History of religion!

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by 8236, Aug 19, 2004.

  1. 8236
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    8236 VIP Member

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    I think that this sub-thread is lacking in a discussion on the historical aspects of the current world religions. I for one find the development of religions fascinating.

    To start the whole thing off: I propose the following:

    Judaism and hence Christianity and Islam are an outgrowth of the Pharao Akhenaten's attempts to impose a 'one god' (the solar disc- the Aten) religion in Egypt c. 1300 BC. Moses and the Hebrews were simply refugees from the post-Akhenaten persecutions which sought to return Egypt to the polytheistic past that they were used to.

    Also anyone interested in the early development of Christianity. Anyone heard of Mithraism (the Light) and its potential as a founding influence on Christianity.
     
  2. deaddude
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    deaddude Senior Member

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    Mithraism, was an outgrowth of zoroastrianism. Was possibly the first religion

    with a concept of heaven and hell.
     
  3. 8236
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    8236 VIP Member

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    Excellent! The first (recorded) religion with the concept of duality: good and evil: Ahura Mazda: Indeed, I believe Zoroastrianism was another profound influence on the development of Christianity.

    Which religion is it that believes that all religions are the same? Bahai or Jain or woz it Buddha?
     
  4. deaddude
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    deaddude Senior Member

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    bahai

    The Jains (I think) are a group of hindu monks in two varieties: White Clad, and Sky Clad.
     
  5. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    The Akhenaten claim has been throuoghly debunked here. Sneak peek:

    And the Mithan/Christian claim is another tired one, which has also bee refuted here.

    Spolier: "That ends our listing, and thus our conclusion: In not one instance has Acharya made a convincing case that Christianity borrowed anything from Mithraism. The evidence is either too late, not in line with the conclusions of modern Mithraic scholars, or just plain not there. Acharya will need a lot firmer documentation before any of her claims can be taken seriously."
     
  6. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    To clarify: the Christian concept of good and evil is not the same as the Zoroastrian concepts. Zoroastrianism holds that good and evil are equally powerful and have equal influence in people's lives (hence duality). Christianity teaches that God, the source of all good in the universe, is supreme over Satan, the most evil of all beings.
     
  7. 8236
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    It seems to me perfectly plausable that religions are generally influenced by each other. Would anyone dispute the fact that Islam was influenced by Judaism and Christianity- the historical content of the Koran is almost identical to the OT -i.e. it was copied from it?
    Ofcourse if you accept any religious text as the 'word of God' then that would make you an adherent of that faith. But then which is the origional and which the influenced?

    And, often, so-called experts who 'debunk' this or that theory may be writing from a biased perspective as they have set out from the start to prove the 'purity' and 'thruth' of their own faith.

    The Jewish Babylonian exile occured in the immediate aftermath of the development of Zoroastrianism. And, as is documented, the Persians/Medes who overthrew the Assyrians/Babylonians (who had enslaved the Jews) were adherents of that faith. They then released the Jews. Such a popular move wrt the Jews would have made them greatly respect the Persians and perhaps their culture and religion. And, since the OT was still being written at this time, it seems quite reasonable to assume that mixing of ideas ocurred. This could also have been re-enforced by confusion of religious ideas when the Bab. Jews returned to their brethren in Palistine.

    As another example: Beelzebub->Baal (lord of the flies) is an example of the Phoenicians/Philistines influencing the Israelites. As I understood it, the God of the Jews was/is origionally a vengeful god, so taking care of both good and evil. When alien influences/religions then appear on the scene (like the Philistines) it becomes easy to adopt their ideas, attributing the concept of 'evil' to them in order to maintain ones own cultural/political integrity/unity (us vs. them). In the case of the Jews the vengeful god then slowly becomes the forgiving god (the good guy) and all alien deities become lumped together as Satan(the bad guy), a process which had been completed by the time of Jesus.

    I have no evidence for these particular ideas, but there are countless other examples of adoption of foreign/alien concepts throughout history for whatever reason. It's just fascinating to speculate- but I guess you can't do that if you are a believer;)
     

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