest path to achieving liberation and enlightenment.

    • Word count: 3319
  3. Buddhism: The Concept of Dukkha

    "When the Buddha said "life is dukkha," he didn't mean that life contains dukkha. He meant exactly that life is dukkha. Life is conditioned. Life is temporary." (O'Brien, "Dukkha," par.4) Dukkha is manifest in different ways in man. The first of these lies in Anitya or Anichcha which means constant change or impermanence. It refers to dependent origination (Pratitya- samutpada). "On ignorance depends karma; On karma depends consciousness; On consciousness depends name and form; On name and form depends the six organs of sense; On the six organs of sense depends contact...On birth depends old age and death, sorrow, lamentation, misery, grief, and despair."

    • Word count: 1863
  4. Summarise and discuss the origin and development of Mahayana Buddhism.

    The only shared characteristic being their objection to the practices of the Theraveda, and the acceptance of a developing group of Sacred writings known as the Mahayana Sutras.8 The growth of Mahayana was also marked and identified with the appearance of this literature. 9 The Mahayana Sutras was considered to be the second turning of the `Dharmawheel', as they were believed to be the inspired expositions of a still existing Buddha. Mahayanist's accepted most of the Scripture and ritual of the Theraveda, but believed their texts to be of higher value and truth.

    • Word count: 2682
  5. The Enlightenment was an intellectual movement in the Western world

    It was basically views, thoughts, and principles of different scholars who attempted to make the world a better place through Christianity and religion. 2The main components of the enlightenment thought are as follows: The universe can be understood through the use of reason alone Truth can be arrived through empirical observation, the use of reason, and systematic doubt Human experience is the foundation of human understanding of truth; authority is not to be preferred over experience All human life both social and individual, can be understood in the same way the natural world can be understood; once understood, human life

    • Word count: 3630
  6. The Eighteenth century saw a radical change in the way the church and state cooperated in many European countries.

    Jews in Medieval Europe were not interested in any relationship with Christians but due the history of persecution towards them but due to the fact that they lived under Christendom they could not avoid political and economic relations with them. Politically, the Jewish community of the pre-enlightenment period was seen as a minority that had some ties with the host state, yet the members of these communities had no rights as citizens nor were they even legal citizens of the state.

    • Word count: 3606
  7. The Philosophy of Zen and Shin Buddhism

    In essence Zen is free from all these dogmatic and religious impediments. Whatever teachings there are in Zen, they come out of one's own mind. Fundamentally we teach ourselves and Zen merely points the way. Zen Buddhism is not a religion but rather more of a philosophy in which one uses to discover their true self. To fully understand the power of Zen Buddhism one must reject the external world and embrace the 'vast emptiness within (de Bary, 378). Zen's principle is to discipline the mind itself, to make it its own master, through an insight into its proper nature (de Bary, 392).

    • Word count: 1636
  8. Evolving Traditions of Buddhism.

    None of the writings of the monks of Abhayagiri and the Jetavana monasteries survived, which makes it hard to tell how their traditions differed from those of the Mahavihara. There appeared to be a rivalry between them due to a Mahavihara opposition to their Mahayana sympathies, which is simplistic and problematic. The schools of Chinese Buddhism are divided into two categories, those that have a more or less direct Indian counterpart and those which have a more or less direct Indian counterpart and those that are native to China.

    • Word count: 527
  9. The Dialectic of Enlightenment.

    This, then, is the task which Enlightenment sets itself out on: the rational comprehension of the natural world. "In the most general sense of progressive thought, the Enlightenment has always aimed at liberating men from fear and establishing their sovereignty. Yet the fully enlightened earth radiates disaster triumphant."[] The project of Enlightenment has gone horribly wrong; yet reason has failed us not because it has gone too far, but rather because it has not gone far enough. Myth is anything beyond reason; Enlightenment goes beyond reason in abstracting one particular moment of rationality and substituting it as the concept's sole totality, thereby reverting to myth.

    • Word count: 7670
  10. Nagarjuna was a great contributor to the Mahayana tradition.

    The understanding of the Buddhist tradition in regards to the middle way is fundamental to understand and comprehending where Nagarjuna's philosophy developed from and how Zen tradition developed under this influence. The fundamental basis of Buddhism is the eradication of suffering (duhkha). The Buddha through his teaching offered the pathway in which the cessation of duhkha could be realized. Buddha explained that duhkha arises from craving that is rooted in ignorance. Upon the eradication of ignorance through following the Four Noble Truths one could reach Nirvana, where suffering is extinct and eternal joy will be realized.

    • Word count: 5573
  11. Hinduism and Buddhism.

    The Hindus call the cycles of rebirths samsara, or the Wheel of Life. When a soul is finally cleansed enough to break free of samsara it is called moksha. The soul returns to Brahma for an eternity of contentment and ecstasy. There is no one incorporating creed in Hinduism. A follower may choose any god as their personal god, or may worship several of them. Although, to be a Hindu there are certain things that a follower must believe in and live by. These beliefs include a belief in karma, dharma and reincarnation after death.

