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Soteriology

Soteriology (; Greek:σωτηρία sōtēria "salvation" from σωτήρ sōtēr "savior, preserver" and λόγος logos "study" or "word") is the study of religious doctrines of salvation. Salvation theory occupies a place of special significance in many religions. In the academic field of religious studies, soteriology is understood by scholars as representing a key theme in a number of different religions and is often studied in a comparative context; that is, comparing various ideas about what salvation is and how it is obtained.

Contents

Main article: Nirvana (Buddhism)

Buddhism is devoted primarily to liberation from suffering by breaking free of samsara, the cycle of compulsory rebirth, by attaining nirvana. Many types of Buddhism, Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana (or Tantric), emphasize an individual's meditation and subsequent liberation from samsara, which is to become enlightened.

Thus, the fundamental reason that the precise identification of these two kinds of clinging to an identity – personal and phenomenal – is considered so important is again soteriological. Through first uncovering our clinging and then working on it, we become able to finally let go of this sole cause for all our afflictions and suffering.

However, the Pure Land traditions of Mahayana Buddhism generally focus on the saving nature of the Celestial Buddha Amitābha. In Buddhist eschatology, it is believed that we are currently living in the Latter Day of the Law, a period of 10,000 years where the corrupt nature of the people means the teachings of the Buddha are not listened to.[citation needed] Before this era, the bodhisattva Amitābha made 48 vows, including the vow to accept all sentient beings that called to him, to allow them to take refuge in his Pure land and to teach them the pure dharma. It is therefore considered ineffective to trust in personal meditational and even monastic practices, but to only trust in the primal vow of Amitābha.

In Christianity, salvation, also called "deliverance" or "redemption", is the saving of human beings from sin and its consequences. Variant views on salvation are among the main lines dividing the various Christian denominations, being a point of disagreement between Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, as well as within Protestantism, notably in the Calvinist–Arminian debate. These lines include conflicting definitions of depravity, predestination, atonement, and most pointedly, justification. Christian soteriology ranges from exclusive salvation: p.123 to universal reconciliation concepts.

While some of the differences are as widespread as Christianity itself, the overwhelming majority agrees that salvation is made possible by the life, crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Main article: Moksha

Soteriology is discussed in Hinduism through its principle of moksha, also called Nirvana or Kaivalya. “In India,” wrote Mircea Eliade, “metaphysical knowledge always has a soteriological purpose. Moksha refers to freedom from saṃsāra, the cycle of death and rebirth. There are various principles and practises that can lead to the state of Moksha including Vedas and Tantras being the basic Scriptures for guidance along with many others like Upanishads, Puranas and more.

Main article: Salvation § Islam

Muslims believe that everyone is responsible for their own actions. So even though Muslims believe that Adam and Hawwa (Eve), the parents of humanity, committed a sin by eating from the forbidden tree and thus disobeying God, they believe that humankind is not responsible for such an action. They believe that God (Allah) is fair and just and one should request forgiveness from him to avoid being punished for not doing what God asked of them and for listening to Satan. Muslims believe that they, as well as everyone else, are vulnerable to making mistakes and thus they need to seek repentance repeatedly at all times.

Muhammad said "By Allah, I seek the forgiveness of Allah and I turn to Him in repentance more than seventy times each day." (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 6307) God wants his servants to repent and forgives them, he rejoices over it, as Muhammad said: "When a person repents, Allah rejoices more than one of you who found his camel after he lost it in the desert." (Agreed upon. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 6309) Islamic tradition has generally held that it is relatively straightforward to enter Jannah (Paradise). In the Quran, God says: "If you avoid the great sins you have been forbidden, We shall wipe out your minor misdeeds and let you through the entrance of honor [Paradise]."

Main article: Moksha (Jainism)

In Jainism, the soteriological concept is moksha, but it is explained differently than the similar term found in Hinduism. Moksha is a blissful state of existence of a soul, completely free from the karmic bondage, free from saṃsāra, the cycle of birth and death.

In contemporary Judaism, redemption (Hebrew ge'ulah) is God's redeeming the people of Israel from their various exiles. This includes the final redemption from the present exile. Judaism holds that adherents do not need personal salvation, as Christians believe. Jews do not believe in original sin. Instead, they place a high value on individual morality as defined in the law of God—embodied in what Jews know as the Torah or The Law, given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai, the summary of which is comprised in the Ten Commandments. The Jewish sage Hillel the Elder states that The Law can be further compressed in just one line, popularly known as the Golden Rule: "That which is hateful to you, do not do unto your fellow".

