Thematic Essay Belief Systems Christianity And Islam

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  • Judaism Christianity And Islam Jesus Of Nazareth

    997 words

    The main difference between the three great world religions of today, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, is the way each religion views the man known as Jesus of Nazareth. For many Jews, Jesus is a scholar, or perhaps a rabbi in the Jewish community, who overstepped his boundaries into self-proclaimed divinity; to some Jews, Jesus Christ did not exist at all. To Christians, he is the son of an all-loving and all-powerful god. Finally, for the people of the Islamic faith, Jesus is another prophet ...
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  • Pilgrimage To Mecca Christianity And Islam

    2,161 words

    A Study of the Christian Pilgrimage to the Holy Land And the Muslim Pilgrimage to Mecca Submitted by: Prepared for: SSC 231 Cultural Conflict and Human Solidarity University College Utrecht May 2001 Introduction A French folklorist and ethnographer, Arnold Van Gennep (1908 - 1960) gave us the first clues about how ancient and tribal societies conceptualized and symbolized the transitions men have to make between states a statuses. He demonstrated that all rites of passage are marked by three pha...
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  • Christianity And Islam God The Father

    734 words

    Although they share several basic theological ideas, Christianity and Islam differ on countless key characteristics. The most prominent differences include atonement, the identity of God, heaven, view of Jesus, and the means views of the Bible. It is these not-so-subtle contrasts of thoughts that separate the two most prevalent religions in the world. One of the most important differences in Christianity and Islam is the concept of atonement. In Christianity, Jesus death on the cross allows Chri...
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  • Judaism Christianity And Islam Thousands Of Years

    479 words

    Thematic Essay Belief Systems There are many religions in the world today. The five main religions are Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Some religions are Polytheistic, which means they believe in many gods and some are Monotheistic, which means they believe in one god. These religions were discovered thousands of years ago. One of the belief systems is Hinduism. Hinduism is a Polytheistic religion that has no single founder, but developed and changed over thousands of years...
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  • Christianity And Islam Holy Spirit

    701 words

    Christianity and Islam are two of the most widely recognized and widely practiced religions in the world. Islams and Christians have many things in common, as well as various opinions on the application of religion in the day-to-day environment. What is each religion and how does one refer to God? What is the nature, purpose, and plan of each God? What is each religions view on the Spirit and of Jesus Christ? Both Christianity and Islam have a written book by which to live and only pray to one G...
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  • Religious Comparison Of Christianity And Islam

    883 words

    You had to know history to understand what Bosnia and Kosovo were all about. That conflict proved that the war between Christianity and Islam has never ended. Over the ages, it simply took on different forms. Because we live in such a highly secularized society, we cannot believe that America could ever become involved in a religious war in this day and age. Yet ferocious religious wars have been going on all over the place: in Northern Ireland, Israel, the Balkans, the Sudan and Russia. But his...
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  • Christianity And Islam Glory Of God

    947 words

    Frederick Denny, the keynote speaker of the night spoke on Islam and its moral responsibility and how Muslims need to educate. He was a very intelligent man and great speaker, but he was too philosophical for the students in the audience. I was one of those misfortune souls who could not understand where he was going. He hit on many key points that connected the current problems of Islam and ideas of liberation theology. He stressed that Islam is and always will be a monotheistic, ethical religi...
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  • Judaism Christianity And Islam Century Bce

    1,089 words

    The five books of Pentateuch (Genesis-Deuteronomy), for example, traditionally are ascribed to Moses. But by the eighteenth century, many European scholars noticed problems with that assumption. Not only does Deuteronomy end with an account of Moses' death (a tough assignment for any writer to describe his or her own demise), but the entire Pentateuch shows anomalies of style that are hard to explain if only one author is involved. By the nineteenth century, most scholars agreed that the Pentate...
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  • Pope John Paul Ii U S Government

