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« Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #46 of 52: Gnostic Religion | Main | Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #48 of 52: Syncretism of African and European Religions »

April 04, 2006

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #47 of 52: New Age Religions of America

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- American white folks came from Europe. They brought with them their European version of the Middle Eastern religion called Christianity. At the time that America was founded, Europe was embroiled in religious wars, with Protestants asserting their right to interpret the Bible as they saw fit and the Catholic Church’s emperor, the Bishop of Rome, insisting that his interpretation of the Bible is the correct one.

The Pope, even though he may be having affairs with several women, indeed, having sex with men, too, insisted that his views on God were the only correct one. The Church was a mess.

In America, folks felt a breathe of fresh air and felt free to interpret the bible as they saw fit without obtaining the approval of the king of Rome. They did not even have to obtain the approval of the secular kings of the respective European countries that they came from. Thus, they interpreted the Bible, however, they liked. In the process, they found Protestant churches all over the place.

All a fellow had to-do is say that his understanding of the bible is the best one, and persuade a few persons to follow him and a new denomination of Christianity is born. American must have thousands of denominations of the Christian religion.

Then the British conquered India and Europeans came into contact with religions of India: Hinduism and Buddhism. In time, Americans went to India and studied those Oriental religions.

These fellows came back to America and gave their Bible a Hindu interpretation. The Christian science of Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy is nothing more than Hinduism in Christian garb.

Unity Church, Religious Science and the other genre of Christian denominations called New Thought are all attempts to reinterpret Christianity from Oriental religious perspective.

After Japan opened up to the West in 1852, it and its Zen religion got into the game. China contributed its own religion and philosophy, Taoism and Confucianism, Japan contributed its traditional ancestor worship, Shinto.

In the twentieth century, Western Anthropologist went to Africa and brought back with them ideas about African religions.

All these information mixed together to form a new religious movement called New Age.

For our present purpose, these new age religions are attempts to marry east and West. Some of them actually make sense, but, in general, they tend to be a jumble of contradictory beliefs, such as belief in reincarnation and karma, but not belief in class system, as in traditional Hinduism.

Let us just say that these religions are interesting. They are still evolving. They generally call themselves metaphysical churches and by that they mean that they give the Bible, not a literal interpretation but a Hindu interpretation.

Ozodi@africauinstituteseattle.org

Posted by Administrator at April 4, 2006 01:45 AM

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