Relationship between religion and science - Wikipedia
Relationships between Christianity and other religions
The Center became a reality only after long and searching investigation by its founder and current director, Terry O. Trowbridge. But its seeds became embedded in his soul while he was living and working in Italy in 1978. It was during an early weekend afternoon on a beautiful summer day while he was following the delightful local custom of taking a siesta, and reading an article about the conflict in Northern Ireland between the Protestants and Roman Catholics. Pondering that article the question came to mind: why were there such problems in the world? Why hadn’t, during the ages, man or the religions themselves, been able to solve the problem of “religious-based conflict”? Why the dichotomy of these conflicts, continuing and even expanding in an otherwise increasingly more civilized world?
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We are not a religion, or in any way associated with any religion – though we respect all religions and feel they all are important – but are a totally independent organization. The Center does not substitute or duplicate initiatives of other religions or organizations, but strives rather to compliment them – offering a practical, additional approach towards the reduction of religious-based conflict not heretofore employed.
Religion - New World Encyclopedia
Sad to saythat some of these conflicts have been abetted if not aggravated by religions,flaring up in open armed conflicts and bloody repression as in Indonesiabetween Muslims and
Causes of Conflict between Christians and Muslims in …
The Rig Veda or other Hindu religious texts do not directly mention Mazda worship or Mazda worshippers. Rather, they mention a set of deities who carry the title asura.
The word asura is the Vedic equivalent of the Avestan ahura. Avestan words can frequently be changed to their Sanskrit equivalent by replacing h with s. Ahura is in turn said to be derived from the word ahu, meaning lord. As with the English word 'lord', ahu is a descriptive title for both a human lord (e.g. a feudal lord or landlord) and a divine lord. In the Avesta, God or Mazda, is sometimes addressed as Ahura (Lord) and sometimes as Ahura Mazda (Lord God). The use of the words in this manner can also be found in the Judeo-Christian Bible.
It is pertinent to note that in the older Veda, the Rig Veda, the term asura or lord is used (as in the Avesta) for individual gods and for people - but never for a group of gods. In other words, asura does not define a class of gods. Rather it is a title. In these older Vedic texts, the term deva, however, is used for both individual gods and the group of devas (visve devah). In other words, deva is used both as a title - a superior god - and as the name for the group of gods. Some gods with the title asura are also referred to as devas. This nomenclature changes in the later Vedic texts, where the word asura is used as a title and as the name of a group of gods, gods who had evolved into demons.
There is a considerable difference in the way asuras are treated in the older and younger Vedic texts and the difference may help us understand the manner in which the Aryan religions, and the relationship between them, evolved.
In the earlier Vedas, the devas and asuras are said to have been born of a common parent, but the asuras were the older (purva-deva) and stronger siblings - powerful and beneficent gods who merited equal if not greater respect than the devas.
In the later Vedic texts starting with the Atharva Veda, the asuras are referred to in the plural, that is as a group of deities. It is also in these later texts that the asuras are depicted as being opposed to the devas. In conflicts between the two, the asuras were invariably victorious. The devas were victorious when they used a ruse or received the help of a benefactor trickster such as Vishnu.
In the post Vedic texts such as the , and , the asuras are transformed and treated as a group of demons who possess the vices of pride, arrogance, conceit, anger, harshness, and ignorance (Gita 16.4). In the texts, the asuras are hostile and opposed to the devas with whom they are in constant conflict.
However, no individual god who carries the title asura in the Rig Veda ever appears as an inimical adversary of the deva gods in the later Hindu religious texts, and none of the gods who bore the title asura in the older Rig Veda are mentioned in these later texts. In other words, the asuras of the earlier texts are not to be considered as demons. In one later text, the , the new character of the asuras are accompanied with a new word, sura, meaning god, thereby implying that asura meant a-sura or a not-god.
It stands to reason that the change in the way the asuras were perceived by the deva worshippers closely parallels the changes in the relations between the asura and deva worshippers. There is an acknowledgement that the asura worship preceded deva worship and that in the early years, the asura worshippers were the dominant group.
A name that appears to be common to both the Avesta and Vedas is the Vedic asura Mitra (also see ) and the Avestan Mithra. In the Vedas, Mitra is often addressed together with the asura Varuna.
While the Vedas tend to anthropomorphize all its deities, it is probable that the asuras, Varuna, Mithra and Agni were originally invisible, non-anthropomorphic, genderless, non-iconic deities (cf. the attributes of Mazda) who may have been worshipped together as Asura worship or exclusively as Mazda worship.
, Hale, Wash Edward (1986), Delhi, Motilal Banarsidass
- Asura in Early Vedic Religion, Oct-Dec, 1993 by Stanley Insler.