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Salvation  (cat.)
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Soteriology is the branch of theology that deals with salvation.[1] It is derived from the Greek sōtērion "salvation" (from sōtēr "savior, preserver") + English -logy.[2] The term itself can be used to refer to any kind of religion, and no savior figure or figures are required.[3] Soteriology is a key factor that distinguishes religion from philosophy.[4]

[edit] Description

Christian soteriology focuses on how Jesus Christ saves people from their sins, reconciling them with the Triune God. Islamic soteriology focuses on how humans can repent of and atone for their sins so as not to occupy a state of loss. Sikhism advocates the pursuit of salvation through disciplined, personal meditation on the name and message of God, meant to bring one into union with God. In Vedic (Hinduism) religion, individual salvation is not --- as is often alleged --- pursued to the neglect of collective well-being. "The principle on which the Vedic religion is founded," observes the Sage of Kanchi "is that a man must not live for himself alone but serve all mankind." Well, varna dharma in its true form is a system according to which the collective welfare of society is ensured. Hinduism, which teaches that we are caught in a cycle of death and rebirth called saṃsāra, contains a slightly different sort of soteriology devoted to the attainment of transcendent moksha, meaning liberation. For some this liberation is also seen as a state of closeness to Brahman. Jainism emphasizes penance and asceticism meant to lead to a liberation and ascendance of the soul. Buddhism is in a real sense devoted primarily to soteriology, i.e. liberation from suffering, ignorance, rebirth. Epicureanism is primarily concerned with temperance and simple life as a means to the absence of pain or freedom from anxiety (αταραξία) and Stoicism is concerned with the cultivation of virtues such as fortitude and detachment to improve spiritual well-being. Shinto and Tenrikyo similarly emphasize working for a good life by cultivating virtue or virtuous behavior, and many practitioners of Judaism also emphasize morality in this life over concern with the afterlife. In Falun Dafa (traditional Chinese: 法輪) salvation refers to cultivation practice, or xiu lian, a process of giving up human attachments and assimilating to the Buddha Fa( Fǒ, Fǎ), or the fundamental characteristic of the universe, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance ( zhen, shan, ren).

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Webster's Third New International Dictionary Unabridged ISBN 3829052928
  2. ^ "soteriology", definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
  3. ^ Indian Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction. Sue Hamilton, Oxford University Press, pp. 2 ISBN 0192853740
  4. ^ Indian Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction. Sue Hamilton, Oxford University Press, pp. 3 ISBN 0192853740

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