** This is the book that you MUST use to write this paper:

Young, William A. The World’s Religions: Worldviews and Contemporary Issues, 3rd edition. New Jersey: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2010. ISBN 0-205-67511-5

This Assignment is actually less of a “paper” and more of a short assignment combined with a short essay. I think this will be more effective in terms of getting you in touch with a wider array of material, and accomplishing the synthetic goals of the course. So, with no further ado, here it is:

Part One: Visit Wikipedia’s “List of Christian Denominations” and take a look at the variety of denominations and branches listed on the site. Then, choose two particular denominations and visit their official church sites (often listed towards the bottom of the entry, if it exists – otherwise, you can attempt a google search to find it), and address the following in 1-1.5 pages.

The following four prompts are guidelines for a response, but do not need to be answered exactly.

  • What was your general impression upon seeing so many denominations? (Briefly)
  • From your readings and the notes, can you guess what accounts for this level of diversity?
  • Which two sites did you visit, and in what way are they similar and different?
  • Does this confirm or deny the diversity within Christianity?

Part Two:Below, you will find links to CNN and Al-Jazeera coverage of the Hajj.

Some of the coverage is video-heavy, while some is print articles about the tradition. The Hajjhas been known as a great “unifier” of the Islamic tradition. Read through some of the coverage, and address the following in 1 – 1.5 pages. (Please note which of the articles/sections you read.)

The first of these five prompts is required. The remainder are for guidelines, but do not need to be followed exactly.

  • (Required) how does the Hajj fit into the practice of Islam? That is, what role does it occupy in the tradition (consult text for this)?
  • What was your general impression of seeing images from the Hajj? (Briefly)
  • Do you find that the Hajj represents a great diversity of people?
  • How do people describe their experience of the hajj?
  • Do you find this similar or strikingly different than practices we’ve encountered up to this point?

A reporter’s reflections:

2009 deep coverage:

Link to search term “hajj” on English Al Jazeera:

Part Three:

In a short essay (one page or less), using all your tools up to this point (text, notes, discoveries from assignments) identify what you think to be an essential similarity between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity and an essential difference. The more nuanced, detailed, and concise your answer, the better. Be specific, and not general! Use terms that are appropriate to each tradition, and be sure to show that you understand each religion on its own terms.


Diversity of Christian Denomination

I am perplexed to learn that there are massive Christian denominations close to 41,000 included in the Catholics, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, Anglicans, Protestantism, and Medieval sects among many others. I wonder how Christianity embraced such a wide diversification yet they worship one deity. The wide diversion demonstrated in the Christianity may have been propelled by various issues such as papal primacy, eschatology, nature of Jesus, and apostolic succession. Different denominations define their church authority and doctrine in distinct ways.

Christians developed distinct faith provided by Jesus Christ and divine church corresponded to Christian’s denominations. Additionally, it is apparent that Christian teachings are distinct from one another. Practice and theologies of Protestants, Anglican, and Protestants are distinct in terms of salvation, sinful acts, and Christ divinity (Young 4-6).

Anglican Church established its roots in the 16th and 17th centuries in the British Isles. The denomination holds that the Holy bible comprising of the Old and New Testaments form the basis of their faith. The church also observes Apostle’s Creed and Nicene as the primary statement for Christian. The church recognizes Holy Communion and Sacraments of Baptism. The bishops of the church take part in the Historic Episcopate. The style of worship of Anglican denomination is based in Services of Ordination and the Book of Common Prayer. The denomination also observes the Eucharist, celebrate Marriage, Ordination, Reconciliation, anointing the sick and confirmation. The denomination joins other Christian traditions in terms of acknowledging the three pillars (Anglican Consultative Council).

The Catholics observe the seven sacraments, baptism as symbol of forgiveness of sin and union with the body of Christ. The denomination holds distinct form of prayers from other Christian denominations. To illustrate, Catholics observe prayers of adoration, Expiation, love or charity prayers, prayer of petition, and thanksgiving. The Catholics believe that in the apostle’s Creed, the Incarnation, baptism, and the Trinity. The overview of the Anglican denomination and the Catholic denomination implies that diversity in Christianity exists (Catholic Online).

Influence of the Hajj in Islamic Tradition

The Hajj Pillar submits to Allah as their deity and is also associated with Prophet Muhammad. The Hajj fits in the practice of Islamic in the sense that it undertakes the journey to Mecca which is considered as highly beneficial the Muslim people. Additionally, the Hajj plays an instrumental role in commemorates stories of Ishmael, Hagar, and Abraham that have significant meanings in the Islamic religion. The Pilgrimage conducted by the Hajj demonstrates practices of unity among Islamic believers.

I am surprised on coming across image of the massive number of the Hajj people on the internet. They must have exceeded in number to an extent that they have filled the huge mosque and even on the exterior structures of the building.  In other words, the image is unbelievable in such away that viewer might think it was edited using image editing software. They have turned in hundreds of thousand to observe their prayers (Cable News Network).

The Hajj represents a significant diversity in the Islamic people in the sense that they are the fifth pillar of the Islam. The pillar demonstrates diversity from other Islamic pillars defined in terms of compliance with Jihad, role of women, and impression on terrorism. To illustrate, the Hajj respect the role of women by proving female employment and education. In essence, the Hajj is distinct form the other four pillars in terms of culture rather than religious faith (Al Jazeera English).

People believe that the Hajj pillar demonstrate modern lifestyle distinct for the other four Islamic pillars despite the fact that it existed for centuries. The religion keenly observes the ritual acts held in Mecca once in year to honor the lives of Ibrahim and the wife Hajar. Therefore, people believe that the Hajjis sect that highly values solidarity.

The experience observed on the Hajj sect, I do not fin striking difference as far as Islamic rituals are concerned. Many of the experiences I have encountered in with the few Hajj people in my vicinity rhymes with what people say about the Hajj experience.

Comparison between Judaism, Islam, and Christianity

The three religions, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism believe in one deity, God. The all worship God and share some similar believes in areas such as the eschatology. The three religions can be termed as Abraham religions in the sense that they trace the history of Abraham in their holy books. Additionally, the three religions acquire almost similar theism. Both Islam and Judaism comply with strict theism while the Christianity dwells on the Trinitarian monotheism. The three religions believe in existence of other spiritual beings such as the angels and demons.

However, the three religions pose striking difference in term of religious teachings. The Islam believe that Jesus as prophet delivering inconsistent messages, the Judaism people perceive Jesus as a false prophet, while Christians believe the Jesus is a son of God. The three religions also differ in terms of means of salvation Muslims believe that righteous person portray good deed, comply with the five pillars. The Jews believe that a righteous person demonstrates good deed and believe in God. Christians depict a more comprehensive means of salvation in the sense that they believe salvation is achieved through sacraments, faith, correct beliefs, and good deed. Generally, the three religions share one deity but demonstrate distinct aspect in terms of specific beliefs in existence of Jesus, human nature, life after death, and salvation (ReligionFacts).

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