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Compare Contrast Religion
Compare Contrast Religion
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Compare and Contrast essay: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism
Introduction of Religions
Christianity most widely distributed of the world religions, having substantial
in all the populated continents of the globe. Its total membership may exceed 1.7 billion
Islam, a major world religion, founded in Arabia and based on the teachings of
Muhammad, who is
called the Prophet. One who practices Islam is a Muslim. Muslims follow the Koran, the
revelation brought by Muhammad. The Muslim world population is estimated at more
billion. Islam is the quickest growing religion.
Judaism is one of the world's oldest religious traditions. Pre-modern Judaism constituted
traditional Judaism today constitutes) an integrated cultural system of Jewish law,
practice encompassing the totality of individual and communal existence. It is a system
sanctification in which all is to be subsumed under God's rule. Judaism originated in the
Middle East, but Jewish communities have existed at one time or another in almost all
the world, a result of both voluntary migrations and forced exile or expulsions.
The central element of Christianity is the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus of Nazareth, a
rabbi, attracted a following of people who believed him to be a new prophet. Their
recollections of Jesus' words and deeds recall his days on earth and the miracle of his
resurrection from the dead on the first Easter. These Jewish Christians began the first
churches, in Jerusalem.
Much like Christianity Islam was based on the prophesies and teaching of person or
Muhammad. In Mohammed's time (570?-632), the Arabian Peninsula was inhabited by
Bedouins and city-dwelling Arabs. Muhammad began his ministry at the age of 40, when,
claimed, the archangel Gabriel appeared to him in a vision. At first Muhammad confided
visions only to his family and close friends. After four years he began to preach openly in
native city of Mecca. Ridiculed by the Meccans, he went to Medina in 622. At his death
Muhammad was the leader of an Arab state growing rapidly in power. The third duty of a
is to pay zakat. This tax was originally levied by Muhammad ,and later by Muslim states,
wealthy members of the community, primarily to help the poor. The fourth duty is the
the month of Ramadan. During the fasting month, one must refrain from eating, drinking,
smoking, and sexual intercourse from dawn until sunset. The fifth duty is the pilgrimage
Mecca. Every adult Muslim who is physically and economically able to do so must make
pilgrimage at least once in his or her lifetime.
Unlike the other two major religions Judaism evolved form the Israelites who didn't deny
existence of other gods for other nations, though they only worshipped one deity. Its deity
Yahweh, the god of the patriarchs, who was worshipped in a sacrificial cult centered in
Jerusalem and later at sanctuaries in the north, where a rival Jewish kingdom was
Prophets who warned against the people's reliance on these temple cults saw themselves
vindicated when both the northern and southern kingdoms were destroyed by foreign
The exile of the Judeans to Babylonia in 586 BC was a major turning point in Israelite
religion. The prior history of Israel now was reinterpreted in light of the events of 586,
laying the foundation for the traditional biblical Pentateuch, prophetic canon, and
books. A truly monotheistic religion, called Judaism, developed from these events. In 539
the Jews were permitted to return to Israel.
Doctrines and Practices
In Christian teaching, Jesus is the supreme preacher and exemplar of the moral life, but
most Christians that does not fully justify significance of his life and work. Christians
that God is almighty in dominion over all that is in heaven and on earth, righteous
over good and evil. Baptism is the means of initiation into Christianity. Another
component of the Christian faith and practice is its community. The community of faith
church is the primary setting for Christian worship, although Christians of all traditions
placed a strong emphasis on private devotion and individual prayer.
Unlike Christianity Islam has two fundamental sources of doctrine and practice, which
Koran and the Sunna. Muslims regard the Koran as the speech of God to Muhammad and
that God himself is the author. The Sunna is known through Hadith, the body of
on the words and actions of the Prophet. Unlike the Koran, Hadith is not considered
The Islamic culture also believes that there are fundamental things for all Muslims to do
they go to heaven. According to Islam, God has four fundamental functions: creation,
sustenance, guidance, and judgment. The Koran declares that reforming the earth is the
of human endeavor. The Koran insists that individuals transcend their pettiness and
inner moral quality. Islam teaches that God sent prophets to teach both individuals and
correct moral and spiritual behavior. Muslims believe that Muhammad was the final
that the Koran is the final and most nearly perfect revelation of God, consummating and
superseding all earlier revelations. Muslims also believe in a final judgment when
will be judged according to their deeds.