In Judaism, salvation is closely related to the idea of redemption, saving from the states or circumstances that destroy the value of human existence. God, as the universal spirit and creator of the world, is the source of all salvation for humanity, provided an individual honours God by observing his precepts. So redemption or salvation depends on the individual. Judaism stresses that salvation cannot be obtained through anyone else or by just invoking a deity or believing in any outside power or influence.

Some passages in Jewish religious texts assert that no afterlife exists, even for the good and just, with the Book of Ecclesiastes telling the faithful: "The dead know nothing. They have no reward and even the memory of them is lost." For many centuries, rabbis and Jewish laypeople have often wrestled with such passages.

In the mystery religions, salvation was less worldly and communal, and more a mystical belief concerned with the continued survival of the individual soul after death. Some savior gods associated with this theme are dying-and-rising gods, often associated with the seasonal cycle, such as Osiris, Tammus, Adonis, and Dionysus. A complex of soteriological beliefs was also a feature of the cult of Cybele and Attis.

The similarity of themes and archetypes to religions found in antiquity to later Christianity has been pointed out by many authors, including the Fathers of the early Christian church. One view is that early Christianity borrowed these myths and motifs from contemporary Hellenistic mystery religions, which possessed ideas such as life-death-rebirth deities and sexual relations between gods and human beings. While Christ myth theory is not accepted by mainstream historians, proponents attempt to establish causal connections to the cults of Mithras, Dionysus, and Osiris among others.

More than a century after the establishment of the Garden, the school in which Epicurus of Samos taught philosophy, we begin to see that some people in the Roman world are calling Epicurus their Savior. The most prominent soul saved by Epicurus was the Roman Empress Pompeia Plotina. Lucretius, author of De Rerum Natura, also depicts the salvific power of philosophy, and of his Scholarch Epicurus, by employing literary devices like the "Broken Jar parable" (where the Scholarch is credited with helping mortals to easily enjoy pleasure), poetry, and imagery.

The salvation of Epicurus has no otherworldly connotations whatsoever. Judging from his Principal Doctrines and Letter to Menoeceus, he salves his disciples from supernatural fears and excessive desires for what is not natural, and gives his disciples clear ethical guidelines that lead to happiness. Lucretius says Epicurus has set the boundaries for the limits of nature. His followers in Roman times developed Epicurus into a culture hero, and revered him as the founding figure of his School, and as the first to have developed a fully naturalistic cosmology that emancipated mortals from all fear-based superstition.

Sikhism advocates the pursuit of salvation through disciplined, personal meditation on the name and message of God, meant to bring one into union with God. But a person's state of mind has to be detached from this world, with the understanding that this world is a temporary abode and their soul has to remain untouched by pain, pleasure, greed, emotional attachment, praise, slander and above all, egotistical pride. Thus their thoughts and deeds become "nirmal" or pure, and they merge with God or attain "union with God", just as a drop of water falling from the skies merges with the ocean.[citation needed]

Shinto and Tenrikyo similarly emphasize working for a good life by cultivating virtue or virtuous behavior.

In an age which still saw salvation as primarily collective - based on the religion of the family, clan, or state - rather than the emerging province of the individual (as popularized by Buddhism and the mystery religions such as Mithraism), Hellenistic ruler cults from about 300 BCE sometimes promoted the revering of a king as the savior of his people. Prominent examples included Ptolemy I Soter of Egypt and the Seleucids Antiochus I Soter and Demetrius I Soter. In the Egyptian context, the deification of a ruler built on traditional pharaonic religious ideas.

