Author

Chai-Shin Yu

Date of Award

4-1973

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Religious Sciences

Supervisor

J.G. Arapura

Abstract

The evidence of this study is valuable in showing the dissimilarities and the similarities of the two world religions, Buddhism and Christianity. The ultimate difference in spiritual outlook may be summed up in the statement that Buddhism is gnostic and autonomus while Christianity is eschatological and heteronomus. As for the similarities, both religions have the authority of a great spiritual figure who became the founder, leader and ultimate source of aIl that is essential in each. The founders' personality and teachings were basic in developing the unity, discipline and life styles which emerged. Also there are striking similarities in the moral teachings, human organization and disciplinary life styles of the two religions. Further from this study it is evident that Buddhism was not merely an individualistic religion nor merely an ethical code or philosophical system but a religion with a social structure similar to Christianity. Also this study in bringing to light the authority of the founder, the unity of the community and the patterned disciplinary life of common responsibility in early Buddhism has made a discovery which many Buddhist scholars had previously overlooked.

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