Buddhism and Christianity: Compare and Contrast
In the recent past, many people have become more interested in understanding the relationships between religions than before. The relationship between Buddhism and Christianity have been the center of interest among many scholars who strive to explore the differences and the similarities between the two faiths (Laughlin 78). The followers of the Buddhism are Buddhists while the followers of the Christianity are Christians. This paper will investigate how the two faiths are related by exploring their similarities and differences based on common goals, the difference in their metaphysical commitments, differences in their religious practice and the origin of each religion.
Both Buddhism and Christianity have specific common goals to achieve. The two faiths seem to provide principles that govern the interpersonal relationships; this entails helping the believers to understand how to treat one another. For example, the Christianity faith teaches that one should treat others nicely the same way he or she expects them to treat him or her. On the other side, Buddhism emphasizes on the observance of the morals. The two religions depict that lack of morality results in human ego which in return leads to problems such as greed, arrogance, and pride (Laughlin 83). Therefore, it is evident that both Christianity and Buddhism share the themes of morality and love that are meant to eliminate human suffering.Despite the molarity and love themes being the common goals shared by Buddhism and Christianity, there are also goals differences between the two religions. Buddhism religion aims at attaining enlightenment to protect them from the strings of birth and death and as a result, attain Nirvana. On the other side, the goal of Christianity is to obey God’s commandments, love Him and create a good relationship with Jesus Christ (Gutting). It is through Jesus Christ whereby Christians are influenced to spread the word God others understand Jesus Christ as their savior.
Secondly, the differences between Buddhism and Christianity can be explored from the metaphysical commitments point of view. First, the use of statutes is very common in Buddhism whereby it is used mediation images which are believed to possess Buddha qualities whereas in Christianity the use statutes are only common in Orthodox and Catholic Churches whereby they symbolize the presence of God. Secondly, Buddhists believe that universe was created by the personal God who was self-conscious; this means they reject the argument that God is an omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient creator. Christians believe in one God whom they refer as Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Thirdly, the Buddhism means of salvation entails reaching the Enlightenment level (Nirvana) through a Moral Eightfold Way. Christians acquire salvation through the passion that was shown by Jesus through his death and resurrection. Fourth, Tripitaka is the main scripture in Buddhism while Holy Bible is the major scripture in Christianity. Fifth, Buddhists religious law is Dharma while the Christians religious law is canon law that is largely practiced by Catholics. Sixth, the Buddhism common symbols comprise of victory banner, dharma chakra, vase, parasol, lotus, fish, endless knot, and conch. The common symbols in the Christianity religion comprise of Baby Jesus, Mary, ichthys, cross, and others. Seventh, Buddhists do not believe in the existence of sin. Christians believe in the existence of sin and whenever they seek repentance with God and priests for forgiveness. Eighth, the Buddhists believe in life after death that can only be broken if an individual attains nirvana. Christianity offers two options after death (Hell or Eternity in Heaven) (Gutting).
Buddhism and Christianity also portray religious differences in several aspects. The common religious practices among the Buddhists comprise of mediation and Eightfold Path. The Eightfold Path comprises of right concentration, right of aspiration, right mindfulness and others. The Christianity religious practices consist of player, communion, acts of charity, Bible reading, worshipping in church and sacraments (the only segment of Christians participate in this religious practice). The Buddhists worship in shrines, temples, and monasteries. Christians worship in church, home bible study, cathedral basilica, chapel and personal dwellings (Gutting).
The differences between Buddhism and Christianity extends further to the places of their origin. Before, putting down the origins of the two religions, it is important to establish who the founders of both Buddhism and Christianism were. The founder of Buddhism is believed to be Buddha who was born as a prince (Siddhartha). The founder of Christianism is the Jesus Christ who through His death and resurrection Christians were set free to worship his Father (God). The Buddhism is believed to have originated from the subcontinent of India while Christianism is believed to have its roots in the Roman Province in the place called Judea. The Buddhism original languages were Sanskrit and Pali. The Christianism original languages were Latin, Greek and Aramaic.
In conclusion, the analysis depicts that Buddhism and Christianism as two different religions whereby the differences supersedes the similarities. However, despite their differences, the two religions appear to aim at almost similar goals, molarity, and love themes. These goals ensure creation harmony through good interpersonal relations.