  1. "soteriology", definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary which erroneously gives neuter nominative of the corresponding adjective, σωτήριον, as the base.
  2. Karl Brunnholzl page 131 of his book "The Center of the Sunlet Sky, Madhyamaka in the Kagyu Tradition"
  3. Shinran, "Hymns on the offense of doubting the primal vow".
  4. "The saving of the soul; the deliverance from sin and its consequences" OED 2nd ed. 1989.
  5. Wilfred Graves, Jr., In Pursuit of Wholeness: Experiencing God's Salvation for the Total Person (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image, 2011), 9, 22, 74-5.
  6. Newman, Jay. Foundations of religious tolerance. University of Toronto Press, 1982. ISBN 0-8020-5591-5
  7. Parry, Robin A. Universal salvation? The Current Debate. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2004. ISBN 0-8028-2764-0
  8. "Christian Doctrines of Salvation." Religion facts. June 20, 2009. http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/beliefs/salvation.htm
  9. In Az-Zumar (The Groups) chapter, in verse 7, in the Qur'an, "No bearer of Burdens shall bear the burden of another" [39:7]. So repentance in Islam is to be forgiven from the poor decisions sent forth by one's hand. In Islam, for one to repent, s/he has to admit to Allah that they were disobedient, feel regret for their behavior, be willing not to do the same again and finally to ask for repentance through prayer. S/he does not need to go to speak to someone to deserve the repentance, simply during the prayer, s/he speaks to her/his God, Allah (prays) asking His forgiveness. Allah said in the Qur'an "O you who believe! Turn to Allah with sincere repentance! It may be that your Lord will expiate from you your misdeeds, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise)". al-Tahreem 66:8 Muslims believe that God is merciful and thus believers are expected to continuously seek forgiveness so that their misdeeds may be forgiven. "Say: O my servants who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds) Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily, Allah forgives all. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” al-Zumar 39:53 and also "And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allah’s forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful" al-Nisaa 4:110.
  10. An’Nisa 4:31
  11. Christopher Key Chapple (2006). Jainism and Ecology: Nonviolence in the Web of Life. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 90–92. ISBN 978-81-208-2045-6.
  12. "Reb on the Web". Kolel: The Adult Centre for Liberal Jewish Learning. RetrievedNovember 1, 2010.
  13. Salvation, Judaism. [1] Accessed 4 May 2013
  14. "How Does a Jew Attain Salvation?" [2] Accessed: 4 May 2013
  15. Malekar, Ezekiel Isaac. "THE SPEAKING TREE: Concept of Salvation In Judaism". The Times of India. [3] Accessed: 4 May 2013
  16. Ecclesiastes 9:5
  17. "Theologies of Immanence / Soteriology". pagantheologies.pbworks.com.
  18. Giulia Sfameni Gasparro. Soteriology and mystic aspects in the cult of Cybele and Attis.
  19. "POCM Pagan Origins of the Christ Myth". pocm.info.
  • John McIntyre, Shape of Soteriology: Studies in the Doctrine of the Death of Christ, T&T Clark, 1992.
  • Kumar, Santosh (2019), Salvation: In the Light of the Cross and the Crescent, Notion Press, ISBN 9781647604974

