Essay about My Views On Religion And Religion

1558 Words Apr 15th, 2016 null Page
Beyond exploring a new area of study completely different from anything I had done before in other classes, my primary motivation for taking this class was to learn more about the religion I have called my own for the past seven or eight years: Buddhism. While I had done a fair amount of reading on associated traditions, history, and practices, I had never researched or discussed Buddhism in a scholarly format prior to taking this class. I knew from the start that, being an “insider” to some degree, many of my beliefs and assumptions would be challenged, something I was very worried about; however, I knew that regardless of how my beliefs changed, studying the history of my religion (if not my specific sect) would surely prove to be eye-opening and augment my understanding of my faith. While my hunch regarding the benefits of the class turned out to be correct, I was off the mark regarding the effects of my religious insider status, and the biggest threat to my acceptance of new ideas surrounding Buddhism was not bias but my own insecurity. Ultimately, studying Buddhism in class has made me not only a better scholar of religion, but also a better Buddhist and a better thinker with regards to how new and pre-existing ideas relate. The complex relationship between Hinduism and Buddhism is probably the topic about which I knew the least when coming into this semester. Sure, I knew that Siddhartha Gautama was born a Hindu, and that the concepts of samsara (the cycle of death…

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