Worldviews religions Buddhism
|The Journal of Religion and Film
Buddhism, Christianity, and The Matrix:
Buddhism, Christianity, and
by James L. Ford, Ph.D.
 This essay analyzes the recent film The Matrix from the perspective of modern-day myth-making. After a brief plot summary of the film, I note the well-documented parallels to the Christian messianic narrative of Jesus. I then go on to highlight the often overlooked parallels to the Buddhist existential analysis of the human condition. In particular, I note a remarkable resonance between The Matrix and the fourth century (C.E.) philosophical school of Buddhism known as Yogacara. By highlighting the syncretic or combinative nature of the film's symbolic narrative, I submit The Matrix as a cinematic example of the dialectical process of myth-making by means of Peter Berger's theory of socio-cultural construction.
 Humans are mythologizing and, as Peter Berger would suggest, "world-building" creatures. We appropriate elements from our past and present to fashion epic narratives and myths for a variety of existential, sociological, and religious ends. Myths are not fixed narrative forms, however. Studies of traditionally oral cultures evidence considerable elasticity in the details of a particular myth. And history also demonstrates that myths often evolve as a result of cultural diffusion and contact. Myths are constantly adapted to new cultural contexts and worldly realities. While the invention of writing inspired a more fixed status for some myths, it did not halt the ongoing adaptation and amalgamation of previously disparate mythological themes and concepts.
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Buddhism is a religion born in ancient India in which meditation is a central tenet.
Is buddhism a world wide religion?
yes, however it has more followers in Asia than anywhere else