The Jewish culture has much in common with the other major religions. All forms of
been rooted in the Hebrew Bible. The various historical forms of Judaism have shared
characteristic features. The most essential of these is a belief that a single, transcendent
God created the universe and continues to govern it. The same God who created the
revealed himself to the Israelites at Mount Sinai. The content of that revelation is the
A second major concept in Judaism is that of the covenant between God and the Jewish
They would acknowledge God, agreeing to obey his laws; God, in turn, would
as his particular people. Both natural and historical events that befall Israel are
as emanating from God and as influenced by Israel's religious behavior. In time, the
was mitigated by the belief that virtue and obedience ultimately would be rewarded and
punished by divine judgment after death, and that at the end of time God would send his
to redeem the Jews and restore them to sovereignty in their land.
The Catholic Church experienced a split between the eastern and western parts of
major crisis emerged in the 700s over the use of images, or icons, in Christian churches.
eventually the icons were restored. During the 600s and 700s eastern centers were
the dynamic new faith of Islam, with only Constantinople remaining unconquered.
features of the Christian East contributed to its increasing alienation from the West,
finally produced the Great Schism, traditionally dated from 1054, when Rome and
exchanged excommunication's. The separation of east and West has continued into
despite repeated attempts at reconciliation. Some of the most dynamic developments
in the western part of the Roman Empire, which witnessed the growth of the papacy and
migration of the Germanic peoples. The most powerful force remaining in Rome was its
who became the leader of the Western church as waves of invading tribes swept into
as the political power of Constantinople in the west declined. Finally in 800 an
Western Empire was born when Pope Leo III crowned Frankish king Charlemagne
Christianity in the West, unlike its eastern counterpart, developed into a single entity.
Church and state clashed repeatedly over the delineation of their respective spheres of
authority. Church and state did cooperate by closing ranks in organizing Crusades against
Muslim conquerors of Jerusalem. However, the Crusades did not permanently restore
rule to the Holy Land, and they did not unify the West either ecclesiastically or
Islam's major struggle was with their expansion to other cultures and geographic areas,
were already occupied by Christianity and Judaism. During the first centuries of Islam its
and theology, the basic orthodox Islamic disciplines, were developed. The 700s and 800s
emergence of the first major Islamic theological school, called the Mutazilites, who
reason and rigorous logical rationalists, they maintained that human reason is competent
distinguish between good and evil. By the 900s a reaction had set in, led by philosophers
maintained that moral truths are established by God and can be known only through
In the 11th century, attacks on philosophy by orthodox Islamic thinkers, notably the
al Ghazali, had much to do with the eventual decline of rationalist philosophical
in the Islamic community. The Shiites are the only surviving major sectarian movement
They emerged out of a dispute over political succession to Muhammad. The Shiites
believe in a
series of 12 Imams, beginning with Ali. The 12th and last imam disappeared in 880, and
Shiites await his return, at which time they believe the world will be filled with justice.
Judaism also experienced some major struggles of it's own too indifferent than that of
and Christianity. The Maccabean revolt of 165 to 142 BC brought about Jewish political
independence from Syria. The earliest apocalyptic writings were composed during this
This genre of cryptic revelations interpreted the wars of the time as part of a cosmic
between the forces of good and evil that would end with the ultimate victory of God's
Messianic-apocalyptic fervor increased when Jewish political independence was brought
to an end
by Roman legions in the middle of the 1st century BC and climaxed in the outbreak of an
unsuccessful revolt in AD 66 to 70. The Romans' destruction of the Second Temple in
AD 70 and
their suppression of a second revolt in 132 to 135 discredited the priestly leadership. In
context the rabbinic movement emerged, emphasizing communal and spiritual life. The
taught that through study, prayer, and observance the individual Jew could achieve
while waiting for the Messiah.
Despite all there differences expressed in the predeceasing sections of this essay
Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are similar in many respects, such as they all believe in
monotheism, they all believe in prophets and base their religion on the word these
brought from God himself, they all preach donation. They've experienced conflicts
other, which still exist today. Jerusalem is a major religious city to all these religions.
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