Comparative Religious Studies

RELIGION 170

The category of “religion” is arguably a Western concept that is applied to Eastern traditions of thought and practice such as Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. What are the differences, and as well as the similarities that might be hidden by the broad application of this concept, if we compare these traditions of thought and practice with the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam? How do ethical values get related to conceptions of human salvation or enlightenment and the ultimate source of the natural order? Is there a conception of free will that exists across these traditions? Is there a distinction between the realms of the secular and the sacred that runs across these traditions?