Religion is an integral part of the modern world. First, religious institutes carry out spiritual registration of believers which is shown in the human-God communication. Secondly, the religious organizations are engaged in religious and special secular education, charity, and philanthropy. Thirdly, representatives of religious institutes actively participate in public activities and promote the normalization of political, economic, and cultural processes. In addition to the common aspects of religions in general, many religions in particular, have several commonalities based on which a comparison between them could be conducted. This paper compares Hinduism on the one part, and Judaism, Christianity, and Islam on the other part based on the existent points commonality in the Abrahamic religions.
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All three Abrahamic religions, as implied from their common name, share a similar origin, where this origin implies the existence of one spiritual source in all these religions.
The similarity of origins is followed by the point that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are monotheistic religions. Judaism and Islam highly affirm the oneness of God, where Christianity, although believe that God is triune, “this is not a denial of monotheism but an affirmation of the complexity of the Divine Being.” (Mojzes & Swidler, 2002).
An additional point of resemblance, which mostly consists of several outlines, addresses the issue of representation. All three religions have the origin of divine revelation through prophets. In contrary to other religions and doctrines, which were mostly based on philosophical reflections, customs, or traditions that were passed through generations, the teachings of Abrahamic religion are related to God who addressed his words through prophets.
Although the role of prophets might differ in each religion, mainly in Christianity where Jesus has a bigger role and position, their message is identical, which is to deliver and spread God’s words. It should be mentioned that prophets as a point of commonality have points of distinction, where the consequent timeline in all three religions resulted in the fact that the earlier does not recognize the following religions and prophets. In that sense, Islam recognizes all the previous prophets, while Judaism logically did not say a word about Jesus. (“Similarities between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity,” 2008).
Comparison with Hinduism
Hinduism – the most ancient national religion of India. There are numerous religions and beliefs in India including all world religions such as Buddhism, Islam, Christianity (Klostermaier, 2007), nevertheless, it was and remains mainly the country of Hinduism. It was all around Hinduism throughout the centuries, that cultural, political, and social unity was built. “Although Hinduism is associated with one region of the world —South Asia—it is a global religion in two senses of the term. It has provided a religious complement to the diaspora of Hindus around the world and thus contributed to pluralist cultures in such disparate places as contemporary Fiji and England.” (Madan, 2003, p. 52) By the end of the last century, Hinduism has stepped over national borders and became popular in a number of countries in Europe and America, applying for its recognition as one of the world religions.
Comparing Hinduism with Abrahamic religions in the context of origins, Hinduism has its roots “go back to the Vedic religion that prevailed in north India 3,0 years ago. Hinduism evolved over the millennia as the earlier Vedic and Brahmanical traditions spread spatially.” (Madan, 2003, p. 53) Nevertheless, Hinduism can be considered as a product of conjunction between Indian and Semitic religion faiths, Islam and Christianity.
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In terms of revelation, where Abrahamic religions were based on prophets, Hinduism was revealed through the recovery of ancient wisdom. “Although the Vedas are indeed regarded as revealed texts by some Hindus, the manner of revelation is not external. It rather consists of the recovery of the perennial wisdom of the sages. Modern Indological scholarship has tended to emphasize belief in the Vedas as scripture and also the authority of the Brahmans as its interpreters as essential features of Hinduism.” (Madan, 2003, p. 54) As for the religious outlook, pluralism is inherent in Hinduism, and it is shown not only in spiritual differentiation, but also in social, and also in spatial and temporal: they affect in a set of local traditions and in timing the religious life to all human ages. Plural characteristics are connected through the general course of traditional culture and life principles, obligatory for all Hindus. Although in Hinduism there were different Gods that were worshipped such as Shums, Sin, and Ishtar, they could be considered as idols, where “Idols are not ends in themselves, but a means to realize the Almighty.” (Kelkar & Vaishnav, 2001).
From the western point of view, Hinduism looks logically unorganized and unsystematic. However, from the point of view of traditional Indian culture, Hinduism has a system of another kind. “Things are made more complicated through the appropriation of particular philosophical schools by specific religious traditions, the formation of parallel teaching lines, and the emergence of new sects.”(Klostermaier, 2007).
Klostermaier, K. K. (2007). Hinduism: A Short History. Web.
Kelkar, V., & Vaishnav, Y. (2001). Commonalities in Hinduism and Judaism. International Journal of Humanities and Peace, 17(1), 24+.
Madan, T. N. (2003). 5 Hinduism. In Global Religions: An Introduction, Juergensmeyer, M. (Ed.) (pp. 52-62). New York: Oxford University Press.
Mojzes, P., & Swidler, L. (2002). Common Elements of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 39(1-2), 80+.
Neusner, J., Chilton, B., & Graham, W. (2002). Three Faiths, One God: The Formative Faith and Practice of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Boston: Brill.
Oakes, E. T. (2005). The Children of Abraham: Judaism, Christianity, Islam. First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life 53+.
Similarities between Islam, Judaism and Christianity (2008). 2009. Web.