Religion and Morality

Mark R. Leary

in The Curse of the Self

Published in print August 2004 | ISBN: 9780195172423
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199786756 | DOI:
 Religion and Morality

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Most spiritual traditions explicitly teach that the self impedes spiritual attainment because it interferes with spiritual insight and leads to selfish, immoral behavior. This chapter examines the insights of major religious traditions regarding the self, along with their distinctive prescriptions for minimizing the detrimental influences of the self. Cultures differ greatly in how they view the self — for example, as something to be strengthened versus obliterated — and religious and spiritual traditions play an important role in a culture's perspective on the nature of self. The views of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, Zen, Hinduism, and indigenous religions will be discussed, with an emphasis on mysticism and the role of meditation in quieting the self.

Keywords: self-awareness; self and sin; Buddhism; Zen; mysticism; meditation

Chapter.  6714 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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