Buddhism and Christianity Reports of Buddhist practices started to arrive in Western Europe by the 13th century, and were followed by trips by Christian missionaries such as John of Montecorvino and reports began to arrive in the 16th century as missionaries such as St. Francis Xavier arrived in the East.
This edict advocates the adoption of "godliness" using the Greek term Eusebeia for Dharma. Mosaic of early missionary to the East St.
Francis Xavier The history of Buddhism goes back to what is now Bodh GayaIndia almost six centuries before Christianity, making it one of the oldest religions still practiced. The four canonical gospels date from around 70—90 AD, the Pauline epistles having been written before them around 50—60 AD.
By the early second century, post-apostolic Christian theology had taken shape, in the works of authors such as Irenaeus although Christianity is seen as the fulfillment of Jewish prophecy regarding the "Messiah" which dates back much further. Starting in the s, authors such as Will Durant suggested that Greco-Buddhist representatives of Emperor Ashoka who traveled to SyriaEgypt and Greece may have helped prepare the ground for Christian teaching.
Several prominent Greek Buddhist missionaries are known Mahadharmaraksita and Dharmaraksita and the Indo-Greek king Menander I converted to Buddhism, and is regarded as one of the great patrons of Buddhism. Bentley suggest that there is a real possibility that Buddhism influenced the early development of Christianity.
Saint Jerome 4th century CE mentions the birth of the Buddha, who he says "was born from the side of a virgin"; it has been suggested that this virgin birth legend of Buddhism influenced Christianity. Like those called Encratites in the present day, they know not marriage nor begetting of children.
When European Christians made more direct contact with Buddhism in the early 16th century, Catholic missionaries such as St. Francis Xavier sent back accounts of Buddhist practices.
Sir Edwin Arnold and Henry Olcott converted to Buddhism, and in the beginning of the 20th century the first westerners e. Ananda Metteyya and Nyanatiloka entered the Buddhist monastic life.
Comparison of Buddhism and Christianity In the 19th century, some scholars began to perceive similarities between Buddhist and Christian practices, e.
Rhys Davids wrote that the earliest missionaries to Tibet observed that similarities have been seen since the first known contact. Bentley also wrote of similarities and stated that it is possible "that Buddhism influenced the early development of Christianity" and suggested "attention to many parallels concerning the births, lives, doctrines, and deaths of the Buddha and Jesus".
Bokin Kim, similarly, sees Christ as the Buddha Dharmakayaand Jesus as similar to Gautama who was just a historical manifestation of the transhistorical Buddha. There are inherent and fundamental differences between Buddhism and Christianity, one significant element being that while Christianity is at its core monotheistic and relies on a God as a CreatorBuddhism is generally non-theistic and rejects the notion of a Creator God which provides divine values for the world.
Suzuki stated that every time he saw a crucifixion scene it reminded him of the "gap that lies deep" between Christianity and Buddhism.
Suggestions have been made that Buddhism may have influenced early Christianity. However, Elaine Pagels proposes Buddhist influences on Gnosticism. Pagels suggested that there are parallels with teachings attributed to Jesus Christ and teachings found in Eastern traditions, but concludes that these parallels might be coincidental, since parallel traditions may emerge in different cultures without direct influence.
Robert Van Voorst states that modern Christian scholarship has "almost unanimously agreed" that claims of the travels of Jesus to Tibet, Kashmir or India contain "nothing of value". Some have posited that Jesus might have traveled there, or that Buddhist teachings may have reached cities of the Jewish homeland, including Sepphoris, a major city in Galilee only four miles from Nazareth.
Popular speculation speaks of Jesus having traveled to India during "the missing years", the decades before he emerged on the stage of history. There, it is suggested, he came in to contact with Buddhist teachings. But both explanations are unlikely and unnecessary.
The similarities are not of the kind that suggest cultural borrowing". Her works eventually led to the foundation of Tzu Chia non-profit humanitarian group in Asia.
Buddhism in the West and Buddhist modernism Attempts at convergence[ edit ] Buddhism has been gaining popularity in the west. Starting with a cultural and academic elite in the 19th century, it is now widespread in western culture, especially since the s.
With the rise of western colonialism in the 19th century, Asian cultures and religions developed strategies to adapt to the western hegemony, without losing their own traditions.Comparison between Christianity and Buddhism can be done using the principles of the Eightfold Path: Right Understanding - "Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is" (Ephesians ).
Mahayana Buddhism emerged in the first century CE as a more accessible interpretation of Buddhism. As the "Greater Vehicle" (literally, the "Greater Ox-Cart"), Mahayana is a path available to people from all walks of life - not just monks and ascetics. Christianity, Cults and Religions general editor Paul Carden is a longtime specialist in the field of cults and new religions around the world.
Mr. Carden is Executive Director of the Centers for Apologetics Research (CFAR), and he has devoted nearly 30 years of his life to cult-related research and outreach in Latin America, Africa, eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union.
This, however, produces a strong difference between Christian and Buddhist teachings. Buddhist scholar Masao Abe pointed out that while "the event of the Cross" is central to Christianity, it is not possible for Buddhism to accept its importance. On the other hand, Buddhism and Christianity have numerous different aspects that make then differ.
First, Buddhism and Christianity have different historical backgrounds with regard to dates of inception and places of origin. Buddhism developed at the border of Nepal and India in around BCE, much early before the birth of Jesus Christ.
There are inherent and fundamental differences between Buddhism and Christianity, one significant element being that while Christianity is at its core monotheistic and relies on a God as a Creator, Buddhism is generally non-theistic and rejects the notion of a Creator God which provides divine values for the world.