BUDDHISM

On the Nature of God

On Creation

  • Cyclical, endless becoming and dissolving according to the law of Dharma.
  • No specific point of creation.

On Time
Cyclical and not very important as the cycle of rebirth continues on from one existence to the next.

On Life After Death

On Sacred Literature
Tripitaka (Three Baskets), canon of Buddhist literature: discourses of the Buddha or his disciples.
On Prophets and Founders
The Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, born 566 or 563 B.C., achieved complete enlightenment at 35 years.



CHRISTIANITY

On the Nature of God
Single, omnipotent Creator God, seen as a Trinity: God the Father, Jesus Christ the son and the Holy Spirit.
On Creation
Existence created by God at a specific point in time and will end at a definite point in time.
On Time
Linear, either leads to Kingdom of God on Earth or conflict through the appearance of the antichrist.
On Life After Death


On Sacred Literature
The Bible, consisting of the Old Testament and the New Testament. Written c. 280 A.D. by Apostles.
On Prophets and Founders
Jesus Christ, born in Palestine c. 4 B.C. and crucified c. 29 A.D., believed to have been the Son of God.



HINDUISM

On the Nature of God
Single Godhead, divides into many forms including: Brahma (creator), Vishnu (sustainer), Shiva (destroyer).
On Creation
Cyclical, creation of universe followed by destruction of universe: Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva.
On Time
Cyclical, universe passes through various stages, eventually is destroyed and recreated.
On Life After Death
Ultimate escape from cycle of rebirth by uniting the Individual Soul with the Supreme Being.
On Sacred Literature
Bhagavadgita - c. 2nd century A.D., part of the Mahabharata. Most popular book of Hindu scripture.
On Prophets and Founders
Many thousands of gurus (teachers who have gained enlightenment through knowledge and practise).



ISLAM

On the Nature of God
Single, all-powerful, indivisible Creator God. Speaks to humanity through prophets.
On Creation
God creates, guides and directs all things.
On Time
Linear, at the end of time God proclaims the Judgement Day. All wil be judged and the world ends.
On Life After Death

  • One life only.
  • After death the individual awaits Judgement Day. Some then may enter Paradise, some not.

On Sacred Literature
The Qur'an 7th century A.D., dictated by an angel to the prophet Mohammed.
On Prophets and Founders
Many prophets including Abraham, Moses, Jesus. Final and most important: Mohammed, born c. 570.



JUDAISM

On the Nature of God
One eternal, all knowing Creator God who guides human existence. (Name must not be spoken).
On Creation
God created the world according to the Book of Genesis.
On Time
Linear, the Messiah will come at some point in the future and begin an era of world peace.
On Life After Death

  • One life only.
  • After death the individual soul faces judgement.

On Sacred Literature
The Hebrew Bible, Torah (Five Books of Moses), Mishnah and Talmud.
On Prophets and Founders
  • God gave Moses the Law by which Israelites must live.
  • God chose Jews as his special people.



TAOISM

On the Nature of God


On Creation

On Time

On Life After Death
  • At death, the soul separates into yin and yang.
  • After a period it may rejoin in a new configuration.

On Sacred Literature
Tao Te Ching (The Way and its Power), 4th century B.C.
On Prophets and Founders
Various writers including Lao Tzu, 5th century B.C. and the books of the Confucian canon.

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