Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Christianity and Islam Essay

A few months ago, when a Vati piece of ass official inform that Catholicism was surpassed by Islam as the worlds largest faith, many an(prenominal) news program agencies around the world carried what exitmed to engender been a largely unnoticed publication for this present generation worship. At least for some cadence, renewed debates astir(predicate) whether or not unriva take should indeed remember Islam as a righteousness that commands worlds largest followers surfaced unity after another.The sleep with many wad think should not be dismissed is the feature that Christianity a devotion which combines an array of all its offshoots namely Roman Catholicism, Orthodox, Protestantism, Angli privyism, Evangelicals, among others remedy has the largest adherents comp ared to any other theology, including Islam. Even if Christianity may be bustn flock into some larger or other little denominations, many people subscribe to idea that since all Christians root their public opinion in Christ, virtuoso essential take them as deceaseing to a singular religion, the largest in the world to be exact.To consider Christianity as a single religion involves rounds of new separate debates. Surely, when the differences between the mainstream Christian blocks and the thousand of other minor denominations are brought into the fore, their respective article of faiths will manifest diversity, resemblance, opposition, and even contradiction. Tedious as this process may appear, whiz may not yet consider the item that even in the Islam religion itself there are farther classifications of membership that must be taken into careful account.Again, it is legitimate to intercommunicate whether it is proper to take Islam as a unitary religion, or they withal must be broken tear into their finer types. As one may correctly observe, inner divisions within the worlds largest religions Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and so on appear to be a fundamen tally give over fact. One brush off perhaps inquire whether it is possible to identify a major religion with millions, if not a billion of adherents, which does not have any, or have not suffered from any inner rift at any given file of its history.It may be interesting to ask therefore, what accounts for the eventual intimate fall out of world religions in history? Better yet, how must we attempt to under(a)stand what happens in a religion that has been cleaved into lilliputianer aggregate types in the course of history? II. Rationale and Scope This drawing take on presents a case for divisions transpiring within world religions. tho since the scope of studying the issue is broad (considering that there are many major world religions to cite), this research shall be restricted at tackling Christianity and Islam as chosen types.Specifically, the study shall describe the events that transpired during the Catholic-Protestant divide of the mid 1500s for Christianity, and the Shiite-Sunni divide for Islam. To be sure, there are other identifiable divisions which can be noted in the history of Christianity. While there are small schisms involving heretics who refuse to accept fundamental Christian teachings, Christianity is said to have been characterd out into ii major blocks during the 11th century. It produced the dichotomization between the Roman Catholics and the east Orthodox, which until the present still exists.For the purposes of limiting this study, the Christian division which shall be discussed in this study shall dwell on the Luther-led Reformation of the 1500s. Mean term, it is also insightful to note even in the Islam religion, there have been various types of smaller divisions and schisms. For the purposes of this study too, the rift between the Shiites and the Sunnis that was created in the early historic period of Islam religion shall be the one in focus. A short analysis and interpretation of the assay religions used shall compr ise the conclusion of this study. III. Discussion Proper a.Nature of organized religion Before relating the events defining the divisions that were experienced both by Christianity and Islam, it will be championful to cite some theories to help rationalise the dynamics of religion. This is of the essence(predicate) since it shall provide a working perspective which is to be used subsequently on in the analysis. Religion is a phenomenon which may be tacit in many ways. Basically speaking, it refers to the common innate feeling or belief in a Supreme Being (McCutcheon, 2007, p. 22). Religion manifestly stems from a belief that there is a higher existence that must be worshiped or adored. unless religion does not pertain to soft of personal belief alone. It also describes how a beli incessantly finds the need to belong to a conjunction of interests which shares the same belief, and thus obey a given set of rules within it. Thus, another definition for religion may also be expre ssed as a unified system of belief and practices relative to sacred things which unites (believers) into one single moral community (McCutcheon, 2007, p. 22). straighten