    • Word count: 1865
  12. Blackcave - creative writing.

    "The Allegory of the Cave" describes a man's journey to obtain true knowledge-enlightenment. The allegory depicts a cave which holds prisoners, chained to the wall. These prisoners cannot turn to talk to their neighbors or see anything other than what is in front of them. At the back of the cave is a fire, the only source of light. It is through this fire that the puppeteers, the influential powers, cast shadows on the wall containing illusions that the prisoners believe to be real.

    • Word count: 1613
  13. The Cycle of Karma

    On the way, there was a villager's dog that followed his army. Every soldier had the compassion and took care of this dog according to fate. It became a part of army implicitly. It not only followed everywhere the army went but also liked to walked in front of the army like the leader. When the army got the destination, which located in the jungle, they took hold of that area for setting the military base. The only one way for sending the food was done by helicopter. Unfortunately, on 6 th January, 1974 which was the second day, the amount of clouds in the sky had too much.

    • Word count: 1692
  14. What is meant by the phrase 'The normative content of modernity'? Is it a valid notion?

    The Enlightenment began in seventeenth and eighteenth century Europe out of the desire to assert and foster individual freedom. It was an alternative to the authoritarian constraints of monarchies and church hierarchies. The characteristics of the project are: scepticism towards the doctrines of the church, individualism, a belief in science and the experimental method, the use of reason, that education could be a catalyst of social change and the demand for political representation. Since reason is a universal force and not limited to any particular culture or to a special geniuses, all human beings can rationally participate in the broad general discussion concerning all topics, and especially politics.

    • Word count: 3352
  15. Compare and Contrast the Representation of Enlightenment in "The Matrix" and "American Beauty." How do these films represent enlightenment and what difference does enlightenment make to the characters of Neo and Lester Burnham?

    He realises that you only get one chance at life and he wants to make an attempt of enjoying some of it for a change. In this way enlightenment is represented in his realisation of needing to enjoy life and the joy he gains out of such mundane things as working in a fast food restaurant. He recognises that life should be fun and not full of stress. He therefore attempts to achieve some goals he has always wanted in his life such as the Pontiac firebird he purchases.

    • Word count: 2754
  16. Why were the topics of human nature and morality so important in the enlightened thought?

    The question is whether morals and the perception of human nature really have changed? Firstly, it is important to acknowledge the significance of the relation between religion and morality. The Church was so deeply rooted in the Western civilisation. Christianity had an incredible influence on peoples' thought and conduct thus lifestyles. Christianity formed the basis for ethics and consequently the justice system. We can thus imagine how far Christianity managed to spread its tentacles across the culture and the society. The social structure was supported and maintained though religion. The monarch was blessed and the monarchy holly supported by clerical and papal institution.

    • Word count: 3243
  17. What roles did ideas associated with either Newton or Locke play in the Movement? Illustrate by reference to the work of a particular philosopher.

    Recognising this, the extent to which Isaac Newton's work was part of the movement can be analysed in the knowledge that opinions vary as to which of his ideas can be considered 'enlightened'. Newton (1642-1727), has been described as "the towering genius who had united both the celestial and terrestrial phenomena of motion by showing them to be instances of a single set of universal laws; he had solved the age-old problem of the nature of colour and light; and altogether he had used the resources both of mathematics and experiment to bring some of the unknown domains of nature within man's intellectual and even practical comprehension" (Buchdahl, 1961).

    • Word count: 1616
  18. What were the main characteristics of the Enlightenment?

    Consequently, commonalty could not understand the ideas and the expectations for any different in the future. In the pre-Enlightenment era it could not be tolerated for people of different classes to mix. The whole of humanity was faithful in old traditions and everybody thought that the future was already written and was therefore unchangeable; as there was an inborn notion of stability. However at the end of the 18th century the Enlightenment came to create many important changes in the whole structure of human life, by rejecting almost all-traditional beliefs, which had existed in the previous epoch.

    • Word count: 1564
  19. Not an age of reason, but a revolt against rationalism. (Peter Gay) Discuss this characterisation of the Enlightenment.

    The elimination of anything irrational and the use of knowledge as a source instead of sensationalism was paramount to the philosophising. Spinoza's predecessor, just like Spinoza himself was not trying to undermine the Church, but simply make it believable. Descartes made the famous assertion: I think, therefore I am, by this he meant that he could certainly say his mind existed, but as for the existence of his body he could not say for sure. His basis for this was that his mind was there because he was thinking, whereas his senses told him that he felt pain or smelt flowers yet he could never prove they actually existed.

    • Word count: 2168
  20. The Elusiveness and Effectiveness of Zen Buddhism.

