Contemporary Issues in Western Religions
- Pages: 10
- Word count: 2427
- Category: Religion
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The Judaism historical connection was the belief that people have a special relationship or bond between themselves and God. This form of covenant demands absolute obedience in return for his blessings, and God in return will hear and answer his or her prayers. Judaism stems from the root for both Islam and Christianity. The supreme creator portrayed as God is without origins, gender or form. Jews often perceive God as a loving God even though he is majestic and divine. Judaism, Islam, and Christianity commonly follow Abrahamic religion, tracing his or her history to the agreement that God made Abraham the Apostle. Muhammad the Prophet spoke to Christians and Jews throughout his lifetime, and the religion of Islam created communication with both monotheistic belief throughout Islamic history, however, Islam, and Christianity was a creation that involves many of Judaism beliefs and teachings.
Judaism, Christianity, and Islamic religions have the same faith and belief in his or her relationship with God. These western religions carry a traditional monotheistic way that characterizes his or her beliefs in one “God. These three religions have a necessary need to place very important facts that God that creates the heavens, the earth, and there is no other God. A monotheistic belief was a creation stemming from the Middle East with the Islamic people keeping most of their practices and belief in common with Christianity and Judaism. These western religions worships the same God, acknowledges the existence of the Ten Commandments, they practice the same rituals and worshiping. For Example: “The western religion believes in fasting, giving to the poor, and attending prayers services during certain times of the day. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam offer the same sets of morals that can govern the Hebrew race.
Religious practices change, according to what is within each country’s fraction, denominations, and the mental state of each person’s development toward permanent figures. For example spouse, parents, or siblings can create specific symbols, customs, religious practices, and traditions sometimes form attachments to certain relationship with God. The individuals must review and perceive his or her main mortal relationships that can dominate the personal perception of themselves in the eyes of God. The western religion Christianity, Islam, and Judaism perceive both immortal and mortal relationships that can influence religious laws and texts. These three western religions Judaism, Islam, and Christianity perceive “God” as a divine figure who can be responsive and available at any given time. Western religion seeks these certain behaviors and structures according to God, and keeping prayer as the main religious tradition.
People must perceive God as a safe and secure unit that can make sense in the world. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam belief can create his or her own personal value systems. Harris, Marshall, and Schvaneveldt say that “Prayer, without question, appears to be the most common and most powerful religious attachment behavior shared by Judaism, Christianity, and Islam” (Harris, Marshall, Schvaneveldt, Pg. 8). Regardless, the difference in the three religions stem from Abraham seeing God in all three beliefs and throughout Hebrew heritage.
Contemporary Struggles between Judaism and Christianity – With time people, places, theories, theology evolved. This holds true to the religions of Judaism and Christianity. These two different theologies were at one time unwaveringly the same. These Religions held and still hold many similarities to this day. According to Sadmel D, The Christian Reclamation of Judaism “We share a common scripture, we believe in the same God, we have similar moral Values, Jesus was Jewish, and, for better or for worse, we have lived together for almost 2000 years” (2005). Although the contemporary struggles between these two Religions took place after the death of Jesus Christ, it is only after the death of Jesus; the emergence of Christianity begging’s and began to spread their new beliefs in the Greco-Roman world. At this time the development of Christianity starts and can be distinctively different and separates Judaism. The separation among the Religions took years to evolve and had many significant milestones that created the division. One struggle that faced these conflicting Religions is the belief that Jesus was the Messiah. After his death, Christians truly believed he was the Messiah. This was written in the New Testament, which is another contemporary struggle that divides Judaism and Christianity. Jewish followers are still waiting for the Messiah. Judaism and Christianity today are looked at as two separate entities. Each Religion can learn from past revelations with the purest of purposes. With an unbiased ideology, Jews, and Christians can learn of their past and understanding their true origins.
