Friday, 17 August 2018

Buddhism

Buddhist do not believe in God, focusing less on their internal beliefs and more so on their actions and good deeds to others. The task at the center of Buddhism is to eliminate suffering and its causes while nourishing vitality, joy and peace.

Buddhists believe in the Four Noble Truths about reality:
- All life is inevitably sorrowful
- Sorrow is the result of cravings
- Sorrow can only end when cravings are stifled or stopped
- Careful discipline and moral conduct are necessary to end cravings.

They practice being selfless through meditation and prayer.

Islamic Museum

The museum was very enlightening and informative. I was most interested in the art and its symbolism in regards to the Islamic faith, heritage and hardships. It was refreshing to hear about all the accomplished Islamic figures in contemporary day and the stories of how strong faith can build people's resilience in times of trouble.

It was nice to hear good things about the Islamic faith as media rarely shows that side, focusing rather on the negative and radically wrong crowds of people.

Shereen, the first speaker spoke of how she began her spiritual journey into the Islamic faith and what responsibilities come with it. She demonstrated her prayers and explained that no one can disrupt her when she is in the middle of her prayers. She also spoke on the political issues that come with the faith and how the generalizations people make are wrong. She stressed on the hijab being a choice for women and that she, nor anyone else would ever judge an Islamic woman for dressing a certain way.

Judaism & Catholicism

Judaism is a monotheistic religion that centers around God's teachings. Their focal sacred text is the Torah which contains 613 commandments. Judaism stresses on free will, righteous actions and the belief that what you put out to the world will be returned to you e.g being good means you will receive good.

The synagogue is a house of worship for the Jews. It can act as a place to study, and often as a community center as well.

I recognize that their belief in one God is similar to my catholic beliefs in one God who has created us all. The Torah's purpose is similar to our bible and their synagogue is reminiscent of our church.

The old testament is an exact extraction from the Jewish Torah which suggests that Catholicism shared original values and beliefs with Judaism.

Jesus, along with many other biblical characters were Jewish which explains why the bible has so many references to Jewish traditions and leaders e.g Passover - a celebration day for the freedom of the Israelite slaves of Egypt.

Judaism values Moses as one of the greatest prophets, he upholds this status in Catholicism as well.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Holy Switch

The series offers an authentic exploration of different people’s perspectives on their own faith and how that then translates to their impressions of other religious practices in contemporary society. Each episode provided me with a reliable source on the fundamental ideas and notions that each religion follows.


We are first introduced to Hinduism and Anglicism: both believe in one God, however Kim, who practices Anglicism, questions whether she is worshiping a different god. We learn through Kim, the strict diets and ceremonies Hindus adhere to and she describes the experience in the end as ‘life changing’. Aakash on the other end found Anglicism’s beliefs confronting - their views of Christ being the one and only true pathway to heaven he found to be a narrow-minded and restricting statement.


I found it ironic how each episode featured someone who was cynical about a religion that carried varying levels of opposing ideas to their own faith because I always thought each faith taught a human to understand and not judge others. Cases such as the second episode centered around Freeman the Buddhist monk and Jordan the Maronite catholic show the fragility of people’s beliefs - how they are so quick to worry they are contravening their own faith. This is clear in Jordan’s attitude towards the monks and how he makes a fifty kilometer trip to mass because he believes his attendance is non-negotiable. He was not as open and ready to take in and learn about a new religion like Freeman was.

The final episode featured a Muslim and jewish woman. We get a glimpse into the wedding ceremonies and christenings that Jews partake in and learn of the spiritual attachment Mobinah, the Muslim feels for her hijab. Jordane learns of the Muslim views on sex and marriage. We learn of the loud and passionate speeches given at a Syrian refugee fundraiser which upsets Jordane immensely.