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Judaism, Islam,
Judaism is…
• “A 4000 year old tradition with ideas about what it means to be human
and how to make the world a holy place”
(Rabbi Harold Kushner, To Life)
• A “covenant relationship” between God and the Hebrew people
• A celebration and sanctification of life
• A faith, a people, a way of life…
As a faith, Jews believe…
• In one God, creator of the universe, personal but noncorporeal
• In prophets of old – especially Moses, through whom Torah
was revealed to the Hebrew people
• In Torah (first five books of the Bible), containing religious,
moral and social law which guides the life of a Jew
• the Hebrew Bible does not include the New Testament
As a people, as a way of life
• A nation in Diaspora
• 15 – 16 million in worldwide
• United by a common heritage
(an “ethnic” religion), divided in
contemporary practice:
• 613 commandments found in
Torah (“Written Law”)
• Talmud (“Oral Law”) –
commentary of ancient rabbis
that elaborates on how to apply
God’s Law in everyday life
• Thus sanctifying life, blessing it
in every way
How is Judaism related to Christianity?
• Judaism predates Christianity – it is the foundation of Christianity
but is not a part of it
Jesus was Jewish, as were his followers and the Apostles
Jews do not believe that Jesus was anything more than a good and
wise man who lived and died 2000 years ago – Jews still await their
The Jewish messiah would not be divine. He would be a political figure
who restores the Hebrew monarchy and causes peace to reign on
Jews are not concerned about salvation and the “world to come”
What are Jews really concerned with?
• Tikkun Olam - “repairing this world” through justice and
righteousness; through “deed, not creed”
• The heart of Judaism is in the home and family, social responsibility
and doing Mitzvot (“good deeds” based on God’s commandments)
• Through education and hard work we make our lives, the lives of others,
and the world, what God intended it to be – Holy!
Christianity is…
Monotheistic Religion, born out of Judaism in the 1st century
2.2 billion Christians world wide
Jesus was born in Bethlehem in the Roman province of Judea- now Palestine
Jesus received a Jewish religious education, trained preacher
Jesus’ disciples (followers) believe He was the Son of God sent to
humankind as the Savior, or Christ
• His teachings found in the New Testament, basis of Christianity
As a faith, Christians believe
• A single God is the Father of all humanity. All men are brothers, all women
are sisters.
Love God above all; love your neighbor as yourself
The life and person of each individual are sacred
True Christians practice charity, justice, and the Golden Rule
All persons may be cleansed of sin and achieve eternal salvation
Growth of Christianity
• 1st-4th Centuries AD –
Christianity gained many converts throughout the Roman Empire
Christians were persecuted and opposed within Roman Empire
Emperor Constantine ordered religious toleration by the Edict of Milan
• 4th-11th Centuries ADThe Great Schism: The Roman Catholic v The Greek Orthodox Church
Islam as a faith…
 Muslims
are strict monotheists.
They believe in the JudeoChristian God, which they call
Muslims believe that the Torah
and the Bible, like the Qur’an,
is the word of God.
The Qur’an
Muslims believe it contains the
word of God.
114 suras (chapters).
In the name of Allah,
the compassionate,
the merciful.
in Arabic.
The 5 Pillars of Faith
• The Shahada: There is no god worthy of worship except God, and
Muhammad is His Messenger [or Prophet].
The Salat: The mandatory prayers performed 5 times a day
The Zakat: Muslims believe that all things belong to God.
The Sawm: Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.
The Hajj: The pilgrimage to Mecca. Must be done at least once in a
Muslim’s lifetime. 2-3 million make the Hajj each year… Hajji
The Spread of Islam
Easy to learn and practice.
No priesthood.
Teaches equality.
Non-Muslims, who were “Peoples of the Book,” were allowed religious
freedom, but paid additional taxes.
Easily “portable”  nomads & trade routes.
Jihad (“Holy War”) against pagans and other non-believers (“infidels”).
Muslims in the World Today
Countries with the Largest Muslim Population
1. Indonesia
6. Iran
2. Pakistan
7. Egypt
3. India
8. Nigeria
4. Bangladesh
9. Algeria
10. Morocco
5. Turkey
* Arabs make up only 20% of the total Muslim population
of the world.
Islam after Muhammad’s Death
• Who were the Caliphs?
leaders of Muslim community
successors to Muhammad
created an empire
• Who were the Sunnis and the
Sunnis- followers of Umayyad Clan
of Mecca
Shia- followers of Ali, a cousin of
Muhammad’s and husband of his
daughter (blood line more powerful!)
How do these three religions
affect the Middle Ages?
• The Roman Catholic Church, and Christianity specifically, was the dominant
religion in Medieval Europe
• Any attempt at threatening Christianity by other religions was met with force
• Purify the church = Christian campaigns against other religions:
This included Jews, Muslims and Pagans and Gypsies
Jews suffered the most as they were the ‘biggest threat’ to Christianity