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Religious Views on War Essay

1. To complete this Graded Assignment, retrieve the Religious Views on War DBQ. Use this document with its essay instructions and the DBQ Checklist to complete this DBQ essay. Please consult the rubric throughout the process.

Using the documents, compare the views of major world religions on war. What additional kind of document(s) would you need to compare the views of major world religions on war? Essay:

Three major world religons have their roots in India: Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism. Buddhism and Sikhism both grew from Hinduism. All three share the idea of non-violence (ahimsa). The term ‘non-violence’ was actually coined in English (about 1920) by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948) as a direct translation of ‘ahimsa’, ‘avoiding harm to others’. The idea of non-violence was very important to Mahatma Gandhi’s thinking and actions as a Hindu leader during India’s approach to independence in 1947. He wrote: ‘I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent

Hinduism is perhaps the oldest world religion; in some of its writings ahimsa has been considered the highest duty from the beginning of time. Jainism also grew out of Hinduism; Jainists believe that people should strive to become detached from the distractions of worldly existence; and that the practice of ahimsa is an essential step on the way to personal salvation

Buddhism developed from the teaching of Siddhartha Gautama, called the Buddha (c.563 – 483 BC), who believed that human suffering could be overcome by following a particular way of life. The first precept of Buddhism is ‘non-harming’ (ahimsa): Buddhists reject violence. Buddhism is clearly pacifist in its teaching, and many Buddhists say quite bluntly that it is ‘better to be killed than to kill’. Some Buddhists have been very active in promoting peace, particularly during the Vietnam War (1961- 1975), when they offered a ‘Third Way’ of reconciliation between the American and Communist armies. Some Buddhist monks burned themselves to death in self-sacrificing protest against the war.

In the Guru’s house, religion and worldly enjoyment should be combined – the cooking pot to feed the poor and needy and the sword to hit oppressors.


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