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Why do all world-religions come from the East?

Discussion in 'Comparative Religion' started by Marble, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. Marble

    Marble Rolling Marble

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    Taoism, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Baha'i Faith - none of these originated in the West, the South, or the North.
    Is there any scientific theory to axplain why all major religions come form the East?
     
  2. Abuser

    Abuser Microbrewologist

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    633
    Southern populations celebrated tribal beliefs, such as animism and shamanism. These societies were less technologically advanced, so people from the developed nations saw them as barbaric and backwards. This prejudice extended towards their religious beliefs. As a result, their religions were rarely if ever taken seriously and people outside their cultures did not adopt them. Colonialism didn't help matters much either.
     
  3. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora Staff Member Premium Member

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    Religion:
    Erotic Dance
    If you live in Japan, most of them come from the West. :D
     
  4. Abuser

    Abuser Microbrewologist

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    633
    This is true. :yes:
     
  5. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora Staff Member Premium Member

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    56,261
    Religion:
    Erotic Dance
    The world's three greatest proselytizing religions are Eastern or Middle Eastern. Christianity, Islam and Buddhism were historically some of the earliest religions that we know of to proselytize and are now the world's three largest religions.

    I suppose if the Aztecs had sent out sales people to proselytize their religion, MesoAmerica would have been all Aztec by the time of the Spanish Invasion.
     
  6. Boethiah

    Boethiah Penguin

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    258
    This. Religions in the Americas struggled against each other and grew with each other, but the less technologically advanced people who practiced those traditions had trouble competing with colonials. Now they are not so prominent.

    The Americas have seen religions too... Mormonism was founded in the United States, and many New Religious Movements have been founded in the United States. I am not so sure about South and Central America. The NRM's of today sometimes become the world religions of tomorrow.
     
  7. Marble

    Marble Rolling Marble

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    1,973
    Those do not count for me as they are offsprings of one of the major religions.
    The question is: Why did such refined philosophies not develope elswhere?
    I'm not absolutely sure, but my impression is that the pagan traditions of, as an example, the Romans or Greeks are far less complex than those of the Egyptians or Hindus and mainly concerned with earthly matters.
     
  8. fallingblood

    fallingblood Agnostic Theist

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    It also doesn't hurt that the strongest and earliest civilizations originated in the East.
     
  9. waitasec

    waitasec New Member

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    wait, don't the north and south american indians count for something?
    they had their religion too...
     
  10. Abuser

    Abuser Microbrewologist

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    633
    They too fall under the umbrella of "barbaric culture." Sometimes the civilized world isn't. ;)
     
  11. Madhuri

    Madhuri RF Goddess Staff Member Premium Member

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    Religion:
    Bhagavad Gita - SD
    Exactly.
    And from those places, the ideas of spirituality, gods, worship etc. spread outwardly to the surrounding societies. There seems to have been a lot of trade and relations between places like India and the Middle East and also Greece. Cultures influence each other.
     
  12. gnomon

    gnomon Well-Known Member

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    Jainism, Sikhism, Bahai'i and Judaism are not major world religions in terms of population. I would only mark Judaism as a major world religion in terms of influence. African traditionalism has more adherents than all four of those combined. Chinese traditionalism about three times more than African traditionalism.

    Hinduism is probably due to the massive population as well as geographically ideal location of the Indian subcontinent.

    Than there is the question of East. Historically speaking it is fitting to refer to the Middle East, North Africa and Southern European cultures during the BC time as Mediterranean. Not Eastern. Christianity developed with a heavy dose of Platonism which is considered Western but it's still part of the overall Mediterranean culture. The cultures along that sea were not living in isolated communities.

    As far as why American indigenous religions did not become as prominent part of it is due to this thing called ethnic cleansing.

    In other words, I fail to see the veracity of the question in our current understanding of history. If Christianity had not been adopted by some pre-Roman collapse Germanic cultures much of Christianity as well as Judaism might be more of a footnote after the Vandals, Visigoths, etc. had put an end to the Western Roman Empire while possessing different religious traditions than that of the "official" church and Arianism. But....that's not the way it happened. Thus bunny rabbits hiding chocolate eggs as a metaphor for Jesus followed later in the year by a Winter Solstice celebration and dreams of snow for the birth of a man near a desert. I guess that's Eastern.
     
  13. Boethiah

    Boethiah Penguin

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    258
    That is true. It is a bit different. However, I would argue that religions are rarely "created" within short periods of time. I would say that religious traditions often evolve from other traditions over time along with various historical events (migrations merging cultures, war, big events, etc) even with a prophet.

    Christianity did not begin big and refined. Judaism had to exist for Christianity to exist, for example. Maybe in this sense one could say that all traditions are offsprings of something else. Eastern religion has had the benefit of political influence. Religions don't spread themselves, people spread religious ideas around with some sort of intent.

