And I shall call you "Religion"

'Religion' is a Western word and concept. There's only one "Religion" -this category. Naturally the West will generously promote "religious freedom" as long as terms and conditions apply: We are all living in the year A.D. 2014 - the Year of our Lord Christ, no?


Christopher Columbus once famously remarked: “I think they can very easily be made Christians, for they seem to have no religion”. He went on and christened the first few islands he conquered Los Santos (The Saints), Saint Kitts, Saint Fustativs, Saint Martin, and Saint Croix (Holy cross).

Of course, Columbus had not found India, as he intended, but had landed in the New World -the Bahamas and Cuba, to be exact. Yet, the way the famous discoverer arbitrary gave Christian names to foreign things and declared all people potential Christians repeated itself all over the world, in particular in China. In 1691, Randal Taylor in his The Morals of Confucius made the following crucial observation:

"Most of the missionaries who relate this are firmly persuaded, that CONFUCIUS foresaw the coming of the MESSIAH."

READ MORE The Resurrection of Non-Western Civilizations

"Confucianism" in itself is a Western word and concept, too. It is a name given by the Europeans when they "discovered" China, so to speak. They were looking for a messiah figure, like Christ was for Christianity, and they found it in Kongzi. So, naturally for them, they named Kongzi's religion "Konfuzianism." The Chinese name for their tradition, however, is rujia. Rujia is a school of literati, or a teaching. It has nothing to do with "religion" in the Western sense of the word.

READ MORE Language and Empire - Why We Shun Asian Words, For Now

Buddhism, which was also named after its "messiah" figure, is not a "religion" either, but more a way of life or way of cultivation the self (the buddha-nature). In fact, most Westerners to this day erroneously believe there's just one Buddha, while in fact there are hundreds, if not thousands (the Dalai Lama being one of them, by the way).

To conclude, as long as Western names and categories are the only ones permissible, we are not going to see more pluralism in the world, but far more less.

Image credit: Alexander Tihonov/Shutterstock.com

This is a condensed version of a chapter on 'East-Asia Evangelized' from the manuscript Shengren.

To keep up to date with this blog you can follow me on TwitterRSS, my Website, or my other Blog.

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face"

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Keep reading Show less

Science confirms: Earth has more than one 'moon'

Two massive clouds of dust in orbit around the Earth have been discussed for years and finally proven to exist.

J. Sliz-Balogh, A. Barta and G. Horvath
Surprising Science
  • Hungarian astronomers have proven the existence of two "pseudo-satellites" in orbit around the earth.
  • These dust clouds were first discovered in the sixties, but are so difficult to spot that scientists have debated their existence since then.
  • The findings may be used to decide where to put satellites in the future and will have to be considered when interplanetary space missions are undertaken.
Keep reading Show less

New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
  • While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
Keep reading Show less