: Cyril of Alexandria and MahÄyÄna Buddhism on Individual Volition, Sin, and Karma Thomas Cattoi Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University What is wrong with the world? What is wrong with us? In his magisterial work Religion in Human Evolution, Robert Bellah charts the transformation of the religious imagination of humanity around the fifth century bce that marked a shift in the approach to religious practice from primarily transactional to ethical and transformative.1 Before the so-called Axial Age, religious rituals were performed to obtain practical favors from deities and supernatural forces; later on, religious practice acquired a moral dimension that was closely associated with the policing of individual behavior and simultaneously reflected an increasing preoccupation with existential questions such as the cause and meaning of suffering and death. In other words, most human cultures, despite vast differences in social, cultural and economic conditions, came to the conclusion that something was âoffâ with the world and that perhaps religion could do something to alleviate or overcome this problem.2 Bella views the Axial Age as the catalyst for the emergence of all major religious traditions that have accompanied humanity for the past twenty-five centuries, and that have continued
Buddhist-Christian Studies – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Oct 28, 2017
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