The eastern religions include Jainism, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism. The Western religions, on the other hand, comprise of Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism, and Judaism. Looking carefully at the two categorizations of religion one can not fail to notice the vast differences and similarities that exist between then in the processes leading to their formation.
One of the bands that tie the likes of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and majority of the so-called western religions together is the fact that they all originated from their patriarch Abraham, in fact the word Abrahamic has of late be coined to describe to the three major religions making up the western religions (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism) (Tillman, & Cason, 25). As for the eastern religions, their common denominator is the fact that the major ones (Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism) are all offshoots of Hinduism (Tillman, & Cason, 25).
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Eastern Religions seem to have a common concept of humanity as an important component of universe while Western religion and especially Christianity seem more focused on humanity relationship with God, than on one-on-one relationship that is emphasizes by Hinduism, Buddhism and almost all other religions of the East (Tillman, & Cason, 36). What we are saying is that western religions’ goals are more introspective and unitive, while the focus of the eastern religion is to be extrovert and dualistic.
The eastern bloc seems obsessed with God with its adherents experiencing his omnipresence at all times, which is essentially the reason why they considered everything to be sacred (Tillman, & Cason, 45). The western bloc on it part consider the idea of God pervading everything deviant if not sacrilege, because according to them not everything ought to be considered as sacred if anything there are those that they consider profane. The Eastern religions emphasize on karma, liberation, and reincarnation, while their Western counterpart theorize one life for the soul that precede punishment or reward.
The personal and mystic experience of god is at the heart of the eastern religions, while western religions believe that it is the duty of each person to search for personal knowledge of God. Western religion are therefore more obsessed with the faith and believe in God, which therefore translate to a virtuous life as opposed to personal and inner experience of God that eastern religions propagate for. Eastern religions do not oppose variety in form of worship as long as they all ultimately lead to God, which is not the case with Western religion majority of which propagate for a single path leading to God.
While western religion believe in an imminent judgment day, eastern religion do not agree in the existence of a judgment day, if anything they strongly believe that God does, and will never judge or even punish (Tillman, & Cason, 63). In fact eastern religions exonerate man from any wrongdoing from his action here on earth, arguing that he is constantly in a progressive path leading to eventual immortality (Tillman, & Cason, 72). Western religions, on the other hand, believe that man plight is primarily due to his disbelief and nonacceptance of his laws and disobedient to his will.
On evil, almost all eastern religion believe that there is no genuine evil in the world, rather, everything on earth is a creation of God and therefore not intrinsically evil. Western religion on the other hand strongly believe that genuine evil reside on earth (Tillman, & Cason, 64), which according to them is a force that is perpetually in opposition to God will.