A different look at the struggles and issues between Judaism and Christianity we take a closer look at Christianity. Christianity is a religion built on a life and words of Jesus of Nazareth, also known as Jesus Christ. Christianity founded on the idea of personal salvation and the deliverance from sin and eternal life for its followers.
There are many struggles within the religion of Christianity starting with the birth of Christ. People did not believe he was born of a virgin or believed he was the son of God. Even after Jesus crucifixion on the cross and returned for a moment on earth people still did not believe he was the messiah.
Christianity has unique struggles that divide the religion and cause some level of disagreement. The two major problems within Christianity are some people do not understand the contexts in the Bible and do not take time to fellowship with God. The Bible is its chief sacred text, and there are three main branches: Roman Catholicism, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and Protestantism. Modern Christianity further divided into an estimated 22 thousand different denominations. It is probably the most divided religion in the world. Christianity is the world’s largest religion with 2.1 billion followers all around the globe. The life and deeds of Jesus portrayed in the gospel were considered the heart of Christianity.
The discrimination of women is another contemporary struggle and issue among the three religions. One question often asked of non-Muslims is do Muslim women in the Muslim receive noble treatment in the world today? Unfortunate the answer is no. There is a wide spectrum of attitudes toward women in the Muslim world today. Attitudes differ from one society to another and within each individual society. The first direction of deviation among the societies is more conservative, restrictive, and traditions-oriented, whereas the second is more liberal and Western-oriented. The societies that have digressed in the first direction treat women according to the customs and traditions inherited from their forebears.
These traditions deprive women of many rights granted to them by Islam. Women were treated according to standards different from those applied to men. “This discrimination pervades the life of any female: she is received with less joy at birth than a boy; she is less likely to go to school; she might be deprived any share of her family’s inheritance; she is under continuous surveillance in order not to behave immodestly while her brother’s immodest acts are tolerated; she might even be killed for committing what her male family members usually boast of doing; she has very little say in family affairs or community interests; she might not have full control over her property and her marriage gifts; and finally as a mother she herself would prefer to produce boys so that she can attain a higher status in her community” (Leonard J. Swidler, 1976, p. 115).
There are Muslim societies that have been swept over by the Western culture and way of life often imitating whatever they receive from the West and adopting the worst fruits of Western civilization. A typical “modern” woman’s top priority in life is to enhance her physical beauty. She tends to care more about her body than her mind and more about her charms than her intellect. Her ability to charm, attract, and excite were more valued in the society than her educational achievements, intellectual pursuits, and social work. Her spirituality has no room in a society preoccupied with her attractiveness
“There is a wide gap between what Muslims are supposed to believe in and what they actually practice. This gap is not a recent phenomenon. It has been there for centuries and has been widening day after day. This ever widening gap has had disastrous consequences on the Muslim
world manifested in almost all aspects of life: political tyranny and fragmentation, economic backwardness, social injustice, scientific bankruptcy, and intellectual stagnation” (Leonard J. Swidler, 1976, p. 115).
The position of women in the Judaism-Christian tradition might seem frightening by our late twentieth century standards should be viewed within proper historical context. There can be no doubt that the views of the Rabbis and the Church Fathers regarding women were influenced by the prevalent attitudes toward women in their societies. The Bible itself was written by different authors at different times. An example, in the Old Testament the adultery laws are so biased against women that they defy rational explanation by our mentality. If we consider that the early Jewish tribes were obsessed with their genetic homogeneity and extremely eager to define themselves apart from the surrounding tribes and that sexual only misconduct by the married females of the tribes could threaten these cherished aspirations, we can understand the reasons for this bias.
A proper understanding of the Judaism-Christian historical context is also crucial for understanding the significance of the contributions of Islam to world history and human civilization. The Judaism-Christian tradition were influenced and shaped by the environments, conditions, and cultures in which it had existed. The poor status of women in the Judaism-Christian world by the seventh century is just point. The Quran described the mission of the new Messenger as a release for Jews and Christians from the heavy burdens that had been upon them: “Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own Scriptures–In the Law and the Gospel– For he commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil; he allows them as lawful what is good and prohibits them from what is bad; He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them” (7:157).
