This compendium of World Religions serves as a valuable reference work for layman and scholar. The authors devoted several years in researching, analyzing and organizing this work. Their research involved extensive travel and combing through volumes of manuscripts and conversations with the converts of various religions. The material is presented in an unbiased and objective manner that allows the reader to easily compare the teachings of a particular religion with their faith. Furthermore, the material is organized systematically enabling the reader to easily navigate the principal tenants of each religion. Along with the theological and philosophical foundations, the authors present in logical sequence the historical, social and cultural backgrounds that influenced the development of each religion. Accuracy and authenticity are hallmarks of this work. The compendium has served as a basic textbook in college classes for over a decade and has stood the scrutiny of students and scholars. One is drawn into the work largely due to the clarity of thought and readability of the material. It is rare to find a work of this nature that lends itself useful to student and scholar. This work will serve student and instructor well in the study of world religions.
SIKHISM (c. 24 million adherents) FOUNDER: Nanak (1469-1538) GOD(S): “The True Name” – Creator of the Universe SCRIPTURES: The Granth – a collection of hymns, many of which were apparently written by Nanak himself. HISTORY: A man from the border region of hostile Hindu and Muslim communities, Nanak was influenced by both Hindu and Muslim teachings. He left his wife and moved to Sultanpur, where at age 30 he received a vision from god. His message was to be, “There is no Muslim and there is no Hindu.” Nanak and his companion Mardana traveled over India preaching the unity of Islam and Hinduism wearing mixed clothing of both Hindus and Muslims. His followers were called Sikhs (“disciple”). There was a line of ten gurus that led the Sikhs until 1708. The fifth Guru began compiling the official scriptures around 1600 A.D. The Muslims about this time perceived Sikhism as a threat, and when the fifth Guru was tortured to death for not expunging from the Granth teachings contrary to the Qur’an, the sixth Guru surrounded himself with bodyguards. Thus the military tradition of the Sikhs was begun. The last Guru, Gobind Singh, organized the Sikhs for war. He introduced stories of Durga, the dreadful Hindu goddess of death, established the Granth as the final word for Sikhs (hence no more gurus), and developed the warrior class of the Singhs. BELIEFS AND CHARACTERISTICS: Three Sects: 1. Udasis – Ascetic holy men 2. Sahajdharis – reject the militant trappings of most Sikhs 3. Singhs – no stimulants, open to all castes, incredible warriors One God – “The True Name” No idols Reincarnation No caste system Meats are included in their diet. Originally pacifists, now very warlike Baptism is sprinkling a person with sweetened water when one reaches maturity. Daily rituals include morning bath, hymns, and prayers. Congregational worship: o Visiting the temple (Gurdwaras) o Prayer to the Granth o Hymns o Sermons o Communal meal o There is no priesthood o Men and women worship together HUMANITY: God’s supreme creation and thus free to kill and eat animals. Man’s spirit is reincarnated in men until “The True Name” frees them from this cycle. LOCATION: India and Indian communities around the world, but mainly in the Punjab region of northwest India. SAYINGS OF SIKHISM “By hearing the Name a blind man findeth his way. By hearing the Name the unfathomable becometh fathomable.” “Courtesy pointeth out the way that leadeth to God. The discourteous are beyond God’s kindness.” “I have no anxiety regarding death, and I have no desire for life.” “God will not ask man of what race he is. He will ask what he has done.” “No one can erase what is written on the forehead.” “Great is the greatness of him who gives without being asked.”
Gary E. Antion, MA Gary E. Antion holds a Master’s Degree in Marriage, Family and Child Therapy from California Family Study Center in North Hollywood (Now called Phillips Institute). In addition, he completed eighteen graduate hours of theology from Southern Methodist University and has taught Comparative Religion courses at the college level for over 25 years. Having served in the ministry in England, Canada and various cities in the United States, he has also served as College Administrator and Associate Professor of Theology. His travels have taken him to Europe, Australia, the Middle East and the Far East, allowing him to work personally with individuals who were members of various faiths and gain insights into their religious backgrounds. All of his experiences have added to his knowledge of the religions of this world. Mr. Antion has lectured in several cities worldwide and brought his knowledge of world religion to thousands. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| Douglas Ruml, CFM, MA Doug's Masters degree was completed at the California State University. He has lived in or extensively visited countries in North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, East Asia, South Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Melanesia and Polynesia. Doug is an entrepreneur and also an Adjunct Professor in Graduate Schools at Ohio Dominican University, Ashland University and Franklin University. His work on this book springs from his interest in human cultures, and the tremendous effect religion has had on the various civilizations of humanity right up until the present day.