Pattern of World Religions

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by 16Masail, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. 16Masail

    16Masail Bahá'i

    Dec 27, 2016
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    Hello everyone! I'm not an expert in any particular faith, but a long time ago, when I was religion-hopping, I noticed a common pattern among the world religions. Please note that I use the term, "world religion", loosely. To illustrate my point, I'm dividing the life of a religion into three phases: early days, middle days, and last days.

    In the early days, a religion tends to be pluralistic (accepting of other faiths), simplistic (not wreathed in traditions), persecuted (oppressed by larger and older faiths), small (low number of adherents), and in sync with modern life (relatively in harmony with science and social conventions).

    In the middle days, to the contrary, it tends to become exclusivistic, traditionalistic, oppressive, large, and out of sync with modern life. This is in relative to it's early days.

    Finally, in the last days, it loses many of its adherents (small) and seeks to return of the ways of its early days and hence, it sheds its obsolete views of other faiths (pluralistic) and many of its traditions (simplistic) in order to become once again, in sync with science and social conventions. And being small, it becomes a larger target of prejudice and intolerance.

    Just a thought.
  2. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

    Oct 17, 2005
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    Which religions have you seen go into these later days?
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

    Sep 25, 2003
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    No evidence of that in early Judaism. No evidence of that in early Christianity either ... Christianity was very exclusive, so was Judaism ...

    I'm not so sure this is too simplistic. I'd say they hadn't been around long enough to (need to) develop dogma and doctrine which are necessary for correct transmission.

    That was generally the norm.

    Well 'science' as its understood today is a post-enlightenment phenomena.

    As for being in syc with modern life, I don't see how. Judaism was monotheism in a sea of polytheism, and it's monotheism took generations, centuries, to emerge as it is today. Christianity was at odds with both the Hellenic and the Hebrew worlds ...

    As easy comparison to make.

    Well, we'll have to wait until the last days to call on that one!

    I would say that 'pluralism' is quite a modern phenomena, and personally I see many try it as a means of spreading its net as wide as possible.

    Can't speak for Judaism or Islam, but modern liberal Christianity has basically traded its essential truths for a broader market appeal. The modern pluralistic movements began with the various schools that emerged in Europe about 200 years ago, and we still have Steiner, Theosophy etc.

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