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Diversity Paper

1820 words - 8 pages

A religion can be thought of as a paradigm comprised of dogmas, cultural structures, and world views that govern the connection between an order of being and the human race. The majority of religions use cultural narratives, iconography, and sacred histories to elucidate the radix and meaning of not only life but also the universe. Devotees of a certain religion derive their morals, values, beliefs, and life choices from their respective indoctrinated convictions. Currently, there are approximately 4 thousand varying religions that an individual may subscribe to. However, I am only going to address two of the most dominant faith traditions; Islam and Christianity. Regardless of my own religious beliefs, there is no denying that Islam and Christianity share many similar tenets that go unrecognized or ignored by followers of each monotheistic faith. The identification of these similarities and the causes for unfamiliarity between the two religions is my paramount goal within the parameters of this paper.
Analysis of Similarities
Islam and Christianity share a fundamental connection in terms of historical narrative and tradition. These two creeds are considered Abrahamic religions, meaning that they are both monotheistic faiths with Middle Eastern/West Asian origins, the apogee of which is their recognition of Abraham’s spiritual traditions (Smith, 1998). These Abrahamic religions were first oriented towards to needs of the people of the desert and as such are commonly colloquially referred to as desert religions. Within the realm of comparative religion, these desert religions share some peculiar yet consolidating characteristics when compared to Dharmic and Taoic religions. Firstly, the coalescing aspect of Abrahamic religions, Islam and Christianity in particular, is that each accepts the dogma that the patriarch Abraham was witness to evincing of God. As aforementioned, both faiths are monotheistic and furthermore ideate that God, the Creator, is a metaphysical demiurge and ultimate moral authority. In addition to these ideologies, their sacred narratives feature many of the same historical figures, chronologies, and locations, although they often differ in terms of interpretation, perceived importance, and perspective (Peters & Esposito, 2006).
I have used the term monotheistic several times already and feel the need to clarify exactly what is meant when referring to it within the context of faith traditions. All Abrahamic religions aver to be monotheistic, meaning that adherents worship an exclusive God. Although each religion knows God by a different name – Christianity maintaining the Germanic, God, and Muslims using the Semitic, Allah – both believe in a divine being that is capable of love, creation, and forgiveness but also has the ability to punish, judge, and smite (Peters & Esposito, 2006). Where differences and religious conflicts arise however is with Christianity’s Trinitarian belief system. The three consubstantial expressions...

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