    Both religions have faith in the notion of reincarnation, karma, and the end goal of Nirvana, or absolute liberation. But roughly 1000 years after the birth of the Buddah and the start of this religion, Buddhism began to change and spread throughout the surrounding areas. India's trade routes served as an incredible vehicle of influence for religion and philosophy. Because of its international connections, many important people traveled to such great lengths as China and Japan. One such man was Bodhi-Dharma,1 who landed in 520 AD in China during the reign of Emperor Wu.2 Bodhi-Dharma went on to be the father of the Zen school of Buddhism in China.

    • Word count: 1504
  21. The Japanese samurai warrior

    However, this ritual was appeased over time, the first documented amendment being recorded during the Tokugawa reign. At this time, short stories were also emerging about homosexual samurai, an example being Comrade Loves of the Samurai, where many of the samurai were described in feminine ways; their fairness and beauty being compared to flowers. Speculation is present over the possible effect the living arrangements of the samurai and distance from their families during the Tokugawa era had on male-male love relationships.

    • Word count: 1961
  22. Choderlos de Laclos: Les Liaisons Dangereuses - In what ways may "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" be seen as a novel of the Enlightenment? Illustrate with references to the text.

    Woven in the midst of the sinister romantic plot are further explorations into the fundamental ideas of the Enlightenment. The first area in "Les Liaison Dangereuses" which Laclos explores is perhaps the most obvious one, and that is the setting in which the novel is set: the French aristocracy. At the heart of this depiction are the two main characters, The Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont, and it around these socialites that the exploration of the Enlightenment's ideas is anchored. Through their exploits of constant manipulation and the extreme competitive nature with which they conduct themselves, two things soon become clear: the extent to which Laclos is critical of their behaviour, and the dangers that their games pose to at best, those around them, and at worst, society as a whole.

    • Word count: 2334
  23. Siddhartha - What message do you think Hermann Hesse wishes to convey by the way he concludes the novel?

    When Siddhartha sees parents with their children, or man with his wife, he knows the feeling they have. But this understanding neither makes his wound heal nor make him forget about the lost of his son. When Siddhartha looks into the river, he sees his reflection staring back. And it reminds him of his father, who must "had suffered the same sorrow that he is now suffering for his own son". Hesse describes the feeling of losing one's own son effectively, as if he himself has lost one before. I think Hesse is trying to make teenagers understand the unselfish love they have from their parent.

    • Word count: 1272
  24. The development of the Enlightenment.

    In the 18th century the agricultural revolution started to develop: new machines were invented and the rotation of crops became more effective. Still the towns were in a rather bad condition: they weren't properly lit; they were dirty since the disposal system was nearly non-existent and they smelled bad. Also the public health was a problem but as the agriculture developed it started to advance too. Hospitals became more common and eventually the methods of medication were improved. However, most of the peasants who moved to the towns didn't find what they were looking for, but became even poorer beggars wandering along the streets searching for food or money.

    • Word count: 2045
  25. Emergence of Enlightenment.

    He studied stars with the naked eye the next 20 years. Brahe's contributions were the great mass of data he had collected. He wasn't as good in mathematics though, but that he left for his assistant Kepler to do. Kepler formulated 3 famous laws of planetary motion. Planets are elliptical rather than circular around the sun. They do not move in a uniform motion. He showed that the time a planet takes to orbit Is precisely related to its distance from the sun. These laws were very important for the future. Copernicus had thoughts, and Kepler made them into laws.

    • Word count: 1583

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Compare and Contrast the Representation of Enlightenment in "The Matrix" and "American Beauty." How do these films represent enlightenment and what difference does enlightenment make to the characters of Neo and Lester Burnham?

    "American Beauty and The Matrix both recognise the benefits of enlightenment from the ability of being truthful and honest. It realises the need of being truthful and honest from having to keep up appearances and let things lead to boiling point. American Beauty suggests that enlightenment is key, however, it doesn't come cheaply and in the violent conclusion Lester is murdered as a result of this. Similarly in the Matrix violence is used as a preventative measure against enlightenment as it is feared that with the realisation of enlightenment and freedom there is no order and thus no control resulting in anarchy. Filmography American Beauty, directed by Sam Mendes, 1999. The Matrix, directed by The Wachowski brothers, 1999. Fight Club, directed by David Fincher, 1999."

  • Not an age of reason, but a revolt against rationalism. (Peter Gay) Discuss this characterisation of the Enlightenment.

    "It is my belief that for the Enlightenment to reach its conclusions, the existence of Rationalism was necessary to inspire further thought. Similarly, it is my belief that the Christianity's existence was paramount to the emergence of Rationalist thought. None of these things are a revolt against the other, but an augmentation of their ideas. The revolt against rationalism cannot replace the age of reason, for they are one and the same thing. For mankind to be at the intellectual point we are in the twenty-first century, it was necessary for the Enlightenists to be reasonable in their search for an alternative path to rationalism. antagonist"

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