Soteriology

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Soteriology (/səˌtɪəriˈɒləi/; σωτηρία sōtēria "salvation" from σωτήρ sōtēr "savior, preserver" and λόγος logos "study" or "word"[1]) is the study of religious doctrines of salvation. Salvation theory occupies a place of special significance in many religions.

In the academic field of religious studies, soteriology is understood by scholars as representing a key theme in a number of different religions and is often studied in a comparative context; that is, comparing various ideas about what salvation is and how it is obtained.

Within Buddhism

Buddhism emphasizes liberation from suffering, which enables one to break free of the bonds of samsara, and attain nirvana. This liberation is accomplished by following the Buddhist path.

Thus, the fundamental reason that the precise identification of these two kinds of clinging to an identity – personal and phenomenal – is considered so important is again soteriological. Through first uncovering our clinging and then working on it, we become able to finally let go of this sole cause for all our afflictions and suffering.[2]

The Mahayana Pure Land traditions also emphasize the saving nature of the Celestial Buddha Amitābha.

References

  1. "soteriology", definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary which erroneously gives neuter nominative of the corresponding adjective, σωτήριον, as the base.
  2. Karl Brunnholzl page 131 of his book "The Center of the Sunlet Sky, Madhyamaka in the Kagyu Tradition"


External links

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