Defining Religion

Defining Religion
By Courtney Herrig

Gandhi once said that there are as many religions as there are people in the world.  One perspective on Gandhi thought is that each individual defines their faith in their own way.  USF has students how practice Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Shinto and so on.  The majority of USF’s most practiced religions come from the Abrahamic religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

What is Christianity?
Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as depicted in the New Testament. Christians believe Jesus is the Son of God and the Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament, and that the New Testament records the Gospel that was revealed by Jesus. Christianity began as an offshoot of Judaism, and includes the Hebrew Bible (known to Christians as the Old Testament) as well as the New Testament as its canonical scriptures.

What is Islam?
Muslims believe that God revealed the Qur’an to Muhammad, God’s final prophet, and regard the Qur’an and the Sunnah (words and deeds of Muhammad) as the fundamental sources of Islam.  They do not regard Muhammad as the founder of a new religion, but as the restorer of the original monotheistic faith of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets.

Almost all Muslims belong to one of two major denominations, the Sunni and Shi’a. The schism developed in the late 7th century following disagreements over the religious and political leadership of the Muslim community. Roughly 85 percent of Muslims are Sunni and 15 percent are Shi’a.

Diyanah Elyaman., a senior majoring in communication science and disorders says, “People don’t realize Islam is not much different than Judism and Chrisianity, We believe in one God. We believe in the same Prophet, Islam is building upon Judaism and Christianity”

What is Judaism
Judaism is the religion of the Jewish people, based on principles and ethics embodied in the Hebrew Bible. According to Jewish tradition, the history of Judaism begins with the Covenant between God and Abraham. Judaism is among the oldest religious traditions still in practice today. Jewish history and doctrines have influenced other religions such as Christianity, Islam and the Bahá’í Faith.

Judaism has always been monotheistic in theology. It differs from many religions in that central authority is not vested in a person or group, but in sacred texts and traditions. According to traditional Jewish belief, the God who created the world established a covenant with the Israelites, and revealed his laws and commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai in the form of the Torah, and the Jewish people are the descendants of the Israelites.

Rabbi Uriel Rivkin of USF’s Jewish Center says, “Judaism is just a religion, it is way of life for an orthodox jew.  Judaism is peace & love, not fighting.”

What is Buddhism?

Buddhism is often described as a religion and a collection of various philosophies, based initially on the teachings Buddha. To many, however, Buddhism is not a religion, nor a philosophy or a set of doctrines, but rather teachings to guide one to directly experiencing reality.

Buddhism began around 5th century BCE with the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, who was born in Ancient India, and is hereafter referred to as “the Buddha.”

According to the scriptures, the Buddha taught that in life there exists Dukkha, which is in essence sorrow/suffering, that is caused by desire and it can be brought to cessation by following the Noble Eightfold Path. This teaching is called the “Four Noble Truths”.

Four Noble Truths
1. There is suffering
2. There is a cause of suffering—craving
3. There is the cessation of suffering
4. There is a way leading to the cessation of suffering—the Noble Eightfold Path

What is Hinduism?

Hinduism is a religious tradition that originated in the Indian subcontinent. Hinduism contains a vast body of scriptures developed over millennia, these scriptures expound on theology, philosophy and mythology.

Hinduism is A conglomerate of diverse beliefs and traditions, Hinduism has no single founder.

Most Hindus believe that the spirit or soul—the true “self” of every person is eternal. According to the monistic/pantheistic theologies of Hinduism, this soul is ultimately indistinct from Brahman, the supreme spirit.


One Response to “Defining Religion”

  1. Nouralhouda Says:

    I invite you to visist tnis site web which invite you tu know the truth

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