Asia ( (listen)) is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the continent of Europe and the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with both Europe and Africa. Asia covers an area of 44,579,000 square kilometres (17,212,000 sq mi), about 30% of Earth's total land area and 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area. The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the human population, was the site of many of the first civilizations. Asia is notable for not only its overall large size and population, but also dense and large settlements, as well as vast barely populated regions. Its 4.5 billion people () constitute roughly 60% of the world's population.
In general terms, Asia is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean, and on the north by the Arctic Ocean. The border of Asia with Europe is a historical and cultural construct, as there is no clear physical and geographical separation between them. It is somewhat arbitrary and has moved since its first conception in classical antiquity. The division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East–West cultural, linguistic, and ethnic differences, some of which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The most commonly accepted boundaries place Asia to the east of the Suez Canal separating it from Africa; and to the east of the Turkish Straits, the Ural Mountains and Ural River, and to the south of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian and Black Seas, separating it from Europe.
China and India alternated in being the largest economies in the world from 1 to 1800 CE. China was a major economic power and attracted many to the east, and for many the legendary wealth and prosperity of the ancient culture of India personified Asia, attracting European commerce, exploration and colonialism. The accidental discovery of a trans-Atlantic route from Europe to America by Columbus while in search for a route to India demonstrates this deep fascination. The Silk Road became the main east–west trading route in the Asian hinterlands while the Straits of Malacca stood as a major sea route. Asia has exhibited economic dynamism (particularly East Asia) as well as robust population growth during the 20th century, but overall population growth has since fallen. Asia was the birthplace of most of the world's mainstream religions including Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, as well as many other religions.
Gregory of Nazianzus
was a 4th-century Archbishop
. He is widely considered the most accomplished rhetorical stylist of the patristic age
. As a classically trained speaker and philosopher
he infused Hellenism
into the early church
, establishing the paradigm of Byzantine theologians
and church officials. Gregory made a significant impact on the shape of Trinitarian theology
among both Greek-
-speaking theologians, and he is remembered as the "Trinitarian Theologian". Much of his theological work continues to influence modern theologians, especially in regard to the relationship among the three Persons of the Trinity. Along with the two brothers Basil the Great
and Gregory of Nyssa
, he is known as one of the Cappadocian Fathers
. Gregory is a saint
in both Eastern
and Western Christianity
. In the Roman Catholic Church
he is numbered among the Doctors of the Church
; in Eastern Orthodoxy
and the Eastern Catholic Churches
he is revered as one of the Three Holy Hierarchs
, along with Basil the Great
and John Chrysostom
. Gregory's most significant theological contributions arose from his defense of the Nicene doctrine of the Trinity
. He is especially noted for his contributions to the field of pneumatology
—that is, theology concerning the nature of the Holy Spirit
.In this regard, Gregory is the first to use the idea of procession
to describe the relationship between the Spirit and the Godhead: "The Holy Spirit is truly Spirit, coming forth from the Father indeed but not after the manner of the Son, for it is not by generation but by procession
, since I must coin a word for the sake of clearness."
The Xá Lợi Pagoda raids
were a series of synchronized attacks on various Buddhist pagodas
in the major cities of South Vietnam
shortly after midnight on 21 August 1963. The raids were executed by the Army of the Republic of Vietnam Special Forces
under Colonel Lê Quang Tung
, and combat police, both of which took their orders directly from Ngô Đình Nhu
, younger brother of the Roman Catholic
President Ngô Đình Diệm
. Xá Lợi
, the largest in the South Vietnamese capital, Saigon
, was the most prominent of the raided temples. Over 1,400 Buddhists were arrested, and estimates of the death toll and missing
ranged up to the hundreds. In response to the Huế Phật Đản shootings
and a ban on the Buddhist flag
in early May, South Vietnam's Buddhist majority rose in widespread civil disobedience and protest against the religious bias and discrimination of the Catholic-dominated Diệm government. Buddhist temples in major cities, most prominently the Xá Lợi pagoda, became focal points for protesters and assembly points for Buddhist monks
from rural areas.In August, several Army of the Republic of Vietnam
(ARVN) generals proposed the imposition of martial law, ostensibly to break up the demonstrations, but in reality to prepare for a military coup. However, Nhu, already looking to arrest Buddhist leaders and crush the protest movement, used the opportunity to preempt the generals and embarrass them. He disguised Tung's Special Forces in army uniforms and used them to attack the Buddhists, thereby causing the general public and South Vietnam's U.S. allies to blame the army, diminishing the generals' reputations and ability to act as future national leaders.
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