Influence of Religion on Developing Societies
Influence of Religion on Developing Societies
Religion has always had some influence on civilization. From the past to the present it has shaped the way civilizations interact, communicate and even fight wars. Religion started out with the different complex societies instilling their rules upon families and then allowing those kinds of families to organize into local government systems. Religion influenced economies to flourish and expand so that trade could be developing thus reducing the threat of war among empires. The importance of religion could never be under stated because it’s influence on politics and the different ethnic groups.
However the three religions that have affected civilizations throughout the existence of man have been Islam, Judaism and Christianity. I hope to show how those religions shaped the minds of philosophers, scientists and priests throughout the existence of human beings. In my research I also hope to show how religion forced communities to bond with one another in other to worship God the way they would like without the infringing upon someone else views and I hope to show how conflict influenced the politics of every society. This would reveal how religion plays a big part of our lives whether we believe in God or not.
This research also will show how religion influences our present world. The three religious beliefs all do their part to establish a foundation in man’s heart to build a better society, culture and communications with one another. Religion will always influence our beliefs, our civilization, and our moral values. Without Religion societies are dead in the water. Islam is an important part of today’s society and culture. Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in our world. From generation to generation this religion has influenced much of the Muslim countries such as those in the Middle East, Europe and even in the United States.
Many in the Jewish and Christian communities consider the Muslim religion as being a reason why there is also conflict in the Middle East over a tiny piece of land called Palestine. This was a land in which religion played an important role in the boundaries and communities that existed during that era. However throughout history, the Islamic religion has been in conflict with other religions that were called “Infidels” because of their unbelievers in following teachings of the Quran as inspired by Muhammad. This has been the main conflict of the religion of the Islamic with other religions and faiths. Mohammad Nafissi (2005) points out:
The ideal type of reformation proposed here is capacions enough no include both Christianity and Islam, but it is also sufficiently determinate to retain and explain the distinctive trajectory of Islam and Islamic reformism. At present certain explicit Koranic injunctions and aspects of the Prophet’s tradition, sunna, and the orthodox Islamic law, sharia which purports to synthesize both as a comprehensive set of lasting rules of conduct, apparently stand opposed to central tenants of modernity, gender equality, and equality in law and rights between Muslims and non-Muslims or separation of religion and state.
The suggest a prima facie case for the view that Islam is an obstacle to modernity, democracy, and economic progress. (p. 3) Muhammad was influence by some elements of Judaism and Christianity. Both of those religions believed in Monotheism and this had an impact upon the thinking of Muhammad who also taught again idolatry. However Muhammad believed that Jesus Christ was an ordinary prophet just like Peter, Paul and others. Mohammad Nafissi (2005) further notes:
The centerpiece of the Islamic reform of Judaism and Christianity was a rationalizing agenda that synthesized them as what can be accurately described as a Judeo-Christianity that anticipated Protestantism in some areas and went beyond it at least in one crucial respect, Mohammad did not deny the ministries of Moses and the Jesus, but claimed to have been sent to purify the corrupted Judaism and Christianity at the time. Jesus was a prophet, but to worship him as a divine was precisely the mark of pagan magic, ignorance, and neglect of the one supreme God that had sent Mohammad and all the preceding prophets. p. 7)
This ancient view has been the origin of conflict against Judaism and Christianity to the 21st century. It has caused cultures to collide against each other and millions of innocent people have suffered hardships due to wars, terrorists, bombings, and commendations. Islam is specially has a hatred of Jewish people because of their claims to be God’s chosen people. (Evangeliou, 2003) The Jewish has been the center piece of the nation of Israel for centuries. The nation is one of the tiniest on the planted however it is one of the strongest military and intelligent people in society.
Their culture has been studied and copied for ages. Judaism is a religion that can be traced back to the Jewish people that believed in the worship of one God. History showed that in those ancient times many complex societies worshiped different deities. This led to many different groups and communities that had placed status, magic and other strange views that influenced events in that era. Judaism is known in our present society because of the “first chapter of both the Jewish Torah and the Christian Bible”. (Sanders, et al. , 2006, p. 6) It is also noted the accounts of several events that end up shaping the world then and now. The monotheism belief influenced the heart and spirit of many in the Jewish culture. This is extremely important because of how it was able to grow in influence throughout the ancient world to the world that we live in today.
Historical accounts of the Judaism reveal many concepts and practices that many cultures and civilizations still uses today. An example would be the eating of certain kinds of meats for dietary bases; the military planning that enable a young lad name David to defeat the great Philistine champion names Goliath. pg. 72) The development of many methods to help understand our universe and the environment all come gets its foundation from Judaism. The role of religion played in influencing the Jewish woman in loving their family and devoting their lives to God and their homes. Politically, religion was the foundation that influences one section of the tribes of Israel to break from tradition and form their own government. (Para. 2) Religion also influenced economies in the Jewish civilizations. Complex societies were formed that religion could dictate to the rule of law and expand their beliefs to other societies.
