Religion and Control

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Throughout history religion has been used as means to justify actions and to control people. The two earliest examples are Zoroastrianism and Hinduism. The time frames that will be discussed will be the reign of Cyrus, 521 to 486 BCE, and India from 1500 to 500 BCE, before the Persians had a direct effect on India. The Persian religion is thought to be Zoroastrianism or a derivative of it, called Achaemenian. (For this paper the Persian’s religion will be referred to as Zoroastrianism.) However, Cyrus did not strive to spread his religion he introduced his self into other religions as a divine figure. Hinduism is a religion whose origins are unknown but are speculated to have been initiated by the Aryan people. The development of the Caste system intertwined with the Hindu religion was an effective way of controlling the Indian populace by dividing the people into four major divisions, The Brahman Priests, The Kshatriya, Warriors, Vaisya Merchants and the Sudra Peasants. There was another class that was considered out castes they were called the Untouchables. A comparison and contrast of these two cultures will answer: how and why they used religion to ascertain their control over their general population. Cyrus implemented his control of the populace by integrating himself into religions by portraying himself as chosen by God. This has been well documented in two areas one with the Babylon populace, with their god Murdock and in the Hebrew bible. With Murdock he used the fact that the king, Nabonidus, of Babylon was re-focusing his worship away from the god Murdock and towards Sîn. When he missed an important ritual renewing his Kingship associated with Murduck the priest of Murdock were infuriated. Cyrus caught a whiff of it... ... middle of paper ... ...mpires that came after these two and conclude that religion has been used in this sense for years long after. Bibliography Halsall, Paul. "Indian History Sourcebook:The Laws of Manu, c. 1500 BCE translated by G. Buhler ." http://www.fordham.edu. 1998. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/india/manu-full.asp. Jones, John P. India it Life and Thought. New York: The Macmillian Company, 1908. Lincoln, Bruce. Religion Empire and Torture. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2007. Works Cited Halsall, Paul. "Indian History Sourcebook:The Laws of Manu, c. 1500 BCE translated by G. Buhler ." http://www.fordham.edu. 1998. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/india/manu-full.asp. Jones, John P. India it Life and Thought. New York: The Macmillian Company, 1908. Lincoln, Bruce. Religion Empire and Torture. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2007.
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