There are thousands of religions currently being practiced across the world. Still, there are a few religions that tend to get a bit more publicity than the rest. Religions like Christianity, Islam, and Judaism tend to dominate the news cycles. It could be assumed most people have a strong understanding of these religions and what they entail. Unfortunately, this assumption would be incorrect. Despite the exposure, a vast number of people have very little comprehension of the major religions of the world, especially if they do not follow the doctrines in question.
If you feel like you might fall into this category, now is a great time to explore some of the facts. Learning about some of the misconceptions surrounding popular religions can provide you with the insight you might require to reshape your opinion on various movements. Explore these points and go on a journey through the ages.
Judaism: Many to One
Judaism is one of the world’s oldest practiced religions. Those who are only vaguely familiar with it might assume it is a monotheistic religion, and it makes sense where that idea comes from. Modern Judaism is based around one god, referred to often as Yahweh. While this might have been the case for many centuries, it is a bit different than how early members of this faith worshipped. Early in the days of Judaism, there were several other gods and goddesses who the people turned to when they were in times of need or looking to make an offering.
This is not an esoteric fact to anyone who has dug into the history of Judaism before. In fact, many scholars and writers have bitten into this proverbial apple to see what they could learn about the history of the human race. Fanciful author Tom Robbins explores the dichotomy between Yahweh and his female counterpart Astarte in the comical romp “Skinny Legs and All.” Historians also believe Judaism split early, with polytheistic worship breaking away into the mysterious Canaanite religion, which is referred to often in old Judaism texts.
Islam: Jesus and Evolution
There are many misconceptions floating around in the modern age about Islam. For one, a vast number of non-Muslim individuals around the world have no idea Jesus is mentioned quite frequently in the Qur’an. Members of the Christian faith believe Jesus to the be the “son of God” and the savior of the human race. While Islam does not take this same point of view on Jesus, there are still a number of important references to him throughout Islamic holy texts. Jesus is actually viewed as a prophet of great renown in the Qur’an.
Another interesting tidbit about Islam is it is the first religion to explore the scientific concept of evolution. In the ninth century, there was a great historical event retroactively referred to as the “Islamic Golden Age.” During this period, many great thinkers were able to explore concepts and theories in new and engaging ways. One such man, known as al-Jahiz, was the first to come up with zoological research pointing at evolution as a possible truth of the world. Though his name is not mentioned frequently today, he greatly influenced the work of evolution theorist Charles Darwin.
Discover and Rediscover
Religion is not a new concept to the human race. Even though people have been worshipping various figures in different ways for thousands of years, there is still a great deal of confusion. By taking the time to learn about the histories of various popular religions, it can be easy to rise above the misconceptions and learn some truth. Doing this can help to bridge gaps and foster understanding during a time when the human race is more connected than ever before in history.