Religious politics can be most appropriately outlined as the exploitation of religious valuables and grounding to the political occasions of the present time. The constituents of the religious politics incorporating religion and politics appear uppermost in the form of unconnected essences and two distinctive themes and are regarded to be so close to an individual’s heart and core that they are frequently departed and eluded in a typical discussion or dialogue. In an ironic manner, this closeness to individual’s heart and core appears to be the main cause of the possibility to become capable of encompassing the identity of “who a person is” as an individual at the same time generating directive around the construction of the possible societal framework (Oxtoby and Segal 15).
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The history shows that religion and politics have interlocked with the time and through ages resulting to the fact that one affected the complete product of the other as it can be observed nowadays. In accordance with the above-mentioned tendency, the routine political decisions appear to go hand-in-hand with the religious beliefs of the public. The possible outcomes can be observed in the reflections of news and other different media outlets as the whole world more frequently than not is engaged in religious politics. The last appearing within one country may essentially affect issues in another country with an entirely different perspective on religion, politics, and other issues in question. Therefore, it becomes increasingly important to create and understand the “analytic map of faith in the world”, which provides a capability to disentangle the connection between foundational values defined by faith and real human behavior. Despite the fact that this analytic map of faith around the globe can be applied to all religions, Professor Victor Magagna at the University of California, San Diego first applied this idea to the monotheistic faiths of the world; more specifically, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Therefore, the current paper will apply the analytical map to the monotheistic faiths.
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In accordance with Professor Victor Magagna, the analytical map consists of three main categories. The first stands for the core conception of the sacred. Firstly and primarily, it incorporates the transcendent meaning God or the Ultimate (Magagna, lecture note January 6). Secondly, it encompasses the role of humanity or how it is related to the transcendent (Magagna, lecture note January 6). This category explains how humanity worships (for instance, sacrifice, ritual, and prayer). In addition, this category includes path and possibility of salvation (for example, life in heaven), human nature (which is incomplete), explanations of good and evil, and the role of spiritual knowledge (Magagna, lecture note January 6). The second category represents the social religion including morality and faith, individual and collective responsibility (meaning what humanity should do), social justice (equality and inequality), economic behavior (the value of work, wealth, leisure), and the model of the family (Magagna, lecture note January 6). The third category focuses on the politics, meaning governance and institutions incorporating faith governance, the role of the clergy, the role of the believers, the interplay of church and state, and the potential for the political collective action (Magagna, lecture note January 6).
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The current paper will apply this analytical map to three above-mentioned monotheistic faiths. These three monotheistic faiths including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam share the common belief that there is indeed one genuine God. Despite the fact that there are enormous differences amongst all three in regard to thought, behavior, and institution, they all are characterized by a perceptive shared concentration on salvation. Salvation is regarded to be a “function of faith and work”. Nevertheless, this function also appears as “variable across the three faiths” (Oxtoby and Segal 21). Taking into account the above-mentioned statements, the analysis focuses on the convergences and divergences of monotheistic faiths. Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are outlined to be Abrahamic religions (Oxtoby and Segal 165). This is explained by the fact that all faiths worship Abraham and have confidence in the fact that he was a principal prophet in there respected religions.
Core Conceptions of the Sacred
The greatest connection between these monotheistic faiths is the belief in only one god. Thus, Judaism believes in one God meaning the father of all. On the other hand, Christianity believes in the same God as Judaism but views and characterizes it as the Trinity. The father of all is the first God, the son meaning Jesus is the second God, and the Holy Spirit is the third God. Finally, Islam believes in Allah, God who revealed himself to Prophet Muhammad (Oxtoby and Segal 274). Jew, Christians, and Muslims believe that God loves humanity and equips all required livelihood and possessions to people for them to survive and live comfortably on earth.
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All three monotheistic religions believe that God genuinely loves in an unbiased manner all people and realizes all their requirements before seeking help from Him. The main religious credence of Judaism relates to the covenant, which stands for a specific connection and intercourse with the one and only God. This covenant is a featured agreement of the Jews to adhere to God's Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments assumed to have been provided to the prophet Moses by God perform a crucial function in both Christianity and Judaism due to the fact that they incorporate an assortment of principles concerning ethics and worship standing for specific rules (Oxtoby and Segal 175). All of them are enlisted in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), which is known to be the sacred text of Judaism. In regard to Christianity, the majority of Christians believe that those who assume salvation through Jesus and adhere to the Ten Commandments will be rewarded in Heaven. On the other hand, sinners who do not confess or who discard God will be punished in Hell. The Islamic sacred text is known as the Quran, which, in accordance with the Islam belief, stands for the word of Allah. Similarly to Christianity, Islam holds humanity accountable to Allah for their acts on earth. Therefore, the people who lived obediently would be rewarded in Heaven at the same time when evildoers will suffer from unending punishment (Oxtoby and Segal 286).