Soteriology
Soteriology Language Watch Edit Soteriology s e ˌ t ɪer i ˈ ɒ l e dʒ i Greek swthria sōteria salvation from swthr sōter savior preserver and logos logos study or word 1 is the study of religious doctrines of salvation Salvation theory occupies a place of special significance in many religions In the academic field of religious studies soteriology is understood by scholars as representing a key theme in a number of different religions and is often studied in a comparative context that is comparing various ideas about what salvation is and how it is obtained Contents 1 Buddhism 2 Christianity 3 Hinduism 4 Islam 5 Jainism 6 Judaism 7 Mystery religions 8 Epicurean Philosophy 9 Sikhism 10 Other religions 11 See also 12 References 13 Further readingBuddhism EditMain article Nirvana Buddhism Buddhism is devoted primarily to liberation from suffering by breaking free of samsara the cycle of compulsory rebirth by attaining nirvana Many types of Buddhism Theravada Mahayana and Vajrayana or Tantric emphasize an individual s meditation and subsequent liberation from samsara which is to become enlightened Thus the fundamental reason that the precise identification of these two kinds of clinging to an identity personal and phenomenal is considered so important is again soteriological Through first uncovering our clinging and then working on it we become able to finally let go of this sole cause for all our afflictions and suffering 2 However the Pure Land traditions of Mahayana Buddhism generally focus on the saving nature of the Celestial Buddha Amitabha In Buddhist eschatology it is believed that we are currently living in the Latter Day of the Law a period of 10 000 years where the corrupt nature of the people means the teachings of the Buddha are not listened to citation needed Before this era the bodhisattva Amitabha made 48 vows including the vow to accept all sentient beings that called to him to allow them to take refuge in his Pure land and to teach them the pure dharma It is therefore considered ineffective to trust in personal meditational and even monastic practices but to only trust in the primal vow of Amitabha 3 Christianity EditMain article Salvation in Christianity In Christianity salvation also called deliverance or redemption is the saving of human beings from sin and its consequences 4 5 Variant views on salvation are among the main lines dividing the various Christian denominations being a point of disagreement between Eastern Orthodoxy Roman Catholicism and Protestantism as well as within Protestantism notably in the Calvinist Arminian debate These lines include conflicting definitions of depravity predestination atonement and most pointedly justification Christian soteriology ranges from exclusive salvation 6 p 123 to universal reconciliation 7 concepts While some of the differences are as widespread as Christianity itself the overwhelming majority agrees that salvation is made possible by the life crucifixion death and resurrection of Jesus 8 Hinduism EditMain article Moksha Soteriology is discussed in Hinduism through its principle of moksha also called Nirvana or Kaivalya In India wrote Mircea Eliade metaphysical knowledge always has a soteriological purpose Moksha refers to freedom from saṃsara the cycle of death and rebirth There are various principles and practises that can lead to the state of Moksha including Vedas and Tantras being the basic Scriptures for guidance along with many others like Upanishads Puranas and more Islam EditMain article Salvation Islam Muslims believe that everyone is responsible for their own actions So even though Muslims believe that Adam and Hawwa Eve the parents of humanity committed a sin by eating from the forbidden tree and thus disobeying God they believe that humankind is not responsible for such an action They believe that God Allah is fair and just and one should request forgiveness from him to avoid being punished for not doing what God asked of them and for listening to Satan 9 Muslims believe that they as well as everyone else are vulnerable to making mistakes and thus they need to seek repentance repeatedly at all times Muhammad said By Allah I seek the forgiveness of Allah and I turn to Him in repentance more than seventy times each day Narrated by al Bukhaari no 6307 God wants his servants to repent and forgives them he rejoices over it as Muhammad said When a person repents Allah rejoices more than one of you who found his camel after he lost it in the desert Agreed upon Narrated by al Bukhaari no 6309 Islamic tradition has generally held that it is relatively straightforward to enter Jannah Paradise In the Quran God says If you avoid the great sins you have been forbidden We shall wipe out your minor misdeeds and let you through the entrance of honor Paradise 10 Jainism EditMain article Moksha Jainism In Jainism the soteriological concept is moksha but it is explained differently than the similar term found in Hinduism 11 Moksha is a blissful state of existence of a soul completely free from the karmic bondage free from saṃsara the cycle of birth and death Judaism EditMain articles Salvation Judaism and Law given to Moses at Sinai In contemporary Judaism redemption Hebrew ge ulah is God s redeeming the people of Israel from their various exiles 12 This includes the final redemption from the present exile 13 Judaism holds that adherents do not need personal salvation as Christians believe Jews do not believe in original sin 14 Instead they place a high value on individual morality as defined in the law of God embodied in what Jews know as the Torah or The Law given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai the summary of which is comprised in the Ten Commandments The Jewish sage Hillel the Elder states that The Law can be further compressed in just one line popularly known as the Golden Rule That which is hateful to you do not do unto your fellow 15 In Judaism salvation is closely related to the idea of redemption saving from the states or circumstances that destroy the value of human existence God as the universal spirit and creator of the world is the source of all salvation for humanity provided an individual honours God by observing his precepts So redemption or salvation depends on the individual Judaism stresses that salvation cannot be obtained through anyone else or by just invoking a deity or believing in any outside power or influence 15 Some passages in Jewish religious texts assert that no afterlife exists even for the good and just with the Book of Ecclesiastes telling the faithful The dead know nothing They have no reward and even the memory of them is lost 16 For many centuries rabbis and Jewish laypeople have often wrestled with such passages Mystery religions