    1,770 words

    I. The conflict between the East and the West. II. The Second Gulf War. 1. Terrorism is the problem of the century: a. Christianity and Islam world; b. the beginning of the War on Terror. 2. Causes of the Iraq War: a. proponents and opponents points of view; b. Iraq's disarmament; c. when diplomacy has railed. 3. After-effects of the war: a. an attempt to establish a democratic state; b. the real aim of the war; c. great losses; d. opposition to the war across the world. III. The end of the war:...
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  • Christianity And Islam Men And Women

    2,302 words

    Gender Roles from a Theological View (1) In recent years, it became very popular among Christians to suggest that Bibles message should not be taken literally. Numerous experts tell us how we should be interpreting Christian doctrine, as if they had a personal conversation with God. The same tendency can be observed within Islam. There are, of course fundamentalists, who live according to the rules of Koran, but the religious attitude of majority of Muslims, is becoming more secularized. Nowaday...
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  • Gender Roles From A Theological View Part 2

    2,298 words

    ... with the following statement: the Old Testament is the story Jews exterminating neighboring tribes, because God told them so. The New Testament is nothing but a religious interpretation of Communist doctrine, which puts emphasis on mens equality and on the fact that eternal bliss is possible only in distant future. This is why; it is especially remarkable that some Bible scholars find in this book a justification for their view of mans role in society. One of such extraordinary people is Rev...
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  • The Global Challenge Of Fundamentalist Religion Part 1

    1,929 words

    The Global Challenge of Fundamentalist Religion (1) In public consciousness, 20 th century is traditionally associated with the rapid pace of cultural and scientific progress. At the same time, during the course of this century, the religious fanaticism continued to affect socio-political dynamics in many countries, which proves that it is much too early to consider this fanaticism as such that had lost its existential might, in the light of recent scientific discoveries. On September 11, 2001, ...
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  • Western Religion Sin In Judaism Christianity And Islam

    1,348 words

    Western Religion: Sin in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It is known that there are three major religions dominating in the West. They are Judaism, Christianity and Islam. So it is necessary to distinguish their differences as to faith and sin. Judaism is one of the oldest religions in the world. It is the religion of Jewish people. This religion is known to be monotheistic faith with traditions which are still alive. Judaism is not monolithic in practice and it has no centralized authority. Ju...
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  • Five Pillars Of Islam Christianity And Islam

    1,569 words

    Muslim Religion Christianity and Islam share a few similar beliefs and practices such as belonging to the monotheistic family. Monotheism: (one-God-ism) belief that there is but one Supreme Being who is moral and who seeks a total and unqualified response from human creatures. This term emphasizes the belief in one God who is the Creator and Sustainer of life and that the universe demonstrates evidence of Gods design and order. Also, both religions believe that God is active in history, guiding ...
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  • Religion Christianity And Islam

    1,889 words

    Religion: Christianity and Islam Nowadays there are many religions in the world. Christianity and Islam are the most wide spread religions in the world. Some Christianity thinks that it is Christs teachings which were spread throughout the Roman Empire after Christs death and became the state religion of it. Over the centuries it spread to the most countries in Europe and the world. The central figure of Christianity is Jesus Christ Anointed King or the Messiah. Muslims think that Islam is Gods ...
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  • Christianity And Islam Judaism And Islam

    500 words

    Belief systems, or religions are perhaps the strongest force in society. All of these beliefs are important to each religion in there own way. Theyre what make each religion individual and special. Each of these religions had its own beliefs and sacred texts, though all shared some concepts. In the Middle East, the three great world religions-Judaism, Christianity, and Islam had both share some similarities and differences. Judaism, a monotheistic religion, so as Christianity and Islam, original...
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  • B C E Judaism Christianity And Islam

    2,082 words

    Comparison and contrast of the basic ideas of: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Todays religious beliefs, governmental structures, laws and traditions of social behavior find their roots in the development of three main belief systems Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Although other religious movements have developed throughout the years, these three belief systems have had the most impact on civilizations of the West. To better understand this impact, it is important to trace the development of ...
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  • Pilgrimage To Mecca Closer To God

