Phase 4 - Individual Project – Page 1 of 4
THE ASSIGNMENT: Every civilization throughout recorded history has left evidence of having had religious or otherwise spiritual beliefs. While some religious traditions have striking differences from others, many tend to share several common themes. Examine the basic tenets of the following two religious traditions:
1. Judeo/Christian and Islam, and then describe the significance of the similarities that you find. Jews and Muslims both worship the same God. Both Judaism and Islam faithfully believe in the existence of one and only one God. Many Americans understand that Jews and Christians worship the same God; however, they may be unaware ...view middle of the document...
Such characteristically Christian beliefs as the divinity of Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus, and the unique role and status of Jesus as being a literal Son of God and a divine savior are all regarded by both Jews and Muslims alike as not only patently false, but even as downright blasphemous. From the perspectives of both Judaism and Islam, such extreme beliefs about Jesus are seen as being utterly inconsistent with the sort of genuine, radical, and uncompromising monotheism upon which both Judaism and Islam absolutely insist, as non-negotiable core articles of faith. For Jews and Muslims alike, God is one, and not in any sense three; for them, Christianity’s belief in the Trinity smacks of an unacceptable “tri-theism.” For their part, Muslims do regard Jesus as a very great prophet indeed, but as nothing more elevated or holy than that a mere mortal, nothing more. Jews take an even dimmer view of the matter, seeing Jesus as at best a failed wannabe messiah, or at worst as a false prophet.
2. What recurring themes do you see in the following core elements of these two major religious traditions? • • • • Creation stories (cosmogony) End of world prophecies (eschatology) Ideas about the afterlife Behaviors the humans must exemplify in order to please the supreme being Moral Code Duty
Phase 4 - Individual Project – Page 3 of 4
Christianity picked up where Judaism left off and apocalyptic literature began running rampant after the crucifixion of Jesus. Many early followers of Jesus were Jews; therefore, as a result the Christian religion is deeply rooted in Judaism. According to Christian scriptures, at the end of time there will be a mass resurrection of the dead. It is to be understood that this idea is merely an extension of the Jewish belief in the resurrection of the body, or a rebirth, as the Pharisees believed. However the idea of a resurrection in the flesh was controversial and caused a rift between different sects of Judaism, such as the Pharisees and Sadducees. Gnostics were appalled at the idea of a fleshly resurrection. This mass rising of the dead will herald the second coming of the messiah, in which all will be judged according to their deeds. This prophecy is similar to early Zoroastrian accounts, in which one will face judgment upon death, either being rewarded or punished. Egyptians believed the heart was weighed. Since the soul was resurrected after death, by mummifying the dead, the idea was to preserve the physical vessel. As above, so below Michael and his angels are fighting the dragon in heaven while chaos grips the Earth, culminating with the war to end all wars, which will be fought on...