When analyzing the dominant faiths, one can identify three religions with similar features and concepts: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. These theological doctrines have common features because, according to existing data, they have the same source of formation and a single-core – an emphasis on the Holy Scriptures as the key sets of sacred laws. This work aims to present the historical development of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, describe their similarities and differences from the perspective of holy books and study the problems of their interaction within the globalization framework.
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Historical Relationship Among Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
In the context of the history of human civilization, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are relatively old religions. Moreover, they refer to the same founder – Abraham (Abram or Ibrahim) who was born in Mesopotamia and lived between 2000-1700 BC (“Events related to religion,” n.d.). Christianity took its name from Jesus Christ, God’s son, born in Nazareth in the territory of modern Israel (“Events related to religion,” n.d.). According to existing data, his birth took place in 4 BC, and the modern chronology is from this date (“Judaism, Christianity, and Islam,” 2020). Islam, as the second-largest religious doctrine, dates back to the 7th century AD and is based on the teachings of Mohammed, the main prophet who interprets the will of Allah, the Muslim God (“Judaism, Christianity, and Islam,” 2020). Both Muslims and Jews also mention Jesus Christ, but in Islam, he plays a prophetic but not a divine role, and the Jews do not rank him as a saint.
Judaism is the oldest of the three religions under consideration. It originated in 1200 BC on the territory of modern Egypt, and primordially, Jewish patriarchs and prophets dedicated their service to Yahweh, the one and almighty God with unlimited power (“Judaism, Christianity, and Islam,” 2020). The territory of modern Israel is considered the Jewish land on which numerous shrines of all three religions are located.
History can show many examples of when the religions in question intersected. The time between the 11th and 13th centuries BC was a period of the Crusades when Christians sought to plant their faith in Muslims and Jews (“Events related to religion,” n.d.). Later, disagreements became less bloody, but struggles among the supporters of the religions did not stop. In the 19th century, Jews began to be persecuted, and as a result of the sad events of World War II, they received the right to create an independent state of Israel (“Events related to religion,” n.d.). The key divisions of modern Christianity are Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and Protestantism; Islam – Sunnism, and Shiism; Judaism – Orthodox Judaism, Reformism, and Conservatism (“Events related to religion,” n.d.). Nevertheless, historically, these three religions have common roots and ideas.
Religions’ Holy Books
Each of the three religions has individual Scriptures that contain the history of the formation and the main theses. At the same time, when analyzing these books, one can find both common and distinctive features. The Bible (Christianity), the Qur’an (Islam), and the Torah (Judaism) cite the key events in the development of the teachings and praise one God as the Creator. In addition, in all three Scriptures, the same characters are mentioned, for instance, Jesus Christ, Isaac, Moses, and some others. However, some differences distinguish the three holt books. The Qur’an is considered by Muslims the eternal book and the true word of Allah, while the Bible and the Torah are interpreted and written by people (the apostles and Moses, respectively) (Montville, 2016). In addition, the Christian and Jewish Scriptures are textual, while the Qur’an is a readable picture (“The Quran,” 2016). However, similar ideas about equality, love for one’s neighbor, and God’s grace are presented in all three holy books, which brings the three religions closer together.
Relationship Challenges and Globalization
Despite numerous similarities, the relationship among the religions is often associated with some difficulties. According to Ciftci et al. (2016), “the crucial problems in an era of globalization are identity and control” (p. 274). For instance, some adherents of Islam identify themselves with a radical position, which manifests itself in constant outbursts of aggression against the Jews in the Middle East. Control is also a potential challenge; ensuring etiquette on the part of Christians, as the largest religion, towards members of other faiths is problematic. Thus, conflicts arise and become the reasons for not only local but also geopolitical disagreements, for instance, the protracted Arab-Israeli conflict.
At the same time, while taking into account more liberal modern norms, religions have spread throughout the world, and borders have blurred. The reason for this is globalization as a trend that presupposes the integration of numerous spheres of society, including religion, on a global scale. About the peculiarities of the relationship among the considered theological doctrines, globalization helps minimize disagreements. For instance, as Ciftci et al. (2016) note, in Lebanon, the state in the Middle East, the proportion of Muslims and Christians is approximately equal, which indicates a gradual erasure of borders and boundaries. Therefore, in the case of the peaceful coexistence of different religions, globalization may contribute to maintaining stability.
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The history of the formation of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam is long and ambiguous in the context of the relationship among their supporters. The Scriptures contain basic theses and laws and have an important place in modern culture. The globalization trend has had a significant impact on the erasure of cultural and religious boundaries, but some disagreements among representatives of radical confessions are observed. The information received can help me expand my knowledge regarding the development of these religions and use the data in the future. I will be able to utilize the necessary terms, which will improve my status as a specialist.
Ciftci, S., Nawaz, M. A., & Sydiq, T. (2016). Globalization, contact, and religious identity: A cross‐national analysis of interreligious favorability. Social Science Quarterly, 97(2), 271-292. Web.
Events related to religion. (n.d.). Public Broadcasting Service. Web.
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. (2020). Cliffs Notes. Web.
Montville, J. V. (2016). The moral ties within the family of Abraham: A primer on shared social values in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 51(2), 245-256. Web.
The Quran has more in common with The Bible than you think. (2016). All That’s Interesting. Web.