Selecting Theme for Final Thematic Report & Accumulation of Sources

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

After reviewing all previous textbook readings, discuss the following: As we have journeyed throughout the semester we have focused our studies on identifying major themes and different teachings of the religions of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. We have either directly or indirectly focused on developing a deeper understanding of each religions’ theology, sacred scriptures, code of ethics, prayer and worship rituals, and a brief history of the religion. For the most part, we have looked at each of these religions independently, but now as we begin to wrap up our course we will revisit these religions and begin to examine them critically and ask the intriguing question: What similarities (and differences) do these religions share amongst each other regarding their teachings of a specific topic?

For your final written report, you will select a theme, from the list below, and recapitulate each religion’s teaching on that particular theme. You will then complete a comparative analysis on the significant similarities that each religion has with Catholicism specifically – not just Christianity in light of the topic as well as delineate their distinct differences. Once you have completed the comparative analysis, you will reflect on the following question:

  • How can (or how has) the knowledge gleaned in this report and in this course change(d) your perspective/outlook on dialogue with people of other faiths? ‘
    • You can share a personal experience that you have had with someone of a different faith background or how you think having a better understanding of these different teachings will help shape your future interactions with people of different faiths.


  1. Select the theme, from the list below, that you plan on focusing on for the final report.
  2. Identify at least 6 different sources (other than the course text) that you plan on utilizing within your final written report.
      • You will need to identify at least 1 different source for each of the 5 religions
    1. For each of the sources, provide the following:
      1. Name of the Source
      2. Website URL to the source
      3. Which religion the source pertains to
        1. Ex: Christianity, Hinduism
          1. If it pertains to more than one you may list them all.

List of Selected Themes:

  • Religion’s Understanding of God
    • The Divine
    • Metaphysical and Supernatural Beings
  • Soteriology
    • How is salvation achieved?
  • Eschatology – End Times
    • Death and the Afterlife
    • Final Judgement
  • Creation
    • Of the Universe
    • Humanity
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Freedom and Free Will
  • Virtues
  • Sin and Forgiveness
  • Treatment of Women or Marginalized People in Society
  • Prayer and Worship Practices
  • Celebrations of Life Events or Rites of Passage
    • Birth
    • Adulthood
    • Marriage
    • Funerals
  • Initiations into the Religion

Submission Instructions:

  • Your initial post should be at least 150 words. Incorporate 6 different sources, formatted and cited as the instructor indicated in the announcements.

Requirements: 150- 200 words

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Read and watch the lecture resources & materials below early in the week to help you respond to the discussion questions and to complete your assignment(s).

(Note: The citations below are provided for your research convenience. You should always cross-reference the current CMOS guide for correct styling of citations and references in your academic work.)


  • Van Voorst, Robert E. World RELG4: Introduction to World Religions (4th ed.). Boston: Cengage MindTap, 2018.
    • Review all previous readings.
    • I will send you the chapters.
The religion were Catholic, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

As societies become larger and more complex, its people become more likely to join monotheistic religions. The three most influential monotheistic religions in world history are Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, all of which began in the Middle East.

Judaism dates from about 1200 B.C. The first Hebrews were nomads who settled in the land of Canaan near Egypt. Unlike their polytheistic neighbors, the Jewish patriarchs (“leaders”) and prophets (“inspired” teachers) committed themselves to one almighty God. They stressed utter obedience to Yahweh in the form of a strict moral code, or law.

Jews call their holy text the Tenakh, which Christians call the “Old Testament.” Within the Tenakh lie the five books of the Torah, which begins with the creation of the world by God’s word. The Torah primarily tells the story of the early Hebrews and Yawheh’s communications to Moses, which established laws on worship and daily life.

The Torah plays a central role in Jewish worship. During services in the synagogue, the rabbi removes the Torah (rolled into a scroll) from the ark (a cupboard). The rabbi then carries the scroll, capped with a silver crown, in procession to a lectern, opens it, and reads from it to the congregation.

Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the “Messiah” (meaning “Christ” and “Annointed One”) who saves the world. This global religion first emerged as a sect of Judaism, and in the beginning embraced many Judaic views and practices. Within decades of Jesus’ death, Christians began distinguishing themselves from their Jewish neighbors. Much of Christianity’s rapid growth in the early years was due to a Greek‐speaking Jew and Roman citizen named Saul of Tarsas. Later known as St. Paul, he preached extensively and planted churches in the Middle East, Turkey, and Greece. Because Christians refused to worship the Roman Emperor as divine, Romans severely persecuted Christians until the 4th century. At that time, Emperor Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman State. Today, Christianity has grown into an influential force throughout the world, but especially in the West.

The Bible’s (the 66 books of the Judeo‐Christian Scriptures) “New Testament” (new covenant) is a collection of 26 books and letters interpreting portions of the Tenakh from a Christian point of view. The New Testament also presents a range of unique teachings, such as the writings of St. Paul, which early Christians sent to newly established churches. The authors of the Gospels, or presentations of Jesus’ life and teachings, probably wrote them decades later, though contemporary Biblical scholarship on this topic remains inconclusive.

Christianity represents the largest of the world’s religions and is also more evenly spread around the globe than any other religion. Christianity claims more than a billion adherents, though Christians belong to many different denominations (groups with a particular theology and form of organization) that sharply divide the religion. The three largest Christian denominations are Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism (which includes such denominations as Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, and Baptist).

The second largest religion in today’s world is Islam, which originated from the teachings of the 7th century prophet Mohammed. His teachings most directly express the will of Allah, the one God of Islam. Moslems, or followers of the Islamic religion, believe that Allah also spoke through earlier prophets such as Jesus and Moses before enlightening Mohammed.

Moslems have five primary religious duties (“The Pillars of Islam”):

  • Reciting the Islamic creed, which states that Allah is the one God and Mohammed is His messenger.
  • Taking part in ceremonial washings and reciting formal prayers five times every day. During these prayers, worshippers always face towards the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
  • Observing of Ramadan—a month of fasting when Moslems may have no food or drink during daylight hours.
  • Giving money to the poor.
  • Making at least one pilgrimage to Mecca.

Messages that Mohammed received from Allah comprise the Islamic scriptures, called the Koran. (“Koran” derives from the Arabic term meaning “to recite.”) Because the prophet could not write or read, he memorized Allah’s words and later relayed them to his students. After Mohammed’s death, his followers wrote down these revelations. The Koran sets forth standards of daily behavior and the Pillars of Islam.

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