Lecture 6 World Religions September 30, 2013
Narrow discussion of the different traditions, what are the commonalities of the
Abraham Religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam
They all share common philosophical beliefs. Some common features of the worldviews
in the western religion are:
Monotheism (belief in one god), belief in one common scripture and/or text, prophesies,
end of the world theories, the afterlife.
They says that God is the only source of Creation. The nature of time and the way that
time moves, they have a set nature on God creating the universe in a set time. He created
order out of chaos. Time has a linear pattern of movement.
We start to measure history we all share the belief in history as the sphere of Gods
activity. God acts in the world, either personally or through his agents. He always sees
and directs the activities of human beings, he provides the guidelines and the laws of
other human beings, and he determines what is right and wrong. History is significant
because it tells the interaction between God and humanity. Events occur in particular
ways because God designed them for those particular purposes.
Prophecy he does this through specially gifted agents who are called prophets. These
prophets speak for God.
Scriptures sacred texts they reveal scriptures as containing the world of God and the
desires of God.
All of them contain revelation, which is an articulation of God himself. God reveals
himself through scripture and through prophecy.
Afterlife we might say that the western traditions understand personal history to be
confined to one life span. The understanding is we each have one life and when we die,
we continue to a certain kind of afterlife that is given to us by God. Each of the Western
traditions has a different understand of what the afterlife is. The understanding is that
God is a moral judge and that Gods judgment will come into play at the conclusion of our
Share certain common assumptions about the purpose of human activity and existence.
These assumptions are not shared by all religions all around the world. Particular to the
Western traditions. Religious life is therefore distinguished we measure the quality of the
religious life by the moral effort and religious effort to bringing about or actualizing the
will of God.
Think about a particular classification of religions applied to religions of the world. A
distinction between ethnic religions vs. missionary religions. Ethnic religions are identified with a particular group of people or a ethnic group.
Religious identity is usually thought to pass through blood ties. Some external marker or
some act or membership in the community usually symbolizes it. It usually is based in
some particular religion or marked in some particular religion. Historically it was passed
from generation to generation through blood ties. Our affiliation with the group marks us
as ‘Jewish’ even if we have abandoned all of the larger belief structure of that religion.
Its articles of belief distinguish Missionary Religions. So examples of missionary
traditions are Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, etc. How does one enter through these
traditions through profession of particular articles of belief.
Judaism in general is said to be a ethnic tradition rather than a missionary religion. It has
been said to look for the ethnic history of the religion.
What are the sources of ancient Judaism: The text is called the Hebr