JUDAISM, CHRISTIANITY & ISLAM COMPARED JEWS CHRISTIANS MUSLIMSMonotheistic Monotheistic Monotheistic (Trinitarian) Abraham Progenitor Abraham AbrahamJerusalem holy city Jerusalem Jerusalem Reverence for Heb. Prophets Rev. for Prophets Rev. for Prophets Hebrew Bib.accptd Heb. Bib.accptd Not accptd as canonical as canonical but respectedNo New Test. New Testament Qur’an in place of,(Talmud plays Church Fathers but N.T. respectedparallel role) Hadith suppl. Qur’anJesus not divine Jesus divine & Jesus not divine,nor a prophet savior–messiah but reveredMuhammad not accptd M. not accepted Muhammad accptdas seal of prophecy and reveredMore stress on observance More stress on faith Stress on observance(613 commandments) (Nicene Creed) (Five Pillars)Prayer 3x Daily Daily Prayer Prayer 5x Daily
Sabbath observance Sunday observance Friday communal prayer Dietary laws/Kosher No dietary laws Dietary laws/Halal(elaborate system) (except a few in Rom. Cath. (No pork products) & several in Orthodox Church)Circumcision Required Not required Circum. requiredEthical conduct Ethical conduct Ethical conductjustice stressed love submissionAlcohol permitted Alcohol permitted No alcoholAfterlife Afterlife Afterlife not stressed important importantConvert-making Evangelization Islam should be not stressed very important spreadMonogamy Monogamy Polygamy (up to 4 wives; not common)Gambling reluctantly permitted in moderation? Forbidden HISTORICAL SOURCES OF CONFLICT:A. JEWISH-CHRISTIAN1. Bitter rivalry between rabbinic Judaism and early church reflected in New Testament 2. Christianization of Roman Empire and subsequent centuries of persecution of Jews–including “the teaching of contempt,” Jews as Christ-killers3. Modern anti-Semitism, especially the Holocaust, not strongly resisted by most church leaders B. MUSLIM-CHRISTIAN1. Islam’s initial expansion tied to conquest2. The Crusades3. Efforts by Muslim countries, especially Turkish Ottoman Empire, to conquer parts of Europe4. Second-class (dhimmi) status of Christians in Muslim countries5. Western imperialism, e.g., in the somewhat artificial creation of new Middle East states after WW I C. JEWISH-MUSLIM1. Jewish rejection of Muhammad’s claims to prophethood (reflected in a few Qur’anic verses)2. Second-class (dhimmi) status of Jews in Muslim countries3. Founding of State of Israel in 1948 against strong objections from Muslim and Arab nations, leading to subsequent Arab-Israel wars, terrorism directed against Israel and refugee problems for Palestinians Signs of Hope:a. Second Vatican Council’s document on relations with non-Christian religions (1965); Vatican’s recognition of State of Israel (1993)b. Growth of Jewish-Catholic and Jewish-Protestant dialogue movementc. Gradual emergence of Jewish-Christian-Muslim dialogue (e.g., Academy for Judaic, Christian and Islamic Studies), and of Jewish-Muslim and Christian-Muslim dialogue d. The American Islamic experience as a model for other countries (“integrity and adaptation”)e. Making common cause to solve global problems: hunger, political repression, religious persecution, etc.
Continuing Sore Spots:a. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Palestinian terrorism answered by Israeli military repressionb. The perception by Muslims that America unfairly supports Israel vis-à-vis Palestinec. The invasions of Iraq & Afghanistan and their troubled aftermathd. Repressive or fundamentalist regimes in predominantly Muslim countriese. The use of terrorism by Muslim extremists (Al-Qaeda, ISIS) to achieve political goals f. The perceived moral laxity of predominantly Christian countries, especially the USA, in the eyes of the Islamic world