Islam should not be viewed as a rival tradition to Judaism or Christianity. It is regarded as the consummation, completion, and perfection of the divine messages.
The Quran succinctly has considered the interaction of man and woman as one purpose of creation: ” O mankind We created you from a single pair of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other” (49:13).
Islam, just as Judaism and Christianity can be viewed as a religion that had immensely improved the status of women and had granted them many rights that the modern world has recognized only this century. Islam still has much to offer today’s woman: dignity, respect, and protection in all aspects and all stages of her life from birth until death in addition to the recognition, the balance, and means for the fulfillment of all her spiritual, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.
Attitude Toward Merchants and Trades – “First, the high individual and community cost of educating children in subsistence farming economies prompted voluntary conversions of Jews that accounted for a share of the reduction from 4.5 to 1.2 million. Second, the Jewish farmers who invested in education gained the comparative advantage and incentive to enter skilled occupations during the urbanization in the Abbasid empire in the Near East, and they did select themselves into these occupations. Third, as merchants the Jews invested even more in education—a precondition for the mailing network and common court system that endowed them with trading skills demanded all over the world. Fourth, the Jews generated a voluntary diaspora within the Muslim Empire and later to Western Europe. Fifth, the majority of world Jewry lived in the Near East when the Mongol invasions in the 1250s brought this region back to a subsistence farming economy in which many Jews found it difficult to enforce the religious norm, and hence converted, as it had happened centuries earlier.” (JEL: J1, J2, N3, O1, Z12, Z13)
Factors specific to medieval Jewry helped the Radhanites acquire monopolies. For example, Muslims were excluded from European markets, and Christians were virtually barred from Islamic waters; only Jews could travel as commercial agents in both realms. In addition, like all Jews, the Radhanites could be assured of hospitality among co-religionists dispersed all along their transcontinental route through North Africa and Asia as well as in the European hinterlands. Piracy, which colored all aspects of sea commerce, was a part of the continuing holy war between Islam and Christendom and was especially active near Byzantine shore and in the eastern Mediterranean in the eleventh century. Jews captured by pirates could count on ransom and rescue by fellow Jews in the area when they were brought to a slave market, generally deprived of all possessions including the clothes on their back.
In conclusion we can see there are many differences and similarities between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam religions. The struggles and issues are numerous, and this paper can only address a very small portion of them. We can also assume that many of these struggles and issues will continue for years or centuries to come.
Sadmel, D. (2005). The Christian Reclamation of Judaism. Judaism, 54(3/4), 251-262.
World Religions: Almanac written by Michael J. O’Neal and Sydney Jones
(2007) Thomson Gale, a part of The Thomson Corporation. Leonard J. Swidler, Women in Judaism: the Status of Women in Formative Judaism (Metuchen, N.J: Scarecrow Press, 1976) p. 115.
Thena Kendath, “Memories of an Orthodox youth” in Susannah Heschel, ed. On being a Jewish Feminist (New York: Schocken Books, 1983), pp. 96-97.
Swidler, op. cit., pp. 80-81.
Rosemary R. Ruether, “Christianity”, in Arvind Sharma, ed., Women in World Religions (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1987) p. 209.
For all the sayings of the prominent Saints, see Karen Armstrong, The Gospel According to Woman (London: Elm Tree Books, 1986) pp. 52-62. See also Nancy van Vuuren, The Subversion of Women as Practiced by Churches, Witch-Hunters, and Other Sexists (Philadelphia: Westminster Press) pp. 28-30.
Harris, W. V., Marshall, J. P., & Schaneveldt, J. D. (2008, Spring). In the Eyes of God; how attached theory informs Historical and Contemporary Marriage and Religious Practices among Abrahamic Faiths. Journal of Comparative of Family Studies, 39(2), 259-278.