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Interreligious interactions are quite common and in spite of the numerous challenges that religion present against dialogue, nonetheless, certain individuals have pioneered in the aspect of spiritual exchange. Dialogue requires circumventing an obstacle at the spiritual stage to ensure that it becomes possible on a large scale at the same time is motivated by official channels.
This has been attained in the recent past, even though this effort is yet to take root among a majority of believers. Nonetheless, individuals are still in a position to reflect on the spiritual impact of such development (Bethune par. 1).
Dialogue has increasingly appeared challenging in terms of its depth from the previous time until now. There has been various exchanges within a neighbourly setting or at the educational level although a strong fear consume the parties, immediately the dialogue touched on more in-depth issues regarding the rationale for personal belief or experience of prayer.
To Westerners, such fear is tantamount to actual terror. Engagement in the counterpart’s prayer and communing in the sacred was regarded as the “abomination of desolation.” Nevertheless, attitudes developed timidly initially but this became radically with time (Bethune par. 2).
Attitudes developed within experiences of interreligious interactions clearly indicate that exchanges at the spiritual perspective were practical and astonishingly life-giving (Bethune par. 3).
Impact of interreligious exchanges
From anin-depth point of view, persons absorbed in their respective religious customs have the opportunity to share their experiences of faith and dedication, prayer meditation, methods and expression in their quest for the truth.
Interreligious dialogue usually drives individuals to share their rationale for their faith, and is limited by the existence of disparities, which can at times be prominent, but eventually, they yield to humility and trust to God. Thus, Christians are presented with a chance to present to others the opportunity to know the Gospel principles (Bethune par. 2).
Prayers and religion
Prayer and theology are expressed in different perspectives in the spiritual lives of both Christians and Buddhists. To begin with, mediation inclines towards Theravada Buddhism relative to rituality. It is a component of the noble eight-fold course and is crucial for spiritual growth.
On the other hand, Christianity involves an inverse arrangement the actual significance conferred customarily to communal worship and the sacraments. The restoration in Christian meditation, commonly via eastern influence, ignores the lack of certain things like the prayer of the heart found in the New Testament (Cowdell 193).
During the sixteenth century Carmelite reform, the greatest development of the Christian religion customs was remarkably mundane at times. With respect to Teresa of Avila within The Interior Castle the experience of meditation and the measure of the ideal spiritualist was not on the basis of a person’s psychophysiological position, but on the other hand, there is need to consider an individual’s humility, acceptance of toil, and appropriateness for community existence.
Worth noting, meditation within countries practicing Theravada has declined and most monks have stopped the practice altogether. Such event echoes Christian circumstances in which those practices have failed to involve the majority of the believers (Cowdell 194).
However, both Buddhists and Christians share many similarities. Any credible work on theology will describe the similarities of Buddhist and Christian modalities, while stressing on various aspect including; (a) the experiences of personal dissolution, (b) the residence of everything, (c) the Nihil, (d) the sense of need for moral change, (e) the trend towards a suppression of the body and its desires in preference for celibacy and asceticism, (f) the support of communal existence as a means of purgation, (g) the association of humans difficulties with ignorance and the consequent quest for knowledge, and (h) the awkwardness that commonly the association of spiritualists with the orthodox (Cowdell 194).
With regard to the theme of revelation, Christianity and Buddhism have become increasingly consistent in recent years. The Buddha together with Buddhism derived from an assessment of the dynamic human conditions, although customarily Christianity pursued a higher level since it was religion of revelation.
However, because what was successfully a final argument on this matter by Karl Barth and alongside his ‘positivism of revelation’, Christian philosophers have been increasingly ready to compromise a theological preliminary point from down, as opposed to maintaining on that from up like in the previous times (Cowdell, 194).
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Both Christianity and Buddhism appreciate the aspiration embedded in the human form. In this case Christianity regards it from an elevated perspective. On the other hand, Buddhism holds that human problems stems from ignorance similar with the Gnostic and hermetic version of Christianity. Still differently analysed, Christianity relies on ‘the fall’ mainstream manner of approaching the whole person and the conditions associated with him or her.
Nevertheless it is quite evident from the point of view of both religions’ anthropology that the human being is incomplete. The reactions to such awareness obviously are different. With regard to Christianity, the purpose of the spiritual existence has been to achieve the status of the fullness of the stature of the saviour.
The Orthodox churches in this regard consider it to imply deification, particularly in the Eucharist. Buddhism, on the other hand, has addressed the discharge from the needs and cravings, through the karmic wheel. However, this cannot be attained through repentance from whatever conception of sin, but rather through patient aspiration to achieve personal humility, the absence of any basis of the five skandhas, and hence advancing to the extinction cessation of nirvana (Cowdell 196).
The religions distinguish from one another on the materials available for spiritual progression. The Christian program concerns seeking for the sustenance of God or rather for the assistance of a collection of episodes and ordinances in which the transgressor can experience the Christ (radical Christians), while that of the Buddhist deals with a fight for spiritual freedom within just the limits of human resources.
According to Dubarle (71), whereas human assets in Buddhism are at a premium, it is nevertheless far from atheistic humanism converse to the common understanding. It minimally sustains the sense of harmony with everything that impedes the coming out of a promethean spirit. It also identifies the existence of ‘the other shore,’ although in the Lesser Vehicle it qualifies as a shoreline studded with a track of God (Cowdell, 196).
Buddhism besides being agnostic to in various perspective of God, including the Buddha’s plain scepticism to the ‘inferior’ Gods of a seemingly polytheistic Mahayana pantheon, it is also agnostic concerning the human person and its existence. At this point Buddhism is most divergent from its counterpart Christianity. However, Christians should not boast of their apparently superiority with regard to matter of religious believe. This paper focuses on those Christians who are God’s vociferous believers and seeming confidantes.
Cowdell, Scott. Buddhism and Christianity. Pp.190-198. 1989. Web.
de Bethune, Pierre-Francois. Christian-Buddhist Dialogue as Spiritual Experience.
Monastic Dialogue; translated by Sr. GilChrist Lavigne. Bulletin 52, January 1995. Web.
Dubarle, Daniel. Buddhist Spirituality and the Christian Idea of God. Concilium 116(1079): 71.