We are asked to make a comparison of a monotheistic religion and a polytheistic religion. I will endeavour to compare and contrast the religions of Hinduism and Islam.
Religion is a system of beliefs, practices and philosophical values shared by a group of people which originated out of the need to recognize the importance of society and serves to maintain social order, solidarity or integration and provides meaning to social life. Religion is highly considered as one of society’s important institutions.
Theorists such as Max Weber, Emile Durkheim and Karl Marx had different opinions with respect to religion and society. Weber believed that religion had an influence on social changes in society whereas Durkheim who was a functionalist theorist said that everyone has a part to play and there must be social consensus to obtain solidarity. However Marx, the Conflict theorist believed that religion enhances disorders in society, creating division and is not integrated. He believed that it also produces conflict instead of consensus, dictating rules and a mechanism of social control.
Ultimately, Durkheim observed that all religions divided the universe into two mutually exclusive categories, the profane which consists of things which are commonly known in everyday experiences and the sacred which consists of things which are known through only extraordinary experiences.
Islam is the name given to the religion preached by the Prophet Muhammed who taught from A.D. 612 until his death in 632. In about 570 CE, a new prophet was born. God is the focus in Islam, the sole authority, not Muhammad, however, this man, Muhammad, is considered by Muslims to be the last of a continuing chain of prophets who came to restore the true religion. They regard the way revealed to him, Islam, not as a new religion but as the original path of monotheism which also developed into Judaism and
Bibliography: Tischler, Henry L. 2004, Introduction to Sociology 8th Edition. Thomson Advantage Fisher, Pat M, Living Religions 7th Edition. Pearson Prentice Hall http:www:as.au.edu/rel/studyingreligion.html http://www.culturopedia.com/religions/hindudoctrines.html http://orgs.odu.edu/buclub/Buddhism.htm http://www.ucg.org/bible-study-aid http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/etc/index.htm