Salvation, in religion, is the saving of the soul from sin and its consequences. It may also be called "deliverance" or "redemption" from sin and its effects. Depending on the religious tradition, salvation is considered to be caused either by the free will and grace of a deity (in theistic religions) or by personal responsibility and self-effort (e.g. in the sramanic and yogic traditions of India). Religions often emphasize the necessity of both personal effort— for example, repentance and asceticism —and divine action (e.g. grace).
Within soteriology, salvation has two related meanings. On the one hand it refers to the phenomenon of being saved by divine agency —such as is the case in Christianity, Judaism and Islam. On the other it refers to the phenomenon of the soul being saved (as in 'safe') from some unfortunate destiny. In the former, divine agency gives rise to the situation of the latter. However, devotion, petition, supplication and liturgical participation though considered integral to Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christianity are not considered enough alone to bring about salvation. Asceticism and repentance are advocated as essential from both a practical and sacramental point of view. Protestant Christianity (particularly evangelical Christianity) with its emphasis on sola fide asserts that salvation comes by way of grace through Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-9) and is effected by faith alone.
The academic study of salvation is called soteriology. It concerns itself with the comparative study of how different religious traditions conceive salvation and how they believe it is effected or achieved. In Indian religions, for example, the concept of salvation (which is called moksha) involves being free from an endless process of transmigration of the soul, a belief that is absent from Abrahamic soteriology. In Jainism and Buddhism divine agency does not have any role in salvation since both religions regard the matter from a purely causal point of view.
In both Eastern and Western religions salvation is also the phenomenon of being saved from death but here is not meant biological death but the suffering and degradation within life resulting from the consequences of sin. In Christianity one who has attained salvation is said to experience and inherit eternal life in God or what in Buddhism is called nirvana (whose synonym amaravati means "deathlessness").
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Famous quotes containing the word salvation:
“Our salvation lies not in knowing, but in creating!”
—Friedrich Nietzsche (18441900)
“The salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human meekness and human responsibility.”
—Václav Havel (b. 1936)
“Christianity was only a very strong and singularly well-timed Salvation Army movement that happened to receive help from an unusual and highly dramatic incident. It was a Puritan reaction in an age when, no doubt, a Puritan reaction was much wanted; but like all sudden violent reactions, it soon wanted reacting against.”
—Samuel Butler (18351902)