out both definitions enable one to fully appreciate the fact that religion pertains to both a personal ascent to God, and a commitment to a community, a set of rules and a specific set rituals.When seen under the lenses of scientific inquiry (e. g. anthropology, sociology, philosophy, etc. ) religion reveals patterns and dynamism consistent with human belief system, knowledge, interest and relationships. This means that religion is molded into the belief system of the believers. For instance, if Christians throw off that Christ in his lifetime was compassionate to the poor, it follows that they too, since they follow Christ, must do something good for their less fortunate brethren.Or if Islamics take Mohammad as their example, and Mohammad was a deeply spiritual man, they too must not take spiritism lightly in th eir lives. Religious mindset is committed to certain courses of action at law (Slater, 1978, p. 6) and these actions are meaningful simply because believers draw their identities from a person or a belief system they embrace be it the Lordship of Christ, or the importance of the vaticinator Muhammad (Slater, 1978, p. 82). This is one of the primary reasons why religions possess their continuing identities (Slater, 1978, p. 82).So long as a ag classify of Christians identify themselves to the teachings of their religion, say Catholic church, they will remain to be Catholics. As indeed, so long as a group of Moslems identify themselves to the teachings of their religion, say Shiite group, they will remain to be identified with it. What explains the shift in a belief system is when one cannot anymore identify either with a teaching, or specific phantasmal structures. It is a general rule that key to a religions perpetuity is establishing an identity.When people start to feel al ienated with what they used to take to or believe it, it can explain why a group of believers create their own groups to accommodate their otherwise alienated belief system. To help establish the point, it may be good to lay down 2 glaring examples. b. The Shiite-Sunnis Divide Islam was born at least five carbon years after Christianity was already an institutionalized religion. But what started out only as a small community following Muhammad, Islam grew in exponential function proportion in just a short span of time. in spite of appearance the rapid growth came bitter disputes and eventual breakaways. Although Islam is a religion which does not readily recognize that there are divisions within them, scholars are some unanimous in agreeing that some factions already broke from within the Moslem community dating back to the days when the religion itself was merely germ to be established. In a sense, Islam is a religion broken down into at least twain major divisions even befo rehand it got to be formally established as a religious phenomenon.It all started when a certain man named Muhammad, who by the way was born in 570 to a very poor family, begun to attract followers after experiencing visions and revelations (Renard, 1998, p. 7). His reputation go around in neighboring places, and soon found himself at odds with judgment empires for the large number of followers he had gathered. After this increasingly expanding community finally settled in Mecca in 630, Muhammad would die two years after (Renard, 1998, p. 7).His death would then see his community figure in a prolonged tug-of-war for rightful succession, and would officially begin the drift within the newly established religious community. One group claimed that Muhammad chose his rightful substitution in the person of his son named Ali before he died. The other group contested the claim and said, no instructions were made by the Prophet whatsoever. Instead, they held that it was appropriate for t o appoint leaders themselves, and eventually chose Abu Bakr, Muhammads father-in-law, as the scratch of the four caliphs (meaning head), to rule the Islam community.Those who embraced the leadership of Ali were eventually known as the Shiites, while the followers who believed Abu Bakrs caliphate eventually came to be known as Sunnis. As such, the neat separation within the just-emerging Islamic religion has been established. Since it exists up until today, it can be described as the largest institutional division within the Moslem community so far (Renard, 1998, p. 13 Ayoub, 2004, 72). c. The Catholic-Protestant Divide The era that modify the Catholic-Protestant divide was a church marred with controversies, silent disenchantment and an ever growing discontent among Christian faithful.As history would show, it was through and because of Martin Luther and his social unit ebb generating protests against the Church that the radical break from Catholicism was to be established. B ut hundreds of years before the supposed break, there had already been numerous events that point to the restlessness within the membership of the Church which it tried to quell. What were the controversies some? As early as the 1300s, roughly two hundred years before Luther was born, an ordained priest by the name of John Wycliffe started to publish serial of attacks against some of the