Concept of Religion

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Concept of Religion

Western culture has its roots in the three religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. These religions have significantly influenced the lives of the population of the west throughout history. With Christianity as the first religion and upheld for so long, there came to be divisions and problems within the Christianity world. Around this time, Islam came about. Due to the difficulties associated with the monopoly power of Catholicism, Protestants also came about. It led to the satisfaction of individual needs and even to more confusion into the teachings of the protestant sects of Christianity and Islam. Judaism had always been in place from the oldest time, and it is the oldest religion since it can be referred to as the mother of the other two religions.

However, these religions conflict with each other on their teachings in most of the times, which can be said to be one reason why atheism is on the increase in the contemporary west. For example, Islam teaches that the act of Eve, whereby she ate the fruit from the serpent, was not the cause of human problems, but it was a sign of human weakness (Bodman, 10). On the other hand, Christianity states that eating the fruit by Eve was the source of human suffering and that it was a form of betrayal (Hillman, 189). These two contradicting views make us almost unable to understand what it means to be Christian and Muslim when these two religions have a common beginning and a lot of borrowing. Judaism states that Jesus was not the savior, similar to Islam belief while Christianity stresses that Jesus was the savior.

With the different stands, it becomes challenging to bring into peace the three religions even though there have been efforts to do so. However, since human beings are social and cannot exist outside social form, as Cushman (17) states, people tend to stay within the religions which appeal to them or those they found their parents practicing. Therefore this means religion is a unique part of the culture, and it is almost impossible to separate religion from humanity (Paden, 05). Thus, the ideals of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam continue to have a very significant influence over the social life of the western population even though from a keen analysis of the religions, a person may realize massive conflicts and contradictions.

Works Cited

Bodman, Whitney S. The poetics of Iblīs: narrative theology in the Qur’ān. Harvard Univ. Press for Harvard Theological Studies, Harvard Divinity School, 2011.

Cushman, Philip. Constructing the self, constructing America: A cultural history of psychotherapy. Addison-Wesley/Addison Wesley Longman, 1996.

Hillman, James. “Senex and puer.” Puer papers (1979): 3-53.

Paden, William E. Interpreting the Sacred: Ways of viewing religion. Beacon Press, 2003.