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Influences of Ancient Hinduism on Early Christianity






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Influences of Ancient Hinduism on Early Christianity

Influences of Ancient Hinduism on Early Christianity


Libros > Arte hindú > Influences of Ancient Hinduism on Early Christianity
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Especificaciones
Código del Artículo: IHE057

por A. L. Herman

Hardcover (Edición: 2009)

Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
ISBN 9788120832954

Tamaño: 8.8” X 5.8”
Páginas: 250 (30 B/W Illustrations)

Precio: Euro 27.82

Descripción
From the Jacket

This is a work about influences and what “influences” means. Following an analysis of this elusive concept, A. L. Herman presents compelling evidence that the following hypothesis is testable, defendable, and probably true: that the Indus Valley religion with its Savior-God, Siva (2500-1800 B.C.E.), significantly influenced a Greek religion with its Savior-God, Dionysos (1450 B.C.E.-300 C.E.), Which, in turn influenced the early Christian religion with its Savior-God, Jesus of Nazareth (50-300 C.E.), such that it can be meaningfully claimed that the religion of the Indus Valley civilization probably influenced early Christianity.

Prof. A. L. Herman was educated at Stanford University, Harvard University, of Minnesota. He is currently Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He is the author of numerous articles and books including: Community, Violence and Peace: Aldo Leopold, Mohandas K. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Gautama the Buddha in the 21st Century; The Problem of Evil and Indian Thought; A brief Introduction to Hinduism; The Ways of Philosophy: Searching for a Worthwhile Life, An Introduction to Indian Thought; An Introduction to Indian Thought; An Introduction to Indian Thought; An Introduction to Buddhist Thought: A Philosophic History of Indian Buddhism; The Bhagavad Gita: A Translation and Critical Commentary; Indian Folk Tales, Edited and Translated from the Sanskrit; and Problems in Philosophy, West and East, Co-edited with Russell T. Blackwood.

Preface

This is a work about influences and what “influences” means. It is also about the influence of one ancient Indian civilization’s religious beliefs on the religious beliefs of two Mediterranean religions, one from the first centuries before, and the other from the first centuries after, the Christian era. But the work is not so much an historical, archeological-anthropological investigation of three ancient cultures as it is a philosophical analysis of a concept; while it touches on the phenomenological influence of one set of religious beliefs on two other similar sets, it is more concerned with the nature of the relationship between and among these sets through so-called “influences”; that is to say, this is a work about influences, what “influences”; that is to say, this is a work about influences, what “influences” means and what can occur when that concept is said to apply between or among religious beliefs and practices.

Chapter one examines the concepts of influences and influencing in order to understand what it means when we say that something influences something else. To begin the examination we use two examples of influencing; the first shows the modern West influencing the modern East with the philosophy of Henry David Thorau and Leo Tolstoy influencing the philosophy of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi; the second shows the ancient East influencing the ancient West with the life of the founder of Buddhism, Gautama Siddhartha Sakyamuni, influencing the creation of two putative Christian saint, Barlaam and Josaphat.

Chapter Two, arguing that all religions are games, attempts to establish a module for religious game theory by posing four questions as an elegant way of comparing religious games and, with that, religions. Following a discussion of assumptions and uninterpreted religious paradigms, we compare three interpreted religious paradigms. We thereby test the heuristic value of that argument, those questions and the general methodology of this book for identifying resemblances and for comparing religions in order to talk about influences between and among religions. The first two interpreted paradigms are drawn from ancient Indian Vedism and Brahmanism and the third which these first two influenced is taken from the Bhagavad Gita of Hinduism; each paradigm will illustrate the methodology employed in this book for identifying a particular religion, and for talking about resemblances, and for further explicating and historically illustrating the concepts of influences and influencing of Chapter One.

