Exploring Religions: Focus of Islam and Mormonism
Jorge Alfredo Aviles
Humanities 251 Section 31
Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology
The United States culture has a broad spectrum of religious affiliations and religiosity. As a result of interacting with people who share similarities, people seldom evaluate the main premises of other religions. Two religions that focused in this paper that will be explored are Islam and Mormonism. The goal is to compare and contrast these religions from an anthropological perspective. Describing the history of the religion such when and how it was first founded. Details of initial leaders of the movement or faith and how the faith was spread in the world. Also to discuss the main tenets of each religion’s belief system, the core religious texts and the significance practices. The paper will examine the role of religious leaders have in these religions as well as the roles devotees or followers play. Describing also how the religions view some social norms or cultural issues. Finally, examine how these religions coexist in a globalized world.
The world has a broad spectrum of religious affiliations and religiosity. As a result of interacting with people who share similarities, people seldom evaluate the main premises of other religions. The anthropology of religion involves the study of religious institutions in relation to other social institutions, and the comparison of religious beliefs and practices across cultures. Religion is defined as an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and worldviews that relate humanity to an order of existence. Many religions have narratives, symbols, and sacred histories that are intended to explain the meaning of life and/or to explain the origin of life or the universe. From their beliefs about the cosmos and human nature, people derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a preferred lifestyle. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world. The two religions I will be exploring, which I am unfamiliar with, are Islam and Mormonism. Islam is a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion articulated by the Qur'an, a book considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of God and by the teachings and normative example of Muhammad, considered by them to be the last prophet of God. An adherent of Islam is called a Muslim. Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable and the purpose of existence is to love and serve God. Muslims also believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed at many times and places before, including through Abraham, Moses and Jesus, whom they consider prophets. They maintain that the previous messages and revelations have been partially misinterpreted or altered over time, but consider the Arabic Qur'an to be both the unaltered and the final revelation of God. Religious concepts and practices include the five pillars of Islam, which are basic concepts and obligatory acts of worship, and following Islamic law, which touches on virtually every aspect of life and society, providing guidance on multifarious topics from banking and welfare, to warfare and the environment. In a religious context the world Islam means voluntary submission to God. According to Nigosian, “Believers demonstrate submission to God by serving God, following his commands, and rejecting polytheism. The word sometimes has distinct connotations in its various occurrences in the Qur'an. In some verses, there is stress on the quality of Islam as an internal conviction: "Whomsoever God desires to guide, He expands his breast to Islam."(p. 243) The Pillars of Islam are five basic acts in Islam, considered obligatory for all believers. The Quran presents them as a framework for worship and a sign of commitment to the faith. They are the shahadah which is the creed, daily prayers known as salat, almsgiving known as zakah,...
Bibliography: 1. Bushman, Claudia A. (2006) Contemporary Mormonism: Latter-Day Saints in Modern America. United States: ABC-CLIO
2. Nigosian, S. A. (2004) Islam: Its History, Teaching, and Practices. United States: Indiana University Press
3. Perciaccante, Marianne (2007) The Mormon-Muslim Comparison. The Muslim World. Volume 82: Issue 3-4 Pages 296-314.
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