Nature of God In Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam

Nature of God
In Buddhism, Hinduism,
Christianity and Islam
 Brahman – the Ultimate Reality
 Beyond human experience and
 Aspects of this Ultimate Reality can however
be understood through deities and avatars
(manifestation of a deity on earth)
The Vedas
 Ancient Indian texts that provide the basis of
Hinduism for many schools of thought.
 The Upanishads are the texts at the end of the
 They are the basis for more Orthodox Hinduism.
 In the Vedas we find teachings on the Ultimate
Reality and the deities of Hinduism, that
Brahman is impersonal and that the deities play
important roles in lives of Hindus.
The Trimurti
 Nirguna Brahman
Impersonal, transcendent
The negation of all attributes
Outside time and space
 Saguna Brahman
The Personal God
The Creator (aspects expressed as Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva)
 These are not separate but both Brahman
 There is no concept of a personal God in Buddhism
 The world exists as a cause result of cause and effect, not
 In some schools of thought, deities are respected and
leant from, but not worshipped.
 They were humans that attained Nirvana through the
same processes as any human
Female Bodhisattva
in Tibetan
Represents success
in work and
What does this passage
 There is grief but none suffering,
 There is no doer though there is action.
 There is quietude but none tranquil.
 There is the path but none walks upon the
path. (Buddhaghosa; Visuddhi Magga 16)
 Read and highlight the text
 Compare and contrast Hindu and
Buddhist teachings on the existence
of an Ultimate Reality and gods and
 Research Islamic and Christian
understandings of the Ultimate
 Compare and contrast two concepts
of Ultimate Reality (one must be
 God is immanent and transcendent
 God is personal
 God is experienced in different ways, shown by the
 Why father? What are the characteristics of an
ideal father?
Biblical passages – God as father
 God is a righteous judge, a God who expresses his wrath
every day. (Psalm 7:11)
 Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life.
(Psalm 54:4)
 It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must
revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold
fast to him. (Deuteronomy 13:4)
 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another
Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever (John 14.16)
Son and Spirit
 Comforter
 Sacrifice
 Saviour
 Immanent
 Personal
 Read the Nicene Creed
 Outline key Christian beliefs on the nature of
 Tahwid (Tawhid, Tawheed etc) – concept of
uncompromising monotheism in Islam.
 Allah is one and Allah is unique.
 This is a teaching at the heart of Islam
 No one and nothing else is to be prayed to or
Say 'He is Allah the One' 112:1
Surely Allah alone is the creator of all things
and he is the One, the Most Supreme 13:17
Read the first Surah of the Qur’an
 What does this tell us about Islamic beliefs on
the Nature of God?
 Research characteristics of Allah and
compare and contrast them with
characteristics of the Christian God.
 Read and highlight the short essay on