Chapters three through Five offer and examine some rather compelling evidence for the claim that the Harappan religion of the Indus Valley Civilization of 2500-1800 B.C.E. significantly influenced the Dionysian religion of the ancient Mediterranean Greek and Roman world of 1450 B.C.E. - 300 C.E. which, in turn, significantly influenced the early Christian religion of that ancient Greek and Roman world of 50-300 C.E. for these chapters we concentrate on four seminal sources: Chapter three focuses on the pictographic stamp seals of the Indus Valley Civilization of the third millennium B.C.E.; Chapter Four turns to Euripides’ Greek tragic drama Bacchae of the fifth century B.C.E.; and Chapter Five takes up the Roman philosopher Celsus’ critique of Christianity in his On the True Doctrine of the second century C.E. and St. Paul’s Corinthian letters of the first century C.E. From the Indus seals comes the evidence for the nature and character of the future Hindu Savior and God, Siva; from the play Bacchae we derive the evidence for the Greek Savior and God, Dionysos; and from the essay On the True Doctrine and the Pauline letters we have the evidence for the Christian Savior and God, Jesus of Nazareth. Given the criteria of what “influence” means within the context of these three interpreted religious paradigms we then suggest that the conditions for influence are such that the following hypothesis is testable, defensible and may even be true: that the Indus Valley religion with its Savior-God, Siva (2500-1800 B.C.E.) probably influenced a Greek religion with its Savior-God Dionysos (1450 B.C.E.-300 C.E.) which, in turn, probably influenced the early Christian religion with its Savior-God, Jesus of Nazareth (50-300 C.E.), such that it can be meaningfully claimed that the religion of the Indus Valley Civilization probably influenced early Christianity.

The sixth and final chapter explores and critiques this claim and concludes with several problems and questions about influencing that would seem to follow.

Introduction

In the fifth chapter of his autobiography, Philosopher at large (1977), Mortimer J. Adler, the popular educator, philosopher and co-founder with Robert M. Hutchins of the Great Books program at the University of Chicago, talks about his seduction by the theology of St. Thomas Aquinas and his near-conversion to Roman Catholicism. Wishing to study Medieval philosophy while an instructor-student at Columbia University in 1925, his friend Richard McKeon advised him to go to a certain Catholic bookstore in Manhattan and buy and start reading the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas. At the bookstore Adler found a twenty-one volume set of the Summa Theologica; undeterred, he purchased volume one. Excitement mounting, he read the work and was “overwhelmed” by what he found. The effort that the great Summa had on him, he says, was “cataclysmic.” So profound was the influence that it completely altered his life and thought and compelled Adler to seriously consider converting from judaism to Roman Catholicism. It led to his making public speeches defending even the most outrageous practices of his new found religion. In an address given on April 3, 1935, Adler demonstrates how shamelessly deep the influence had gone:

Then comes the paragraph that justified James Farrel, in a 1940 Partisan Review article, to call Adler “a provincial Torquemade without an Inquisition”:

In his early career as a teacher at Columbia and Chicago and driven by an enthusiastic commitment to his new religion, Adler influenced dozens of his students, Jews, Protestants and humanists, into making a similar commitment, and even, for “a number of students,” this was followed by a conversion to Roman Catholicism. One can only marvel at the impact such a teacher and teaching, for good or ill, must have had.

Mortimer J. Adler was the secondary influence in the conveyance of these Thomistic ideas from St. Thomas and his great Summa would constitute the primary influence. So it seems quite clear that if St. Thomas influenced Mortimer Adler and if Adler influenced his students then St. Thomas influenced Adler’s students. While no one would seriously quibble about claiming such a transitive relation between St. Thomas, Mortimer Adler and Adler’s students, the line of influence in many cases is not so obvious. This book is about such influences and such apparently transitive relations of influences. In particular, it is about the influence of one ancient Indian civilization’s religious beliefs on the religious beliefs of two Mediterranean religions, on from the first centuries before, and the other from the first centuries after, the Christian era. It seeks to answer, inter alia, the central question: did the Harappan religion of the Indus Valley Civilization (2500-1800 C.E.) such that we can meaningfully ask, did a religion of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization influence early Christianity?

