REL 110: The Nature and Experience of Religion
Part 3. Write an essay on one of the following topics:
2) Write an essay explaining how our understanding of Buddhism and African traditional religions is affected by the Western Christian bias in the study of religion. How does the phenomenological approach to studying religion attempt to address this bias?
The Western Christian bias has reflected upon those Christians who feel their religion may be higher than other religions. They are widely known to basically have one mind set about God and the unknown. People who are stuck with the idea of a Western Christian bias tend to only appreciate their kind of religious group. They insist that their core beliefs and values are far more advanced and factual than, for example, a certain Jewish community. Christians study the people who lived before them, the communities and what these ancestors said about God or the sacred.
Their theology has broken down to two forms. The first one is Apologetics, which is the defense of something. The Christians defended their religion and never let anyone outside of their society mess with their holy concepts. The second form is Polemics, which is attacking other religions and making them feel as though they are nothing compared to the Christians. One quoted “since we are Christians ourselves we tend to see other religions in a different, maybe bad, way.” This quote shows how everyone’s thinking process works once you’re a part of the bias. They are a monotheistic nation and you can’t exactly make this bias disappear. People must be aware that it belittles other religions such as Buddhism and the African American religion. It has no respect for other religions and they are not ashamed of that. One has to believe in particular things in order to join the pact of the Christian people. They have a written text or scripture and sometimes try to convert people to their religion. Our understanding of Buddhism and African traditional religions is very much affected with the Western Christian bias because the Christians never accepted their faiths. They never shared the same beliefs, prayers, or values. The Christians always thought that their religion could be dangerous and violent and are