The term Eastern can have multiple meanings depending on its context. Most modern uses of the term refer to Eastern philosophy, Eastern or Asian countries, Eastern history or ancient Asian culture, typically also including those countries whose ethnic identity and their dominant culture derive from ancient Asian culture. Thus, in various contexts, the term "Eastern" may refer to something that came from the East.
Culturally, the term is usually associated with a tradition that traces its origins to ancient Indian and East Asian thought and religions like Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Jainism and Taoism. Cornerstones in this tradition are beliefs in spiritual, karmic, or ancestral forces.
Last updated: 10-29-2005 02:13:46