All three religions view human nature as incomplete. Christianity states that human beings were created in the likeness and image of God and does not insinuate that God has a physical nature. Human beings do have God’s nature: they merely have the quality resembling him. Human beings are created as personal beings by a personal God, but they do not have an analogous essence with him (Oxtoby and Segal 225). The original sin has thoroughly affected human nature. This sin represents a natural tendency towards evil and manifests itself through conscious human beings' commitments with the help of their troughs, speech, and acts. Thus, humanity inherited the sinful nature of mankind in general. The Judaic understanding of humanity states that “heart” is the core of a human, being a center of mental, emotional, and volitional life. The human heart can participate in salvation by expressing faith (Oxtoby and Segal 177). The religion shows that human beings do not have an intrinsic divine nature; therefore, they are incapable of saving themselves from sin.
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Thus, the only true inner nature human being has is a sinful nature. Islam does not have a concept of original sin. Despite the fact that Adam and Eva sinned, they repented and were forgiven; therefore, Islam believes that their sin has no repercussions for the rest of the humankind. Islam believes that human beings are exhorted to repeat Adam’s mistake, and they are warned that the devil tries to cheat them by all possible means. Nevertheless, this religion demonstrates that all people sin due to the passion, by which they are subjected by Satan at the same time being careless regarding the Quran demands (Oxtoby and Segal 289). This is the main reason why all three religions believe that salvation is liberation from the bondage of sin and re-establishment of personal communication with the creator.
The human society is an integrated society grounded on material, spiritual, ritual, and moral considerations. Each person as a social being depends upon another. The connections between the representatives of these three religions should not be grounded on materialistic consideration but on religions, spiritual and moral perceptions including co-operation, trust, sympathy, and other’s requirements and needs (Laguerre 13). All of these features create a fellow feeling, mutual interest, and provide appropriate priority. Charity appears to be the basic ground of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
The religions expect that people share their wealth with those who are disadvantaged. In addition to contributing in a financial manner, all three faiths afflict their followers to be socially accountable and responsible to each other. In addition, earth care and stewardship are also greatly valued by all three monotheistic faiths (Laguerre 13). Charity is regarded to be more than a simple act of goodwill due to the fact that it concerned as an attitude, or mode of life, which embodies compassion and a love for humanity. These concepts appear to be deeply rooted in the analyzed religions. In addition, religions also put the same emphasis on family values and respect for others. Generally speaking, peace, unity, co-existence, and stability are the main elements of society (Laguerre 114). Therefore, all people have to perform a crucial function in establishing a harmonious and cooperative society.
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam depend on the function and performance of the religious clergy and leaders. Thus, Rabbis are known to be religious leaders in Judaism. Sheiks and imams stand for the religious leaders in Islam while ministers, priests, bishops, and pastors appear to be the illustration of clergy diversity in regard to Christianity (Oxtoby and Segal 234). The facts demonstrate that the religious clergy perform discrepant functions in each faith. Nevertheless, the monotheistic religions appear to have numerous similar roles and accountabilities. For instance, all clergy members perform a function of leading their congregations in prayer counseling people who require their help and conducting marriages.
The function and role of the religious leader are outlined by the congregation and/or by particular religious traditions, in accordance with which the clergy members are allied and associated (Oxtoby and Segal 239). In a few situations, there is a specific hierarchy, to which religious leader belongs and, therefore, is supposed to regularly append to a central council or authority. In general terms, all religious leaders attend a seminary and dedicate their lives to the study of their specific traditions. The majority of imams appear to be well skilled and experienced in Arabic due to the fact that it is the language of the Quran (Oxtoby and Segal 297). On the other hand, all rabbis are highly proficient in Hebrew because it is the language of the Torah (Oxtoby and Segal 184). Despite the fact that the Bible can be found and printed in practically every language for practical usage, the majority of Christian clergy members demonstrate a working knowledge of Latin or Greek (Oxtoby and Segal 245).
In an ironic manner, the intercourse between religion and politics demonstrates that the relationship does not turn into more distinct or straightforward in the contexture of modernization combined with the appearance of a global economy. Contrariwise, the intercourse and the connection between religion and politics turned into infinitely more complicated one due to the fact that a broad number of religious movements accept, change or dismiss altogether the framework of the modern secular nation and in reverse affirm the force of religion on the political sphere (Laguerre 114). Nevertheless, peach, unity, co-existence, and stability should become constituents of potential collective action motivating people to become aware of the responsibilities in the world. The collective regard should appear as the principal objective for the development of global affairs for minorities and majorities (Laguerre 114).
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Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are the three religions, which trace their roots back to Abraham and his monotheism message. These religions have many convergences and divergences. The similar features among them range in beliefs and practices. All three faiths are characterized by a holy book, which is regarded as the word of God. A level of responsibility for one’s actions and each other acts together with the belief in charity and good acts appear to be another crucial similarity common for the three monotheistic religions. In addition, all of them believe in the incomplete nature of human beings and the continuation of life after death. Regardless of the fact that these religions have several discrepancies, they require a mutual cognizance with respect to intercultural interchange and collaborative action, which requires all of these monotheistic faiths to acknowledge each other positive contributions as it would seriously and essentially contribute towards establishing global unity and peace.