In this lesson, we define monotheism and identify three significant monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. We also discuss the ideology of each of these three religions.
Sociologists study a wide variety of religions to understand how they affect society as a whole. They study religion objectively and do not attempt to say whether any religion is right or wrong. There are approximately twenty major religions that are observed worldwide. In this lesson, we’ll discuss three significant monotheistic religions that sociologists study.Monotheism is belief in a single god.
This is different from polytheism, which is belief in multiple gods. Three of the most well-known monotheistic religions are Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. All three of these religions believe in the same God, who is all-knowing, all-seeing, and all-powerful. However, their other beliefs, ideologies, and doctrine differ greatly. Let’s discuss each religion in more depth.
|Reform Judaism, which is the most liberal; and Conservative Judaism, which is the middle ground between the other two denominations.
The second monotheistic religion we’ll discuss is the largest.
Christianity is the most widespread religion in the world, with two billion followers – that’s almost one-third of the people on the planet! However, most Christians live in Europe or the Americas. As already noted, Christianity believes in the same God as Judaism. Yet, Christianity views Him as a Holy Trinity :
Christianity began as a sect of Judaism. However, it was based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, a Jewish prophet who spread a message of personal salvation. Christians believe that Jesus is divine and the savior of humanity. During the first century, Jesus was sentenced to death by crucifixion.
His death is considered the reason for salvation and eternal life for all people, through divine grace. This is why the cross became a sacred Christian symbol. According to Christian belief, three days after his execution, Jesus arose from the dead, showing that he was the Son of God.The sacred text of Christianity is the Holy Bible, which consists of the Old Testament (the Hebrew Bible) and the New Testament – which, among other things, narrates the life of Jesus. As mentioned earlier, the Ten Commandments play a fundamental role in Christian doctrine. Most Christians believe those who accept salvation through Jesus and follow the Ten Commandments will be rewarded in Heaven. Sinners who do not repent or who reject God will be punished in Hell.
Over time, Christianity has taken various forms, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church, and Protestantism. Today, there are hundreds of Protestant denominations. In the U.S., dozens of these denominations – the Baptists and Methodists are the two largest – command sizable followers.
The final monotheistic religion we’ll discuss in this lesson is Islam, which is the second largest religion in the world. Followers of Islam are called Muslims. Although there are many Muslims who live in the Middle East, there are also high populations in Northern Africa, Indonesia, and the U.S.
Muslims believe in God, who revealed himself to Muhammad, the prophet. The sacred text of Islam is the Qur’an, which, according to Islam belief, is the word of Allah (their name for God) as transmitted through Muhammad.
Unlike Jesus to Christians, Muhammad is not a divine being to Muslims. But, similar to Christianity, Islam holds people accountable to Allah for their deeds on Earth. Those who live obediently will be rewarded in Heaven, and evildoers will suffer unending punishment.The word ‘Islam’ means ‘submission,’ which reflects the doctrine of submitting to the will of Allah. Muslims follow the Five Pillars of Islam:
Many people in the U.S.
associate Islam with polygamy and the oppression of women. However, although Islam does allow a man to have up to four wives, the Qur’an mandates men to have only one wife if having more would cause him to treat any woman unjustly. Also, like the values in different denominations of Judaism and Christianity, there are differences among Muslim nations in terms of ideology and rights given to women.
In summary, monotheism is belief in a single god. Three of the most well-known monotheistic religions are Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Although all three praise the same omnipotent God, their beliefs and doctrines differ.
Judaism, although one of the oldest religions still existing today, isn’t one of the ten largest. Most Jews are found in Israel and North America. Two of the most important aspects of Judaism are the covenant, a special relationship with God, and the Ten Commandments, a set of principles regarding worship and ethics given to the prophet Moses. The sacred text of Judaism is the Hebrew Bible, which most people know as the Old Testament of the Bible. The first five chapters, known as the Torah, are particularly significant to the Jewish people.
Christianity is the most widespread religion in the world, though most Christians live in Europe or the Americas. Christians believe in God as a Holy Trinity. The name and symbol of Christianity both come from the prophet Jesus of Nazareth, known as Jesus Christ, whom they believe to be the Son of God. Most Christians believe those who accept salvation through Jesus and follow the Ten Commandments will be rewarded in Heaven.
Sinners who do not repent or who reject God will be punished in Hell. The sacred text of Christianity is the Holy Bible, which consists of the Old Testament (the Hebrew Bible) and the New Testament – which, among other things, narrates the life of Jesus.Islam is the second largest religion in the world. Although there are many Muslims who live in the Middle East, there are also high populations in Northern Africa, Indonesia, and the U.
S. The most important aspects of Islam can be summarized in their Five Pillars: recognizing Allah as the one, true God and Muhammad as God’s messenger, daily prayer, alms-giving to the needy, fasting during Ramadan, and pilgrimage to Mecca.
After watching this lesson, you should be able to: