Ching Kwok Buddhist Temple

Superior Essays
There are many religions in Toronto, among the Christian churches that have stood in there for decades, I have chosen the only Buddhism temple in the downtown area, Ching Kwok Buddhist temple as my subject of field research. In the essay I will identify and explain several features of the daily afternoon recitation carried out by the monks by using theories of Raymond Williams and views of Malory Nye regarding to the relationship between culture and religion. I argue that, the purpose of this ritual is about becoming a good man. Also, I will examine the ritual ‘burning incense and praying’, which carried out by almost everyone who comes into the church. By using Emile Durkheim’s idea of religions, I argue that, people who gather at the temple …show more content…
By viewing culture as “a social, or as a ‘way of life’” (Nye 2008, 44), I have come to learn that religion has significant influence on people’s ‘way of life’. As Nye wrote in his book, “for Durkheim religion had two very important functions: first, it made people get together, and so was a form of social glue that created social solidarity. And second, it gave people a way of understanding and seeing society, since it was through religious identities that people came to have social identities”(Nye 2008, 45). During my visit, many people came to the temple to pray, with family members or friends accompanying mostly. In this case, the Buddhist temple made people get together through rituals, it provides a place, also a reason for people to communicate, share information and creates social solidarity. “In Durkheim’s terms, religion is a form of collective consciousness that actively (through rituals) keeps society together.” (Nye 2008, 45). Moreover, they seemed to believe that their misfortune at the moment could go away, and also they were certain that if they sought the blessing of Buddha, they will have better life (by getting ‘luckier’ in their careers). The way these people seeing and understanding the society is often involved with the actions of Buddha. The people who come to the temple tend to believe that their actions would have a better consequence if they ask for the help of Buddha. They gain self-assurance through ‘burning incense and praying’. This Buddhist temple not only brings people together, creates a community, but also changes their perspectives and views by providing the self-assurance from

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