    4,308 words

    A Study of the Christian Pilgrimage to the Holy Land And the Muslim Pilgrimage to Mecca Submitted by: Prepared for: SSC 231 Cultural Conflict and Human Solidarity University College Utrecht May 2001 Introduction A French folklorist and ethnographer, Arnold Van Gennep (1908 - 1960) gave us the first clues about how ancient and tribal societies conceptualized and symbolized the transitions men have to make between states a statuses. He demonstrated that all rites of passage are marked by three pha...
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  • Times A Day Judaism Christianity And Islam

    1,605 words

    Religions of the World Religion has played a huge role in world affairs since almost the beginning of time, and is still a very influential subject today. In this paper I will give a brief description of the world s three predominant religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. I also will describe their beliefs, similarities and differences. Three of the major religions of the world, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, all began in the same basic area of the world. This area is what we know today...
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  • Five Pillars Of Islam Christianity And Islam

    2,280 words

    Christianity and Islam: Salvation It is beyond doubt that Christianity and Islam have many similarities. Yet each maintains its own unique characters which distinct one from the other. Both religions belong to the monotheistic family. Christian and Muslim believe only in one God, the creator and ruler of heaven and earth. Devotees of both religions, like Judaism, trace their ancestry to the patriarch Abraham, with whom God made covenant that He would be the divine protector of him and his descen...
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Religious art or sacred art is artistic imagery using religious inspiration and motifs and is often intended to uplift the mind to the spiritual. Sacred art involves the ritual and cultic practices and practical and operative aspects of the path of the spiritual realization within the artist's religious tradition.

Christian art[edit]

Main articles: Christian Art, Art in Roman Catholicism, and Byzantine art

See also: Religious image § Christianity, Madonna (art), Icon, and Images of Jesus

Christian sacred art is produced in an attempt to illustrate, supplement and portray in tangible form the principles of Christianity, though other definitions are possible.It is to make imagery of the different beliefs in the world and what it looks like.Most Christian groups use or have used art to some extent, although some have had strong objections to some forms of religious image, and there have been major periods of iconoclasm within Christianity. Most Christian art is allusive, or built around themes familiar to the intended observer. One of the most common Christian themes is that of the Virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus. Another is that of Christ on the Cross. For the benefit of the illiterate, an elaborate iconographic system developed to conclusively identify scenes. For example, Saint Agnes depicted with a lamb, Saint Peter with keys, Saint Patrick with a shamrock. Each saint holds or is associated with attributes and symbols in sacred art.


Early Christian art survives from dates near the origins of Christianity. The oldest surviving Christian paintings are from the site at Megiddo, dated to around the year 70, and the oldest Christian sculptures are from sarcophagi, dating to the beginning of the 2nd century. Until the adoption of Christianity by Constantine Christian art derived its style and much of its iconography from popular Roman art, but from this point grand Christian buildings built under imperial patronage brought a need for Christian versions of Roman elite and official art, of which mosaics in churches in Rome are the most prominent surviving examples.

During the development of Christian art in the Byzantine empire (see Byzantine art), a more abstract aesthetic replaced the naturalism previously established in Hellenistic art. This new style was hieratic, meaning its primary purpose was to convey religious meaning rather than accurately render objects and people. Realistic perspective, proportions, light and colour were ignored in favour of geometric simplification of forms, reverse perspective and standardized conventions to portray individuals and events. The controversy over the use of graven images, the interpretation of the Second Commandment, and the crisis of Byzantine Iconoclasm led to a standardization of religious imagery within the Eastern Orthodoxy.