EditIn the mystery religions salvation was less worldly and communal and more a mystical belief concerned with the continued survival of the individual soul after death 17 Some savior gods associated with this theme are dying and rising gods often associated with the seasonal cycle such as Osiris Tammus Adonis and Dionysus A complex of soteriological beliefs was also a feature of the cult of Cybele and Attis 18 The similarity of themes and archetypes to religions found in antiquity to later Christianity has been pointed out by many authors including the Fathers of the early Christian church One view is that early Christianity borrowed these myths and motifs from contemporary Hellenistic mystery religions which possessed ideas such as life death rebirth deities and sexual relations between gods and human beings While Christ myth theory is not accepted by mainstream historians proponents attempt to establish causal connections to the cults of Mithras Dionysus and Osiris among others 19 Epicurean Philosophy EditMore than a century after the establishment of the Garden the school in which Epicurus of Samos taught philosophy we begin to see that some people in the Roman world are calling Epicurus their Savior The most prominent soul saved by Epicurus was the Roman Empress Pompeia Plotina Lucretius author of De Rerum Natura also depicts the salvific power of philosophy and of his Scholarch Epicurus by employing literary devices like the Broken Jar parable where the Scholarch is credited with helping mortals to easily enjoy pleasure poetry and imagery The salvation of Epicurus has no otherworldly connotations whatsoever Judging from his Principal Doctrines and Letter to Menoeceus he salves his disciples from supernatural fears and excessive desires for what is not natural and gives his disciples clear ethical guidelines that lead to happiness Lucretius says Epicurus has set the boundaries for the limits of nature His followers in Roman times developed Epicurus into a culture hero and revered him as the founding figure of his School and as the first to have developed a fully naturalistic cosmology that emancipated mortals from all fear based superstition Sikhism EditSikhism advocates the pursuit of salvation through disciplined personal meditation on the name and message of God meant to bring one into union with God But a person s state of mind has to be detached from this world with the understanding that this world is a temporary abode and their soul has to remain untouched by pain pleasure greed emotional attachment praise slander and above all egotistical pride Thus their thoughts and deeds become nirmal or pure and they merge with God or attain union with God just as a drop of water falling from the skies merges with the ocean citation needed Other religions EditShinto and Tenrikyo similarly emphasize working for a good life by cultivating virtue or virtuous behavior In an age which still saw salvation as primarily collective based on the religion of the family clan or state rather than the emerging province of the individual as popularized by Buddhism and the mystery religions such as Mithraism Hellenistic ruler cults from about 300 BCE sometimes promoted the revering of a king as the savior of his people Prominent examples included Ptolemy I Soter of Egypt and the Seleucids Antiochus I Soter and Demetrius I Soter In the Egyptian context the deification of a ruler built on traditional pharaonic religious ideas See also Edit Religion portal Comparative religion SalvationReferences Edit soteriology definition from the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary which erroneously gives neuter nominative of the corresponding adjective swthrion as the base Karl Brunnholzl page 131 of his book The Center of the Sunlet Sky Madhyamaka in the Kagyu Tradition Shinran Hymns on the offense of doubting the primal vow The saving of the soul the deliverance from sin and its consequences OED 2nd ed 1989 Wilfred Graves Jr In Pursuit of Wholeness Experiencing God s Salvation for the Total Person Shippensburg PA Destiny Image 2011 9 22 74 5 Newman Jay Foundations of religious tolerance University of Toronto Press 1982 ISBN 0 8020 5591 5 Parry Robin A Universal salvation The Current Debate Wm B Eerdmans Publishing 2004 ISBN 0 8028 2764 0 Christian Doctrines of Salvation Religion facts June 20 2009 http www religionfacts com christianity beliefs salvation htm In Az Zumar The Groups chapter in verse 7 in the Qur an No bearer of Burdens shall bear the burden of another 39 7 So repentance in Islam is to be forgiven from the poor decisions sent forth by one s hand In Islam for one to repent s he has to admit to Allah that they were disobedient feel regret for their behavior be willing not to do the same again and finally to ask for repentance through prayer S he does not need to go to speak to someone to deserve the repentance simply during the prayer s he speaks to her his God Allah prays asking His forgiveness Allah said in the Qur an O you who believe Turn to Allah with sincere repentance It may be that your Lord will expiate from you your misdeeds and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow Paradise al Tahreem 66 8 Muslims believe that God is merciful and thus believers are expected to continuously seek forgiveness so that their misdeeds may be forgiven Say O my servants who have transgressed against themselves by committing evil deeds Despair not of the Mercy of Allah verily Allah forgives all Truly He is Oft Forgiving Most Merciful al Zumar 39 53 and also And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allah s forgiveness he will find Allah Oft Forgiving Most Merciful al Nisaa 4 110 An Nisa 4 31 Christopher Key Chapple 2006 Jainism and Ecology Nonviolence in the Web of Life Motilal Banarsidass pp 90 92 ISBN 978 81 208 2045 6 Reb on the Web Kolel The Adult Centre for Liberal Jewish Learning Retrieved November 1 2010 Salvation Judaism 1 Accessed 4 May 2013 How Does a Jew Attain Salvation 2 Accessed 4 May 2013 a b Malekar Ezekiel Isaac THE SPEAKING TREE Concept of Salvation In Judaism The Times of India 3 Accessed 4 May 2013 Ecclesiastes 9 5 Theologies of Immanence Soteriology pagantheologies pbworks com Giulia Sfameni Gasparro Soteriology and mystic aspects in the cult of Cybele and Attis POCM Pagan Origins of the Christ Myth pocm info Further reading EditJohn McIntyre Shape of Soteriology Studies in the Doctrine of the Death of Christ T amp T Clark 1992 Kumar Santosh 2019 Salvation In the Light of the Cross and the Crescent Notion Press ISBN 9781647604974 Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Soteriology amp oldid 1037140171, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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