Eastern Texts forum

Discussion about Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Taoism, etc.
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Peter Kirby
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Eastern Texts forum

Post by Peter Kirby » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:58 pm

The religions that developed east of Persia, the birthplace of Zoroastrianism and today a home to Islam - the Indian religious traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism along with related traditions such as Sikhism and Bon, as well as the Chinese traditions of Confucianism and Taoism and Japanese Shinto - exercise an influence on religious thought rivaled only by the Abrahamic faiths themselves. That influence was felt also in an exchange of ideas, as the Nestorian churches attempted to translate their teaching for the east and as the Greeks appear to have been aware of doctrines such as reincarnation. That influence continues today, especially in the form of new interest in Buddhism and practices such as meditation among people in western countries that are otherwise becoming increasingly secular.

The problems well-known to students of the Bible, the New Testament, and the Quran also appear in the study of Eastern religions. There are forgeries, such as a text to backdate martial arts practice as part of the Shaolin monastery’s traditions by a thousand years. There are contradictions and apparent contradictions in the teachings, as well as different developments based on different interpretations and different philosophies. There are frustrating and difficult questions of historiography, such as the wildly varying estimates of when Siddhartha died. If there are not yet many mythicists, it may only be because of Buddhism’s distinct emphasis on personal knowledge and understanding. There are obviously atheists, as well as people who would say that concepts such as karma don’t make sense in the real world.

Yet there are also people who still find the teachings found in these texts to be not just interesting but also valid when speaking about life today. There are atheists who appreciate the idea of the cessation of ignorance, craving, and aversion as a path to eliminate suffering. There are scientists who are attempting to prove that there is no independent self and that all forms of consciousness and sense of self are temporary and conditionally arising from other causes, a doctrine of ‘no self’ that has been seen as paradoxical for centuries before beginning its recent ascent to scientific quasi-orthodoxy. There are the faithful who call on a bodhisattva to deliver them to a pure land.

It is to these questions, about the texts and about the history of these religious traditions, as well as about the content of their teaching and its validity or relevance, that this forum is dedicated.
"... almost every critical biblical position was earlier advanced by skeptics." - Raymond Brown

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DCHindley
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Re: Eastern Texts forum

Post by DCHindley » Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:30 am

Peter Kirby wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:58 pm
The religions that developed east of Persia, the birthplace of Zoroastrianism and today a home to Islam - the Indian religious traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism along with related traditions such as Sikhism and Bon, as well as the Chinese traditions of Confucianism and Taoism and Japanese Shinto - exercise an influence on religous thought rivaled only by the Abrahamic faiths themselves. That influence was felt also in an exchange of ideas, as the Nestorian churches attempted to translate their teaching for the east and as the Greeks appear to have been aware of doctrines such as reincarnation. That influence continues today, especially in the form of new interest in Buddhism and practices such as meditation among people in western countries that are otherwise becoming increasingly secular.

The problems well-known to students of the Bible, the New Testament, and the Quran also appear in the study of Eastern religions. There are forgeries, such as a text to backdate martial arts practice as part of the Shaolin monastery’s traditions by a thousand years. There are contradictions and apparent contradictions in the teachings, as well as different developments based on different interpretations and different philosophies. There are frustrating and difficult questions of historiography, such as the wildly varying estimates of when Siddhartha died. If there are not yet many mythicists, it may only be because of Buddhism’s distinct emphasis on personal knowledge and understanding. There are obviously atheists, as well as people who would say that concepts such as karma don’t make sense in the real world.

Yet there are also people who still find the teachings found in these texts to be not just interesting but also valid when speaking about life today. There are atheists who appreciate the idea of the cessation of ignorance, craving, and aversion as a path to eliminate suffering. There are scientists who are attempting to prove that there is no independent self and that all forms of consciousness and sense of self are temporary and conditionally arising from other causes, a doctrine of ‘no self’ that has been seen as paradoxical for centuries before beginning its recent ascent to scientific quasi-orthodoxy. There are the faithful who call on a bodhisattva to deliver them to a pure land.

It is to these questions, about the texts and about the history of these religious traditions, as well as about the content of their teaching and its validity or relevance, that this forum is dedicated.
The world of Christian/Islamic texts and Eastern texts overlaps. Nestorians in China, Christian/Islamic attitudes towards Zoroastrians (and vice versa), the list goes on.

You are right, though. The development of Vedic religion into Zoroastrian, Buddhist religions is very interesting, and many things I used to think I knew about them I found to be incorrect.

DCH

bbyrd009
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Re: Eastern Texts forum

Post by bbyrd009 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:14 am

The Bible was even written from the Eastern Dialectic, although that is hardly known in Christendom I guess. R Nesbitt mentions this in "Mindware," and google can verify, I have links somewhere I could dig up

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Re: Eastern Texts forum

Post by Peter Kirby » Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:25 pm

DCHindley wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:30 am
The development of Vedic religion into Zoroastrian, Buddhist religions is very interesting, and many things I used to think I knew about them I found to be incorrect.
A rundown of those things would make a fascinating post to this forum!
bbyrd009 wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:14 am
The Bible was even written from the Eastern Dialectic, although that is hardly known in Christendom I guess. R Nesbitt mentions this in "Mindware," and google can verify, I have links somewhere I could dig up
This would also be a great topic to explore, if you could dig up that stuff.
"... almost every critical biblical position was earlier advanced by skeptics." - Raymond Brown

bbyrd009
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Re: Eastern Texts forum

Post by bbyrd009 » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:28 am

Peter Kirby wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:25 pm
DCHindley wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:30 am
The development of Vedic religion into Zoroastrian, Buddhist religions is very interesting, and many things I used to think I knew about them I found to be incorrect.
A rundown of those things would make a fascinating post to this forum!
bbyrd009 wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:14 am
The Bible was even written from the Eastern Dialectic, although that is hardly known in Christendom I guess. R Nesbitt mentions this in "Mindware," and google can verify, I have links somewhere I could dig up
This would also be a great topic to explore, if you could dig up that stuff.
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=4888

love to hear you guys thoughts on this

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BeJimmiesab
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Eastern Texts forum

Post by BeJimmiesab » Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:42 pm

This forum lists over 800 threads, but only shows a sticky and this one. Other chapter forums show all listed threads, so something seems odd about this one.

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