Buddhism and Christianity Similarities.

Essay by smartazz219College, UndergraduateA+, October 2005

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The most revolutionary document of Vatican II, the Nostra Aetate, proclaims for the first time that Catholics need to acknowledge other world religions and their validity. In this document, the cardinals and bishops of the council state:

That through dialogue and collaboration with the followers of other religions, carried out with prudence and love and in witness to the Christian faith and life, they recognize, preserve, and promote the good things, spiritual and moral, as well as the social-cultural values found among these men (Nostra Aetate 1965).

Specifically, Vatican II discusses the similarities and commonalities between Catholicism and other world religions such Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism.

There are many notable aspects of Buddhism that are similar to the Catholic faith and its traditions. The Five Moral Precepts of Buddhism, for example, compare closely to the Ten Commandments which have set out law for centuries: for Jews in the time of Moses, then later for disciples of Christ, and even for Christians today.

The Five Moral Precepts include the refraining of murder, thievery, sexual misconduct, lying, and the consumption of intoxicants (Buddhism pg 4 para 3). Similarly, the Ten Commandments call for abstention of killing, stealing, adultery, as well as dishonesty. Although the Ten Commandments consist of more than these immoral actions, these aspects of Christianity and Buddhism were designed based on similar beliefs.

Spiritual commonalities that exist between Buddhism and Christianity are the maintaining of religions documents and teachings, the support and trust which its followers place in the individuals who promote these teachings, as well as the central belief in a perfect redeemer. At the heart of Christianity is the belief in Jesus Christ, the Messiah, Son of God, the Savior. For Buddhists, this savior is Buddha. Both religions also place a great deal of trust in documents, as...