Cornell Notes on “Soteriology” essay

For this assignment you will write cornell notes. Please follow the format and use the cornell notes template . should be 6 pages

1. After Reading my E-lecture on “Soteriology”

2. Complete Cornell notes on the lecture, and submit

E-Lecture: Soteriology: Ways and Goals of Salvation and Liberation

Ways of Salvation and Liberation

Ways (methods) of achieving salvation and liberation have varied throughout the history of religion. However, there are some major themes such as faith, devotion, disciplined action, and meditation or insight. These paths are not mutually exclusive and are often combined within one religion.

The Way of Grace Through Faith

Any religion who holds a belief in a transcendent sacred power must assume an act of faith on the part of the believer. Faith can mean the mental assent to the existence of an unseen sacred power. Faith is synonymous with belief in this case. However, faith is not intellectual assent alone but the total response of a person-heart, mind, and will. The way of faith is common in the three major monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) but is most common in Protestantism.

Martin Luther

Luther came to believe that the Christianity of Roman Catholicism was a cruel hoax. As he reinterpreted scripture, he came to discover that believers are made righteous by grace through repentance and faith, not through good works. For Luther, righteousness is the undeserved gift of divine grace which is to be received by faith alone.

This doesn’t mean that Luther didn’t value good works. Rather, he believed that the pious do everything that may redound to God’s glory alone. The Christian serves God for God’s sake, simply because He is God.

Amida Buddhism-Shinran

Faith is also popular in Hinduism and Buddhism. It is especially typical of the Buddhist Pure Land sects in China and Japan. After the celebrated split of Buddhism into two main schools, Mahayana and Theravada, Mahayana Buddhism removed the distinction between ignorant laypeople and the learned monk, and made salvation accessible to all.

The Pure Land sect, or Amida Buddhism, which comes from the Mahayana school, became the most popular school in Japan in medieval Japan. A sage, Honen, called for mutual tolerance in the different methods used to achieve enlightenment. Honen’s disciple, Sinran, came to believe that recitation of Amida’s name was an act of merit and self-assertion. Instead, he advanced a doctrine of salvation by grace through faith. Shinran believed it was impossible to do good works because all acts are tainted with self-centeredness.

For Shinran, and Luther, true religion rests on a recognition of our own moral failure; on our nothingness; an don the infinite, unspeakable mercy of God or Buddha.

The Way of Devotion

The way of devotion is usually in company with the ways of faith, action and insight and is either an important means or an outcome of these other classic paths to salvation.

Devotionalism is marked by deep feeling and emotion and is often dissatisfied with the formal feeling of traditional religion. It is also deeply personal and expresses a deep personal connection with the divine. Sometimes the devotee feels transported out of the body to another spiritual plane.

The human-divine relationship is often described in terms of a lover’s desire. This includes within certain branches of Protestantism, Islam and Hinduism.

The Way of Action and Obligation

Activity is important to the religious life of humankind. The way of action is the most popular of the paths to salvation. Most believers express their religious hopes through religious activities, rites, sacraments, and moral duties.

Action is very practical, and is an everyday approach to religion. Action has a patterned character, religious rites and duties have a regular, ordered, disciplined form. Action is usually conservative and institutional. It has a traditional character- it is the way of orthodoxy (correct opinion) and ortho-praxis (correct practice). Conformity is important and essential to community survival.

Review the sub-sections on the way of action within Hinduism, Islam and Judaism for the exam (pg. 312-320).

The Way of Meditation and Insight

Meditation and insight are an esoteric way of attaining salvation, meaning that it is one way that is pursued by the spiritually elite. Within Hinduism and Buddhism, meditation means a regimen of mental cultivation and development that proceeds through a series of moral and physical disciplines to the higher levels of mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom.

Believers within these religions feel that insight is crucial for the achievement of spiritual freedom and release. However, the insight is a particular kind: enlightenment about the false division between subject and object, and between the self and the Ultimate.

The Yoga Techniques of Patanjali

Yoga is the physical and mental discipline, along with philosophical principles, that makes up one of the six orthodox philosophies of India. The yoga system was refined and combined with the Samkhya philosophy by Patanjali.

According to Patanjali, the soul’s emancipation from illusion is only achieved through struggle- through ascetic techniques and meditation that can abolish the normal, illusory consciousness.

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