Max Müler in Introduction to the Science of Religion (1873), borrows from Goethe on languages, saying that "he who knows only one religion, knows none".
There are many books and web sites comparing the most prevalent religions. I have neither the time or interest in competing with them, but I did decide I ought to learn more about another religion to better understand my Christian upbringing.
The obvious choice might be to compare Christianity and Islam, the two most prevalent religions and the two which seem to be causing the most news and conflict in the world today.
However, Islam and Christianity have too many commonalities, Mid-eastern roots, Both based on Abrahamic (Patriarch of Judaism), monotheistic, tradition; Christ was descended from Abraham's son Isaac and Mohammad, founder of Islam, is descended from Abraham's son Ishmael.
Islam and Christianity are compared at places like ReligiousTolerance.org
Buddhism is an older religion, polytheistic and the largest religion in central and eastern asia. It shares with Hinduism belief in karma, dharma, and reincarnation.
Even though Buddhism is the fourth largest religion worldwide, according to most accounts it is the third largest religion in the United States after Christianity and Judaism.
Another reason is my late wife was from Taiwan, a Buddhist country.
And fourth I spent three weeks in Tibet in 2002 visiting the Potala in Lasa plus other Buddhist monasteries.
Buddhism was created by Sakyamuni in India around the 6th century B.C. Believing that human life is miserable and spiritual emancipation is the highest goal to seek. It was introduced into China through Central Asia around the time Christ was born. After a few centuries of assimilation, Buddhism evolved into many sects in the Sui and Tang Dynasties and became localized. That was also a process when the ingenuous culture of Confucianism and Taoism were blended with Buddhism. Chinese Buddhism has the greatest influence on traditional ideology and art.
Stay tuned. I just started to build this page.
Comparison of Buddhism and Christianity at ReligiousTolerance.org
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last updated 11 July 2010