In this module, we discussed the various influences on our views of sexuality, including religion, cultural traditions, and historical context. Using the AUO library, find and discuss a peer-reviewed article from the library that addresses sexuality from the perspective of a particular religion, culture, or time in history. Write your initial response to each part in 2 pages. Support your arguments with research, applying APA standards to citation of sources.
Title: The Influence of Religion on Views of Sexuality: A Comparative Analysis of Hinduism and Christianity
Sexuality is a complex and multifaceted aspect of human life that is influenced by various factors, including religion, culture, and historical context. This paper aims to explore the influence of religion on views of sexuality by examining the perspectives of two major religions: Hinduism and Christianity. By comparing these two religions, we can gain insight into how religious beliefs shape attitudes towards sexuality within different cultural and historical contexts.
Hinduism and Sexuality:
Hinduism, one of the oldest religions in the world, encompasses a broad range of beliefs and practices. The Hindu scriptures, such as the Vedas and the Puranas, contain numerous references to sexuality and provide guidelines for its proper expression within the context of marriage. The Kama Sutra, a well-known Hindu text, further explores the various dimensions of human sexual behavior.
In Hinduism, there is recognition of both the spiritual and physical aspects of sexuality. Sexual desire is seen as a natural and inherent part of human existence; however, it is expected to be channeled within the boundaries of marriage and procreation. Hinduism emphasizes the importance of a fulfilling sexual relationship within marriage as a means to achieve spiritual union and mutual satisfaction.
The concept of dharma, or righteous living, plays a significant role in shaping Hindu attitudes towards sexuality. Dharma emphasizes the moral and ethical responsibilities associated with sexual conduct. Adultery and premarital sex are considered violations of dharma, as they disrupt the stability of the family unit and undermine societal harmony.
Christianity and Sexuality:
Christianity, a monotheistic religion that originated in the first century AD, has its own distinct views on sexuality. The Bible, the central religious text in Christianity, provides guidance on matters related to sexual behavior. The New Testament, in particular, contains teachings attributed to Jesus Christ and the apostles, which have shaped Christian doctrines.
In Christianity, sexual desire is viewed as a natural inclination, but it is also considered to be tainted by sin and the fallen nature of humanity. Sexual relations are deemed appropriate only within the confines of heterosexual marriage. Adherence to celibacy is encouraged for those who are not married, such as priests and religious individuals.
Christianity places a strong emphasis on sexual purity and chastity. Adultery, fornication, and other forms of sexual immorality are seen as sinful acts that violate God’s moral law. Sexual intercourse is often regarded as a sacred act of self-giving love and procreation within the context of marriage.
Despite their inherent differences, Hinduism and Christianity share certain commonalities in their views of sexuality. Both religions recognize the importance of sexuality within the context of monogamous marriage. They also emphasize the importance of fidelity, commitment, and mutual respect in sexual relationships.
However, there are notable distinctions between the two religions. Hinduism tends to have a more liberal and inclusive perspective towards sexuality, acknowledging its diverse expressions. Hindu texts, such as the Kama Sutra, provide detailed insights into various sexual positions and techniques, promoting sexual pleasure as a legitimate aspect of human life.
In contrast, Christianity takes a more restrictive approach towards sexuality, with a focus on sexual purity and abstinence outside of marriage. The emphasis on celibacy and chastity can be linked to the religious belief in the fallen nature of humanity and the need to resist sinful desires.
Religion plays a substantial role in shaping views of sexuality, as exemplified by the perspectives of Hinduism and Christianity. While Hinduism promotes a more open and inclusive attitude towards sexuality, Christianity places greater emphasis on sexual purity and abstinence. Understanding these religious influences is crucial for comprehending the diverse attitudes towards sexuality that exist within different cultures and historical periods.
Keywords: sexuality, religion, Hinduism, Christianity, comparative analysis