Religion in Spite of the Conflicts Between Essay

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Religion

In spite of the conflicts between the world's great monotheistic faiths, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam share much in common. Each of these religions was born in the Middle East, and each of these religions values sacred texts as being important ways for human beings to receive the word and knowledge of God. As monotheistic religions, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam eschew idol worship or the worship of Gods that are not their own. At the same time, these religions have very similar concepts of God. The Gods of each of these four religions in omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent: a concept of God that actually originated with Zoroastrianism ("God, Zoroaster, and Immortals," n.d.). Zoroastrianism is the oldest of these four faiths, followed by Judaism. The followers of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are collectively referred to as "people of the Book" because all value the Hebrew Bible, which is known to Christians as the Old Testament. Therefore, there is much more in common with these three faiths than their followers sometimes believe. Islam is the newest of these four monotheistic faiths. It arose within the social and political context of the Middle East, and could not escape being influenced by the three religions that came before it in addition to local faiths and customs.

One of the main differences between Zoroastrianism and Islam, on the one hand, and Judaism and Christianity on the other hand, is that the latter pair believes that human
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beings can cultivate a direct relationship with God. God is viewed as more personal to Jews and Christians than to Zoroastrians and Muslims. Especially for Christians, God is an anthropomorphic figure. Muslims do not view God in anthropomorphic terms. In fact, it is considered sinful to do so. Allah, the God of Islam, cannot be reduced to any form. This is the primary reason why iconography of human beings is forbidden in a Muslim place of worship. This is remarkably similar to the Zoroastrian concept of God, and the Jewish one as well. None of these three religions permit a personified God. Only Christianity allows God to be depicted in drawings (often as a bearded old man) or allows the Son of God (perceived as divine) to also be depicted). In the Qur'an, there is only Allah, and there can be no other Gods.

Say, 'He is Allah, the One;

Allah, the Eternal, Absolute;

He begets not, and neither is He begotten;

And there is nothing that can be compared to Him."

(Qur'an 112:1-4)

Judaism and Zoroastrianism agree in this inflexible concept of a unitary God. The Zoroastrian and Muslim concept of God is also unknowable and inconceivable. One of the fundamental tenets of Islam is submission, as the Qur'an teaches humility in the presence of God. Of these religions, Christianity is the only one that envisions a divisible God (God as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost). The Qur'an is expressly against the division of God, and so…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

"Basic Beliefs of the Qur'an." Retrieved online: http://people.ucalgary.ca/~elsegal/I_Transp/IO4_QuranBeliefs.html)

"God, Jesus, and the Saints." BBC Religions. Retrieved online: http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/beliefs/basics_1.shtml

"God, Zoroaster, and Immortals." BBC Religion. Retrieved online: http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/zoroastrian/beliefs/god.shtml#findoutmore

Huda. Allah (God) in Islam. Retrieved online: http://islam.about.com/od/godallah/a/god.htm

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