The Renaissance saw an increase in monumental secular works, but until the Protestant Reformation Christian art continued to be produced in great quantities, both for churches and clergy and for the laity. During this time, Michelangelo Buonarroti painted the Sistine Chapel and carved the famous Pietà, Gianlorenzo Bernini created the massive columns in St. Peter's Basilica, and Leonardo Da Vinci painted the Last Supper. The Reformation had a huge effect on Christian art, rapidly bringing the production of public Christian art to a virtual halt in Protestant countries, and causing the destruction of most of the art that already existed.

As a secular, non-sectarian, universal notion of art arose in 19th-century Western Europe, secular artists occasionally treated Christian themes (Bouguereau, Manet). Only rarely was a Christian artist included in the historical canon (such as Rouault or Stanley Spencer). However many modern artists such as Eric Gill, Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Jacob Epstein, Elizabeth Frink and Graham Sutherland have produced well-known works of art for churches.[1] Through a social interpretation of Christianity, Fritz von Uhde also

Since the advent of printing, the sale of reproductions of pious works has been a major element of popular Christian culture. In the 19th century, this included genre painters such as Mihály Munkácsy. The invention of color lithography led to broad circulation of holy cards. In the modern era, companies specializing in modern commercial Christian artists such as Thomas Blackshear and Thomas Kinkade, although widely regarded in the fine art world as kitsch,[2] have been very successful.

The last part of the 20th and the first part of the 21st century have seen a focused effort by artists who claim faith in Christ to re-establish art with themes that revolve around faith, Christ, God, the Church, the Bible and other classic Christian themes as worthy of respect by the secular art world. Artists such as Makoto Fujimura have had significant influence both in sacred and secular arts. Other notable artists include Larry D. Alexander, Gary P. Bergel, Carlos Cazares, Bruce Herman, Deborah Sokolove, and John August Swanson.[3]

Buddhist art[edit]

Main article: Buddhist art

Buddhist art originated on the Indian subcontinent following the historical life of Siddhartha Gautama, 6th to 5th century BC, and thereafter evolved by contact with other cultures as it spread throughout Asia and the world.

Buddhist art followed believers as the dharma spread, adapted, and evolved in each new host country. It developed to the north through Central Asia and into Eastern Asia to form the Northern branch of Buddhist art, and to the east as far as Southeast Asia to form the Southern branch of Buddhist art. In India, Buddhist art flourished and even influenced the development of Hindu art, until Buddhism nearly disappeared in India around the 10th century due in part to the vigorous expansion of Islam alongside Hinduism.

Tibetan Buddhist art[edit]

Most Tibetan Buddhist artforms are related to the practice of Vajrayana or Buddhist tantra. Tibetan art includes thangkas and mandalas, often including depictions of Buddhas and bodhisattvas. Creation of Buddhist art is usually done as a meditation as well as creating an object as aid to meditation. An example of this is the creation of a sand mandala by monks; before and after the construction prayers are recited, and the form of the mandala represents the pure surroundings (palace) of a Buddha on which is meditated to train the mind. The work is rarely, if ever, signed by the artist. Other Tibetan Buddhist art includes metal ritual objects, such as the vajra and the phurba.

Indian Buddhist art[edit]

Two places suggest more vividly than any others the vitality of Buddhist cave painting from about the 5th century AD. One is Ajanta, a site in India long forgotten until discovered in 1817. The other is Dunhuang, one of the great oasis staging posts on the Silk Road...The paintings range from calm devotional images of the Buddha to lively and crowded scenes, often featuring the seductively full-breasted and narrow-waisted women more familiar in Indian sculpture than in painting.[4] Major art included mosques and a madonna (art of Mary and possibly her child)

Islamic art[edit]

Main article: Islamic art

A prohibition against depicting representational images in religious art, as well as the naturally decorative nature of Arabic script, led to the use of calligraphic decorations, which usually involved repeating geometrical patterns that expressed ideals of order and nature. It was used on religious architecture, carpets, and handwritten documents.[5] Islamic art has reflected this balanced, harmonious world-view. It focuses on spiritual essence rather than physical form.

