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University of Guelph
HIST 2070
Norman Smith

Sarah Murphy 0715438 HIST 2070 – World Religions in Historical Perspectives Comparing Zoroastrianism, Islam and Christianity The Basis of Zoroastrianism is that there is a constant battle between good evil, where evil triumphs more, but when it comes to the final battle, good will win. Good represents health, happiness, growth and life, while evil represents, chaos, disease, and sorrow. Good and Evil signify the heart of existence as well as the central meaning of one’s life. Zoroastrianism was the first monotheistic religion, this means that is was the first religion to have a belief in only one God. It also helped to introduce many of the beliefs that are now found in a number of other religions, some of these include Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. (Smith, 2013). Islam directly translates to mean “submission to God”. Islam began when a man, Mohammed travelled to Mount Hira during Ramadan, where he was visited by the angel of Gabriel. From then on Mohammed considered himself to be a prophet, a human chosen by God to communicate his final message to the human race). Throughout the rest of Mohammed’s life, he continued to be visited by the angel of Gabriel and eventually told of his teachings. These teachings were written down and recorded in a book, now referred to as the Qur’an. Mohammed saw Islam, not as a new religion, but as a completion to Judaism and Christianity, he also believed that the idea of religion and society needed to work together to eventually become one indistinguishable unit, which would be a community of those who submit to God. During his travels as a prophet, Mohammed came to notice eastern Christianity and Judaism, both of these religions believed that there was one God, and that sacred scriptures were part of a very important guide in order to have a proper relationship between humanity and God, himself. (Smith, 2013). Back in the first century A.D/C.E, Christianity began as a part of Judaism. The basis of Christianity is that Jesus, Sarah Murphy 0715438 son of the virgin Mary, divine God, suffered, died, and was resurrected for humanity so that those who believe in him would be granted eternal life and be cleansed of their sins. The doctrine of Christianity is to study and teach the word of God to others. Judaism and Christianity eventually split because, although Jews, like Christians, believed in only one God, Jews did not believe in spreading their belief past their own ethnic group, this created major tensions among the two religions. Finally in 323 A.D., the first St. Peter’s church was built. This substantial event signified that the new freedom to build places of worship without worry. (Smith, 2013). Although Zoroastrianism, Islam and Christianity have their own set of religious beliefs and outlines, when it comes to their religious rituals, some aspects of each religion are quite similar. Religious rituals can include anything from private home-based rituals like fasting at Ramadan and range all the way up to public rituals such as burials, church services or sermons, and more. In Zoroastrianism, a lot of the rituals involve purification. For example, people that celebrate Zoroastrianism believe that there will be a day called a judgment day, and during this day the world will be cleansed of all the evil people. These people believe that on judgment day, each person will pass through a wall of fire; good people will feel no pain and pass into heaven, while evil people will feel the pain of their sins being burned away, but they too, will pass into heaven. This purification of the world is possible due to the element of fire. Fire burns away any impurities; Zoroastrianism is a religion that is centered on fire temples where a sacred fire burns at all times. The role of Zoroastrian priest is to tend to the fire at all times, or sometimes to accept sacrifices or particular kinds of wood to set on the fire. Water is another element that plays a major role in purification for Zoroastrianism. Water is believed to be the one and only symbol of purity. Zoroastrianists dip their fingers in water and then touch their eyes and Sarah Murphy 0715438 forehead, they then raise their
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