    Both are sometimes reliant on each other. If one believes that their religion is right and they should spread it, they might be more inclined to spread that belief to others. One who has an opposite belief might not be as inclined.

    These are just propositions, I am not asserting anything. But, what makes a world religion? A religion that a lot of people believe in? That has everything to do with imperialism and conversion. It also has a lot to do with the fact that humans talk with each other about religion sometimes. Some religions just had more publicity and were able to access wider audiences. There are some small religions out there that are like indie bands. They are talented, but they haven't signed onto a major record label (or they do not want to).
     
  14. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber New Member

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    In fact, religions tend to arise wherever civilization is minimal and humanity has reached a nadir of spirituality (in a given Age).

    So in fact, having a new religion appear in a given locale is anything BUT a compliment!

    Peace,

    Bruce
     
  15. gnomon

    gnomon Well-Known Member

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    Maybe new religions come from the east because labor is cheaper.

    What?
     
  16. Wombat

    Wombat New Member

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    What a wonderful question!.....Frubals to you!

    Here's another question to go with it- Why do none of these religions arise in the same time frame? Why, in ten thousand years of recorded history, do we never get a Jesus and Mohamed in the same period?...Or a Krishna and a Moses in the same time frame?

    In every other field of human endevour we get great writers, philosophers, scientists and artists in pairs and clusters throughout history.

    Why are the religious greats spread like a string of pearls.....or....like independent teachers in the classrooms of each seperate age?

    ;).......;).....;)........;)......;).........;)........;).......

    And...as you point out...ALL from the 'Stable' or Accademy of the East.

    Any other similarities?

    Versions of the Golden Rule in 21 world religions
     
  17. fallingblood

    fallingblood Agnostic Theist

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    Actually, we do have time periods in which there are booms in religion. I forget the term that is used for this period of time, but it was around 500 B.C.E.
     
  18. WayFarer

    WayFarer Rogue Scholar

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    Scientific theory, maybe not so much, but you need look no further than to your history books to find out why.

    Christianity, which you list as an eastern religion, was at the right place at the right time to rise into a position of prominence. Roman emperor Constantine tired of the divisiveness that thrived in his empire. He wanted to put all the eggs in one basket. So he looked at the religions that flourished in his empire and found Christianity had much of what he wanted. It simplified things (fewer gods), offered a history that showed rulers often had god's attention and it came with a nice "do this, don't do this" list. Not to mention "give unto Caesar..." which meant him. So he made it the official "state sponsored" religion. Got various religious leaders together and figured out which books should go into the collection and which ones shouldn't (council of Nicaea). After that, with religious leaders who five minutes ago were on the down-trodden and repressed list now members of the up-and-comers group backing his play, it was back to running and empire... a Roman empire. So that means crush your enemies (some of the bloodiest days in the arenas was after the conversion) if they don't capitulate. The new and improved Romanized version of Christianity fell right in step with the empire building methods that had so successfully worked for the empire in the past. So religions that they ran into (Teutonic/Celtic/whoever) converted, subverted (minor players could receive the backing of the church if they converted and helped to convert others), or where crushed. This also occurred in the "new world" as well. So the main answer to your question of "why all major religions come form the East?" is that they were fairly successfully suppressed/repressed/exterminated elsewhere where (generally) less well organized resistance was met.
     
  19. Wombat

    Wombat New Member

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    With unconvinced regret....Google of various combinations of- ' religion boom period'......brings up.................nothing.:faint:

    Look forward to any evidence of any of these major living faiths being binary (and point out that historical scholarship and accuracy in regard pinpointing anyones birth/death "around 500 B.C.E" is problematic in the extreem)
     
  20. Wombat

    Wombat New Member

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    927
    Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!...........I love it!

    This is the religion we will crucify the leader thereof. This is the religion we will ban.
    This is the religion we will hound and persecute. This is the religion we will round up and feed to the lions. This is the religion we will consistantly tell our people is evil and opposed to the State........

    As leader of the State I desire a new "eggs in one basket" religion so I will pick the one the State has been running deadly propoganda/persecution against for decades.
    ...It's simple and comes with nice "do this, don't do this" rules and the people will therefore not be shocked, outraged and up in arms when I dispose of their ancestoral gods in favor of the religion we said was part of the axis of evil.

    Alternative historical reading- The writing was already on the wall. Despite the prolonged and determined persecution of Christianity by the State it was still spreading and spreading fast. Romans, in increasingly greater numbers, chose to abandon the old gods and embrace Christianity.

    Constantine, like any astute politician/leader capable of rising to the status of emperor of Rome, saw which way the wind was blowing and went, at considerable risk and against the powers that be, with the will of the people.
     
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