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A Religion Comparison Of Judaism And Christianity

1978 words - 8 pages

Research PaperNovember 28, 2009IntroductionSince the beginning of time, mankind has been searching for the answers to life's biggest questions. "What is Ultimate Reality? What is the Nature of the World Around Us? What is a Human Being? What Happens to a Person at Death? Why is it Possible to Know Anything at All? What is the Meaning of Human History or Time?" (Ferguson, Fall 2009). Humans have come to know that religion(s) have the answers to these questions and much more. The purpose of this paper is to take a deeper look into two of the three dominate religions within the Western cultures that have spread to the rest of the world. To compare, contrast, and reflect upon the religions of Judaism and Christianity. How do they affect the lives of the believers and societies under these religions? How do the seven dimensions of religion apply to each of the religions? What all these two religions have in common? In what aspects do these two religions have opposing views?Basics Facts of ReligionThere are many definitions around the world for what religion is. One definition of religion is that "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs." (dictionary.com, 11/28/09). Another definition of religion is "Religion is a system of beliefs and practices that provide values to give life meaning and coherence by directing a person toward transcendence." (Ferguson, Fall 2009). The meaning of transcendence is "the quality or state of being above and independent of the material universe; being used of the Deity." (dictionary.com, 11/28/09). "There are eight elements that religions originate from; which are belief system, community, central myths, ritual, ethics, characteristics emotional experiences, material expression, and sacredness." (Experiencing the World's Religions, 4th Ed.) Within every religion, there is evidence of the seven dimensions, which were discovered by Ninian Smart. "The Experiential/Emotional Dimension is dread, guilt, awe, mystery, devotion, liberation, ecstasy, inner peace, bliss (private) feelings of religion. The Narrative and Mythic Dimension is stories (often regarded as revealed) that work on several levels. Sometimes narratives fit together into a fairly complete and systematic interpretation of the universe and human's place in it. The Ethical and legal Dimension is rules about human behavior (often regarded as revealed from supernatural realm). The Ritual Dimension is forms and orders of ceremonies (private and/or public) (often regarded as revealed). The Social and Institutional Dimension is belief system is shared and attitudes practiced by a group. Often rules for identifying community membership and participation (public). The Doctrinal and Philosophical Dimension is the systematic formulation of...

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