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Christianity and Judaism vs Mystery Religions

By rachbaby561 Sep 21, 2009 422 Words
The mystery religion was very narrow in scope, only involving select groups of people therefore not gaining support from the masses.Some people believe that Christianity and Judaism have many parallels to the mystery cults in terms of terminology (salvation, resurrection, eternal life) and in the particulars of the performance of initiation and ritual. But in my opinion Christianity and Judaism do not fall under this specific category due to many reasons. Christianity and Judaism are both monotheistic religions, meaning they only believe in one god. Both have always been very welcoming religions, by not setting standards to certain types of people and welcoming everyone.As a matter of fact Christians travel all over our nation to witness to non-christians. When one wants to join the Christianity religion they make a public announcement by revealing that he/she has asked God to come into their life. Following they will be baptized also in public place allowing anyone to come and witness. Baptism is one of the two most important sacraments in Christianity. Judaism goes about baptism a little differently, but has the same basic concept. Most Jewish people are born into the religion, but they do welcome sincere converts. Converts go through a number of teachings, and many meetings with their Rabbis. But in the long run when one converts, it will be a public announcement. However this was somewhat different for the mystery religions. The main characterization of these religions is the secrecy associated with the particulars of the initiation and the cult practice, which may not be revealed to “outsiders”. The most famous mysteries of Greco-Roman antiquity were the Eleusinian Mysteries (Crystal, David). The Eleusinian Mysteries were initiation ceremonies held every year for the cult of Demeter and Persephone based at Eleusis in ancient Greece. Of all the mysteries celebrated in ancient times, these were held to be the ones of greatest importance. The rites, ceremonies, and beliefs were kept secret, as initiation was believed to unite the worshipper with the gods and included promises of divine power and rewards in the afterlife. Due to the secret nature of the cult, and because of the mystery religions of Late Antiquity; a period used by historians to describe the transitional centuries from Classical Antiquity to the Middle Ages, it would be very difficult to keep a religion like this alive (Martyr, Justin). This also shows why Christianity and Judaism flourished like they did. By being realistic and open to all mankind these two religions will never die out.

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