While there has been an aversion to potential idol worship through Islamic history, this is a distinctly modern Sunni view. Persian miniatures, along with medieval depictions of Muhammad and angels in Islam, stand as prominent examples contrary to the modern Sunni tradition. Also, Shi'a Muslims are much less averse to the depiction of figures, including the Prophet's as long as the depiction is respectful.

Figure representation in Islamic sacred art[edit]

The Islamic resistance to the representation of living beings ultimately stems from the belief that the creation of living forms is unique to God, and it is for this reason that the role of images and image makers has been controversial. The strongest statements on the subject of figural depiction are made in the Hadith (Traditions of the Prophet), where painters are challenged to "breathe life" into their creations and threatened with punishment on the Day of Judgment. The Qur'an is less specific but condemns idolatry and uses the Arabic term musawwir ("maker of forms," or artist) as an epithet for God. Partially as a result of this religious sentiment, figures in painting were often stylized and, in some cases, the destruction of figurative artworks occurred. Iconoclasm was previously known in the Byzantine period and aniconicism was a feature of the Judaic world, thus placing the Islamic objection to figurative representations within a larger context. As ornament, however, figures were largely devoid of any larger significance and perhaps therefore posed less challenge.[6] As with other forms of Islamic ornamentation, artists freely adapted and stylized basic human and animal forms, giving rise to a great variety of figural-based designs.


Calligraphy is the most highly regarded and most fundamental element of Islamic art. It is significant that the Qur'an, the book of God's revelations to the Prophet Muhammad, was transmitted in Arabic, and that inherent within the Arabic script is the potential for developing a variety of ornamental forms. The employment of calligraphy as ornament had a definite aesthetic appeal but often also included an underlying talismanic component. While most works of art had legible inscriptions, not all Muslims would have been able to read them. One should always keep in mind, however, that calligraphy is principally a means to transmit a text, albeit in a decorative form.[7] From its simple and primitive early examples of the 5th and 6th century AD, the Arabic alphabet developed rapidly after the rise of Islam in the 7th century into a beautiful form of art. The main two families of calligraphic styles were the dry styles, called generally the Kufic, and the soft cursive styles, which include Naskhi, Thuluth, Nastaliq and many others.[8]


Geometric patterns make up one of the three nonfigural types of decoration in Islamic art, which also include calligraphy and vegetal patterns. Whether isolated or used in combination with nonfigural ornamentation or figural representation, geometric patterns are popularly associated with Islamic art, largely due to their aniconic quality. These abstract designs not only adorn the surfaces of monumental Islamic architecture but also function as the major decorative element on a vast array of objects of all types.[9]

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Evans, Helen C. & Wixom, William D. (1997). The glory of Byzantium: art and culture of the Middle Byzantine era, A.D. 843-1261. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 9780810965072. 
  • Hein, David. “Christianity and the Arts.” The Living Church, May 4, 2014, 8–11.
  • The Vatican: spirit and art of Christian Rome. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1982. ISBN 0870993488. 
  • Morgan, David (1998). Visual Piety: A History and Theory of Popular Religious Images. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
  • Sauchelli, Andrea (2016). The Will to Make‐Believe: Religious Fictionalism, Religious Beliefs, and the Value of Art. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 93, 3.
  • Charlene Spretnak, The Spiritual Dynamic in Modern Art : Art History Reconsidered, 1800 to the Present.
  • Veith, Gene Edward, junior. The Gift of Art: the Place of the Arts in Scripture. Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 1983. 130 p. ISBN 0-87784-813-0

External links[edit]

A specimen of Islamic sacred art: in the Great Mosque of Kairouan also called the Mosque of Uqba (in Tunisia), the upper part of the mihrab (prayer niche) is decorated with 9th-century lusterware tiles and painted intertwined vegetal motifs.
Virgin and Child. Wall painting from the early catacombs, Rome, 4th century.
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