As for the etymology of the word religion, wikipedia provides differents explanations; the ones i've heard about were re-ligare (connect again ) & res-legare (concerning a gathering), enceforth "link"; they're also mentioning re-lego ,or read again or treat carefully, wich i had never heard of before.
Anyway i think that the etymology merely concerns the roman religion ,not the Christian, because the Christians merely borrowed the latin word for their own religion , without concern about what the roman religion was (the same way they used some pagan temples as churches , it's just a convenient cultural syncretism). But it could be interesting to check out what Christians philosophers , at the time that the latin word have been included in the christian vocabulary, were thinking about,like Isidore of Seville in his etymologies
I believe the roman catholics are christians too
The word "religion" is not found in the bible. It is a term that theologians like to use.
Longman dictionary of contemporary English defines 'theology' as 1) the study of religion and religious ideas and beliefs 2) a particular body of beliefs about religion
And reading elsewhere, I find that even in terms of christian theology, the bible is not very often referred to. Perhaps its because the theologians themselves want to make their writings accessible to peoples of all faith?
So there seems
to be two ways that people approach issues regarding the faith
(regardless of whether it be christian or muslim). One is via theological reasonings (using broad almost universal principles) and the other, from the bible itself. IMO, the former way is being outside looking in to make sense of 'christianity' whereas the latter is from inside reaching out to share what it's all about.
In hebrew, the word for religion is something like 'dat', means the law, & come from Est.3,8 & Dt.33,2 .
What is "Est" and "Dt"?
For the latter, I checked the book of Deutronomy but I don't think I understood rightly your reference.
In Thai (mainly Theravada Buddhist country), it's saatsanaa, a word coming from the Sanskrit shaas :to rule, teach + ana (suffix).
We can see that in Chinese,Thai,Sanskrit & Hebrew, the idea of an authority (the law, or a teacher) is always there , not in Latin , but if we accept the "link" etymology , then it seems that there is always an concern about social order (submission to an authority or social harmony through connection).
Hmm.. now we come to the meat of the discussion - a comparison of doctrine. I only can provide one half of the equation (the christian side) so would be grateful if anyone can provide the other side (chinese religion/philosophy) so we can do a comparison to determine if it's possible for syncretism. Please back it up with some authority or text.
(I have admitted from the start that the answer is "no". I'll explain. It's quite simple to understand if one takes the time to mull it over.)
Yes, you will see that most religious teachings are about the law - guidelines which seek to teach man how to live better lives. Hence, the underlying requirement of religion is in performance
But dig deeper. Why must there be a law? Why is there such a common concept amongst so many 'developed' religions from diverse places? And what do the rites mean?
In some ways, the old testament of the bible seems
to correspond with all the other religions in laying down the law.
But the law is a fearful thing (verse 18) because the law demands perfection.
Is keeping the law in the performance of it? If that's the case, what's the standard
that we have to achieve? There must be a level in order to determine whether we have achieved the righteousness
to enter heaven/reach nirvana - in order to atone for sins
(the concept of karma)
According to the bible, the standard of the law is this
Not only in deed but in thought. And of course, who can control thoughts? It is impossible.
So why is the law given then?
The explanation in Christianity is here
Does it not seem unfair that the standard is so impossible to achieve? But how would one define holiness and righteousness? By man's standard? Theology would concur that God is totally perfect and holy. How can sinful man approach a holy God? That is why, according to the bible, right after He gave the 10 commandments, He told them to build an altar
A picture of He who is to come.
Unlike the deities and Gods of other religions, the God of the Christians, Jesus Christ came as their sacrifice