Compare Contrast Religion


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Joe Stas
[email protected]
This was an A essay!
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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
representation
in all the populated continents of the globe. Its total membership may exceed 1.7 billion
people.
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
written
revelation brought by Muhammad. The Muslim world population is estimated at more
than 1
billion. Islam is the quickest growing religion.
Judaism is one of the world's oldest religious traditions. Pre-modern Judaism constituted
(and
traditional Judaism today constitutes) an integrated cultural system of Jewish law,
custom, and
practice encompassing the totality of individual and communal existence. It is a system
of
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
parts of
the world, a result of both voluntary migrations and forced exile or expulsions.
Origin
The central element of Christianity is the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus of Nazareth, a
Jewish
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
prophet,
Muhammad. In Mohammed's time (570?-632), the Arabian Peninsula was inhabited by
nomadic
Bedouins and city-dwelling Arabs. Muhammad began his ministry at the age of 40, when,
he
claimed, the archangel Gabriel appeared to him in a vision. At first Muhammad confided
his
visions only to his family and close friends. After four years he began to preach openly in
his
native city of Mecca. Ridiculed by the Meccans, he went to Medina in 622. At his death
in 632,
Muhammad was the leader of an Arab state growing rapidly in power. The third duty of a
Muslim
is to pay zakat. This tax was originally levied by Muhammad ,and later by Muslim states,
on the
wealthy members of the community, primarily to help the poor. The fourth duty is the
fast of
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
to
Mecca. Every adult Muslim who is physically and economically able to do so must make
this
pilgrimage at least once in his or her lifetime.
Unlike the other two major religions Judaism evolved form the Israelites who didn't deny
the
existence of other gods for other nations, though they only worshipped one deity. Its deity
was
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
formed.
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
conquerors.
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
historical
books. A truly monotheistic religion, called Judaism, developed from these events. In 539
BC
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
for
most Christians that does not fully justify significance of his life and work. Christians
teach
that God is almighty in dominion over all that is in heaven and on earth, righteous
judgment
over good and evil. Baptism is the means of initiation into Christianity. Another
fundamental
component of the Christian faith and practice is its community. The community of faith
in the
church is the primary setting for Christian worship, although Christians of all traditions
have
placed a strong emphasis on private devotion and individual prayer.
Unlike Christianity Islam has two fundamental sources of doctrine and practice, which
are the
Koran and the Sunna. Muslims regard the Koran as the speech of God to Muhammad and
they believe
that God himself is the author. The Sunna is known through Hadith, the body of
traditions based
on the words and actions of the Prophet. Unlike the Koran, Hadith is not considered
infallible.
The Islamic culture also believes that there are fundamental things for all Muslims to do
so
they go to heaven. According to Islam, God has four fundamental functions: creation,
sustenance, guidance, and judgment. The