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Amitābha

(906 words)

Author(s): Astley, Ian | May, John
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Missiology I. History of Religion Amitābha (Sanskrit), “(Buddha of) infinite light,” or Amitāyus, “(Buddha of) infinite life” (Buddha); Chinese O-mi-t'o, Japanese Amida (Buddha of the West) is associated with Bodhisattva, Avalokiteśvara, and Mahāsthāmaprāpta. These three figures are a frequent theme of Buddhist iconography. The cult of Amitābha seems to have begun in north-west India, possibly under the influence of the Zoroastrian cult of Ahura Mazdā. By the 3rd century ce, the cult had spread to China via Central Asia. This cult became very popular in East Asia, although the goal of being reborn into Amitābha's Pure Land (Sanskrit Sukhāvatī, Chinese Ch'ing t'u, Japanese Jōdo; Ch'ing t'u/Jōdo shū) did not necessarily presuppose participation in such a cult. Today, the cult of Amitābha is still one of the most important elements of Buddhism (I) in China, Korea, and Japan. Chinese sources suggest a Sanskrit original text with the putative title Sukhāvatīvyūha-sūtra, which was probably translated into Chinese in the years after 421 …

Theologie der Religionen

(2,934 words)

Author(s): Vroom, Henk M. | Schwöbel, Christoph | May, John D'Arcy
[English Version] I. Religionsphilosophisch Die Theol. der Rel. widmet sich der philos. oder theol. Reflexion der Verhältnisse zw. Religionen und Weltanschauungen. In neuerer Zeit werden die Grundtypen der Theol. der Rel. unterschieden: Exklusivismus, Inklusivismus und Pluralismus (alle Rel. werden verstanden als im Prinzip gleichberechtigte Reaktionen auf die Erfahrung der [einen?] Transzendenz, Absolutheitsanspruch des Christentums, Dialog: II.). Es ist fraglich, ob diese Einteilung sich aus der Sicht aller Rel. so aufrechterhalten läßt. In der Theol. d…