In my studies I found that the concept of many of the complex Judean societies formed cities and states to maintain some order and to create a form of government that would follow the principles of the Torah that was given by Yahweh. (Bentley, et al. , 2008) Religion influence how the Jewish people traveled and intermingle with other ethnical groups in different parts of the ancient world. However there was another religion that has its part in the influencing its faith into the ancient world. Christianity is the best known for impact upon the world in the ancient era through our present.
Christianity is a religion can be traced as far back as the first century. This religion centers on the life Jesus Christ and the early church. It is the belief that Jesus Christ was the son of God who came upon the earth to sacrifice his life to save man from their sins and have everlasting life. This doctrine is unlike from what the Jewish and Islam beliefs are. The Judaism religion still awaits their king to come and save them from this world while Islam followers have a firm belief of Muhammad as being a prophet with the same divinity as Jesus Christ.
When you look at the history of Christianity as it is written, accounts indicate that Christianity formed societies, complex communities, armies, and economies all over the world. What I found so interesting was how fast Christianity was able to spread in parts of Europe, Asia, Northern Africa and finally to America. This doctrine affected how people lived, interact, and worked to support themselves. The belief that Christianity offered a deliverance from a world of wars, conflict, diseases, sin, and intolerance is the driving force behind Jesus Christ.
Researcher has found that Christianity started around the first century C. E. (Sanders, et al. , 2006 p. 221) The Jewish sects didn’t like how the Roman Empire how they took control of Palestine. (Para. 2). This led to a new to a new religion and the need to have written records pertaining to the words of Jesus Christ. (Pg. 222) History indicates that a Jew named Saul who was “trained as a rabbi and scholarly religious leader in the Jewish tradition” (Sanders, et al. , 2006 Para. 1) was converted to Christianity on the road to Damascus.
After the vision, Saul followed God’s word and changed his name to Paul and became was instrumental in testifying about his experience and converting both Gentiles and Jews to the new religion. What Christianity done is to give communities a foundation to build a culture, government, and economy based on Christian principles. Christianity was somewhat different than Islam and Judaism because it didn’t teach to judge people but allow God to be the one who would judge individuals by the way that person lives his/her life.
Some fractions of Islam have a firm belief in going to heaven if they kill innocent people for being unbelievers. This is what makes Christianity stand out among others in the world. Christianity is a bridge to God not to wage war against unbelievers or to force people in communities convert but give the world a new religion based on love, peace and the vision of being delivered from sin. In every era Christianity has influenced the changing of cultures, economies and governments. The role of government in modern times have all developed on the foundation of three principles, either you are of Jewish, Islamic or Christian faiths.
Many wars and conflicts have resulted because of the views of their religion beliefs. Scholars and theorists have often debate about the role of religion in the lives of society. This has caused a battle between the three main faiths in today’s societies. Scott Thomas (2002) notes” One of the main debates among theorists of the international relationships is the nature of The social bonds that hold states together as an international society. This debate has Brought together theorists of the otherwise sharply contending schools of neorealist Structuralism. The current versions of the traditions of Thucydides, Machiavelli, Hobbes, And Rousseau) and of neoliberal institutionalism (the contemporary forms of traditions From Grotius, Kant, Bentham, and Rawls). (Pg. 110) This debate involves the resurgence of religion that is dictating the modularization of our global world. It is affecting how we eat, work, build, socialize, and communicate with others. This resurgence is growing so fast that it will eventually become one religion. Christianity will be the religion that will dominate the world in our present and generations to come. People see and form their own opinions about religion.
When religion can provide a better life for poor, the elderly, the family structure, and then it will achieve it desire. For the worship of God is for the needy, downcast and others that long for a change in their lives. Christianity is the religion that is best suited for the masses. Research indicates, that when communities feel comfortable about being able to worship they have a desire to live better lives, work harder , form interpersonal relationships and become productive in society. Many political leaders throughout the ages have made promises of wealth, religious freedom and equality for all however this has not been the case.
Thomas (2002) writes “The failure of this modernizing mythology to produce what is promised, and the failure of the modernizing secular states it engendered, is evident in what is identified as “Political decay,” (Para. 5) It is a known fact that people do not trust the words of politicians anymore. This is the reason for the resurgence of Christianity in our communities. If there is no form of Christian beliefs to revive our culture and communities, we are going to suffer a long period of hardships, wars, and famine in our lands.
The role of Christianity can help reshape the family structure to re include God in every our lives, educate our children and provide a sense of comfort to individuals that need comfort. It will force government to acknowledge how important Christianity is in establishing a good economy and providing human rights to its people. This is the one religion that can bring communities together and enable fellowship by the methods of salvation through Jesus Christ. Without this happening, the world would be without any laws or righteous government to run it. In other words, societies would be dead in the water.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 30 November 2016
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