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Western University
Religious Studies
Religious Studies 1023E
Corrine Walsh

Religious Studies 1022: Perplexing Issues Key Concepts of Abrahamic Religions With thanks to Many Peoples, Many Faiths by Robert Ellwood & Barbara McGraw, as well as other sources (Please note, this list is not exhaustive. Be sure to take notes during the lecture.) Allah ‘The God’ – Quranic designation for the one God Animism Belief in spirits – theory that religion originated in reverence for spirits of living beings and inanimate objects Bible From the Greek biblia, meaning ‘book(s)’ – Sacred scriptures for Christians consisting of the Christian Old/First Testamenta s well as the New/Second Testament. Note: Jewish scriptures also referred to as the Jewish Bible, though there are distinct differences between the Jewish and Christian Bibles Canon a standard – refers to the accepted writings that comprise sacred scripture Covenant berith (Hebrew) – relationship between God and Israel, enacted on Mt Sinai, based on Israel’s acceptance of God’s Torah – see lecture notes Diaspora ‘dispersion’ ‘scattering’ – the dispersion of Jews away from the Jewish homeland to live as minorities in other lands Eschatology doctrine/teaching about the last things – the end of the world, judgment day, etc Apocalypse (Greek) – ‘uncover’ ‘reveal’ Apocalyptic eschatology Revealed teachings about the end times Epistle ‘letter’ (Greek) – In the Christian tradition, letters written between key early Christian leaders (notably Paul) to Christian communities they founded, usually offering advice, encouragement and theological reflection. The Christian Bible recognizes 21 canonical epistles, 2/3 of which are attributed to Paul. Five Pillars Required Muslim rituals of serving God, including: Shahada (confession), Salat (prayer), Zakat (alms-giving), Sawm (fasting) and Hajj (pilgrimage) Gemara Comments on the Mishna – added to the Mishnah to form the Jewish Talmud – the part of the Talmud that is a collection of rabbinical commentaries on the Mishah (oral Torah) in order to connect it to the written Torah Gospel ‘good news’ (Greek) – writings compiled in the early Christian church proclaiming the story of Jesus’ life, teachings and death. The four canonical gospels are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Hadith A saying or tradition of the Prophet Muhammad transmitted through a trustworthy chain of reporters – the collection of hadiths – Traditions of what the Prophet Muhammad did or said which, in Islamic law and traditional scholarship, are believed to be divinely inspired and have great authority, together with the Qur’an, in establishing orthodox teaching and practice. Hagar Mother of Ishmael (by Abraham/Ibrahim) and ancestress of the Muslims Hajj Annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia Halakhah Jewish legal tradition based on the Talmud – part of the Talmud devoted to Hebrew law Haggadah The part of the Jewish Talmud devoted to folklore and stories Imam Islamic scholar and leader, especially in ritual prayer Iman ‘faith’ – complete certitude about the truth of Islam Ishmael Son of Abraham and Hagar, ancestor of the Muslims Isaac Son of Abraham and Sarah, ancestor/patriarch of the Jews Mosque Place of communal worship in Islam – also known as masjid Monism View that all reality is one unified divine reality Moses Leader of Israel in the Exodus from Egypt and the founding of the covenan
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