major teachings and traditions of the Church.In 1372, he was summoned and reprimanded by Church administration for his teachings that dwelled on the following his denial of the philosophy of transubstantiation (a belief that the cacography and wine used in celebrating the Eucharist is transformed into the real soundbox and blood of Christ), attacks on the authority of the Pope as the head of the Church, misdirect practices within the Church, and emphasis on preaching and the use of Scriptures for teaching the doctrines of the Church (Cook, 2008, p. 95). Wycliffe probably represented the first courageous voices which tried to confront whats wrong with the Church.In fact, he did try to raise legitimate concerns about both the divisive doctrines and lamentable discipline which the Church at that time practiced. Years after, Luther would pick up from where his predecessors had left out. In 1517, he released his cardinal Theses to the public a collection of ninety-five protests against many Church teachings both doctrinal and moral and Church practices, such as indulgences (spiritual merits obtained in refund for monetary donations), celibacy (the promise for priests not to marry), Eucharist, among others (Cook, 2008, p. 100).Since the general religious atm at that time was already ripe for reforms, his ninety-five theses were easily duplicated and deal throughout the German empire a testament, as it were, to a abundant popular support he enjoyed for the risks he took. Luthers break from the Church was formally established when he burned the Papal bull Exsurge domi nus (a decree which threatened him of excommunication if he did not recant his protests) in front of many people in a public strong (Cook, 2008, 101).After which, he did subsequently ask the authorities of the German region to support his cause for Church reform. Luther is remembered as a man who broke the Catholic Church apart. True enough, even before he died, he already saw the far reaching effects of his call for reforms he perhaps initially did not intended to jumpstart. Thanks to Luther, Christianity would never be the same again. The Germany after (the) Reformation movement in the mid 1500s became a home to a new breed of Christians who came to be mark as Lutherans, Calvinist, Reformers, or even Protestants (Pennock, 2007, p. 168).In principle, Luther earned the reputation of being an agent of division within the Christian religion. IV. Conclusion To be sure, Christianity and Islam are not the only major religions in the world which had suffered a soft of break-up from wi thin. Religious divisions are commonplace, and that variations sprouting from within large communities may be brought about by various factors. When divisions occur, one normally observes that differences pertaining to a legions of issues including (but not limited to) doctrines, practices, or even recognized leadership belong patent.As earlier mentioned, the dynamics of religion may help explain why a feeling of alienation (or a loss of identity) can push a believer or a group to break-away from mainstream religion to form their own set of practices and norms independently. Christianity and Islam were taken as exemplifications. In the points that were developed, it was seen that they share a history with lots of bitter disputes, which in turn led to an eventual division. But both religions suffered from immanent rifts quite differently as well.Islams division was more political in nature, as two major factions with their respective claims to rightful succession to their now-dead Prophet-leader tore the emerging community apart thus, the Sunnis and the Shiites. Christianity on the other hand, after experiencing many breakaway groups in the course of history, had to suffer yet another major blow from internal disputes led by Martin Luther in the 1500s on account of doctrine and practices. What followed was a Christian religion torn once again, which ushered the creation of a big faction named Protestants.Religious divisions can be put under rigorous inquiry. There are viewpoints that consider these divisions as something that separate one group after another, while there are those who propose to see the same divisions as something that merely distinguish (but not separate). While the two viewpoints may be valid in their respective senses, this study places oftentimes interest not on their distinguishability or separability, but on the fact that, truly, religious divisions from within happen.ReferencesAyoub, M. (2004). Islam. Faith and History. Oxford Onewo rld. Cook, C.. (2008) The Routledge Companion to Christian History. naked as a jaybird York Routledge. McCutcheon, R. (2007). examine Religion. An Introduction. London Equinox. Pennock, M. (2007) This is Our Church. A History of Catholicism. Notre Dame, Indiana Ave Maria Press. Renard, J. (1998)101 Questions and Answers on Islam. New York Paulist Press. Slater, P. (1978). The Dynamics of Religion. Meaning and Change in Religious Traditions. San Francisco Harper and Row. (Also consulted) http//ca. news. yahoo. com/s/capress/080330/world/vatican_muslims

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