Contents

Preface xi
Introduction 1
Chapter One: Influences and Influencing 12
SOMETHING ABOUT INFLUENCES 12
Thoreau, Tolstoi and Gandhi:
The West Influences the East 14
Gautama the Buddha and Barlaam and Jasaphat:
The East Influences the West 31
Philosophic Intellectual Influences 49
Religious Intellectual Influences 51
Religious Absolutism and Religious Relativism 55
CONCLUSION 58
Chapter Two: Religions as Games 60
SOMETHING ABOUT ASSUMPTIONS 61
Philosophical Assumptions 61
Psychological Assumptions 62
SOMETHING ABOUT GAMES: THE PRESCRIPTION FOR LIBERATION FROM SUFFERING 64
Game Questions and the Joy of Games 65
THE FIVE NOBLE TRUTHS OF BUDDHISM 66
SOMETHING ABOUT INTERPRETED PARADIGMS 70
Games Theory and Models 74
THE INFLUENCES OF VEDISM AND BRAHMANISM ON HINDUISM 79
Hinduism: Prescriptions, Games and Influences 80
about Influences, Again 83
CONCLUSION 86
Chapter Three: The Harappan Religious Game 88
THE HARAPPAN RELIGION88
The Origin and History of the Indus Valley Civilization 88
Civicide: The Decline and Fall of the Harappans 94
The Worship of the Harappan God Siva 100
Something About Sacred Trees and Baths 103
Something About Mystery Religions, Plays, Games and Movies 108
The Blurring of the Secular and the Sacred 112
Votive Religions 116
Mystery Religions 118
A Harappan Mystery Religion: Three Interpretations125
A Harappan Mystery Religion: A Philosophic Reconstruction 128
CONCLUSION 136
Chapter Four: The Dionysian Religious Game 137
THE DIONYSIAN RELIGION 137
The Origins and History of Dionysos 138
The Worship of the Greek Savior Dionysos 140
The Bacchae of Euripides 142
THE INFLUENCE OF THE HARAPPAN RELIGION ON THE DIONYSIAN RELIGION 160
Ten Crucial Similarities Between the Harappan Religion and the Dionysian Religion 162
CONCLUSION 164
Chapter Five: The Christian Religious Game 165
THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION 165
Christians’ Beliefs through Pagan Eyes 168
The Christian Myth of the Second Century 170
On the True Doctrine of Celsus 179
Paul, Corinth and Dionysos 195
Paul Among the Corinthians: Magic and Mystery 199
THE INFLUENCE OF THE DIONYSIAN RELIGION ON THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION 211
Ten Crucial Similarities Between the Dionysian Religion and the Christian Religion 213
CONCLUSION 215
Chapter Six: Influences, Questions, and Problems 217
SOMETHING ABOUT TRANSITIVITY 218
Causally Transitive Influences 219
THREE PROBLEMS ABOUT RELIGIOUS INFLUENCES 223
The Problem Tat Similarity Does Not
Imply Dependence: An Empirical Problem 223
The Problem of Causal Transitivity:
A Logical Problem 226
The Problem of Who Cares:
A Practical Problem 227
The Problem of Religious Relativism Revisited 228
CONCLUSION 230
Table I. The Rx for Liberation from Suffering: Early Buddhism 71
Table II. The Rx for Liberation from Suffering: Vedism and Brahmanism 73
Table III. Game Theory Questions and Two Paradigm Models 74
Table IV. The Rx for Liberation from Suffering: The Bhagavad Gita 81
Table V. Game Theory Questions and the Hindu Model82
Table VI. Ten Characteristics of the Harappan Religion (Pictographic Seals) 132
Table VII. The Rx for Liberation from Suffering: The Harappan Religion 133
Table VIII. Game Theory Questions and the Harappan Religion 135
Table IX. Ten Characteristics of the Dionysian Religion (Euripides) 154
Table X. The Rx for Liberation from Suffering: The Dionysian (Bacchae) Religion 156
Table XI. Game Theory Questions and the Dionysian Religion 159
Table XII. Ten Crucial Similarities Between the Harappan Religion and the Dionysian Religion 162
Table XIII. Ten Characteristics of the Christian Religion (Celsus) 206
Table XIV. The Rx for Liberation from Suffering: The Christian Religion 207
Table XV. Game Theory Question and the Christian Religion 211
Table XVI. Ten Crucial Similarities Between the Dionysian Religion and the Christian Religion 214
Appendix A : Indus Valley (Mohenjodaro) and Modern Materials
Figures 1-15: Indus Seals and Comparative figures 232
Figure 9a: Sketch of Harappan Sacrifice 235
Figure 16: Harappan Masks 236
Figure 17: Dancing Male Figure (Harappan) 237
Figure 18: The Dance of Siva 237
Appendix B: Greek Dionysian Materials
Figures 19-22: Dionysian Greek Vasa Paintings and Pillar 238
Figures 23-26: Dionysian Greek Vase Paintings Depicting an Older Dionysos 239
Figures 27-28: The Younger Dionysos 240
Appendix C: Christian Materials
Figure 29: Jesus Christ as the Tree of Life and Savior 241
Figures 30: The Sacred Tree in Christianity 242
Acknowledgements 243
Index 245

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