Comparative site review
All religious groups bear the general characteristic of holding strong beliefs in some kind of supernatural powers. Still there exist different forms of religious sectors. It captures the attention and one is left to wonder why it is so. It is with the big question; is religion moral or is it ethical? That I choose to research on a comparative site review of three major religious groups in our current world. I will be discussing three kinds of religious groups in my paper. That is the Catholic religion, Hinduism and Judaism types of religions. Followers of the Hinduism religion refer to it as Sanatana Dharma which is translated as an eternal path or the eternal law. Judaism can be defined as a religion of the Jewish people. It is based on the ethics and principles included in the Hebrew bible. Catholic is a derivation of a Greek word meaning Universal. I have performed an extensive research that is particular on their various beliefs in worship, social life and religious festivals. I will also talk about the worship structures of these three groups.
All religions have a belief of the origin of their religion. The Jewish people who hold the religion of Judaism believe that their religion is as a result of a covenant between God and Abraham. They believe that Abraham was the founder and patriarch of their religion. Those practicing Hinduism on the other hand hold a strong belief that they originated from the Indian continent. They don’t have a single founder of the religion. It is believed that Hinduism is a conglomerate of several beliefs and traditions.
Another similarity is the mark of identity in these three religions. For instance one is considered a Judaist when either of these conditions applies; Born of an either Jewish parent (mother or father) and raised up with a Jewish identity or converted to Judaism according to the Jewish law. All Hindus will bear a distinctive mark on the forehead, it is called Tilak. Catholicism is rather universal. But a catholic will always be seen with a rosary which is a necklace kind of object that they use for their meditations.
Another major similarity among these religions is the belief in communalism. All religious sectors believe in gatherings and it ranges from a day in a week to every single day of the week. They gather in a central place though the names vary. Judaists and Hindus call their place of worship the temple. Catholics will call their place of worship the church or Cathedral.
Another similarity is the belief of religious festivals. All religions celebrate different festivities. The Jewish people regard their day of worship that is the Shabbat as a celebration day. They belief in the 6 day creation story and the happiness of the creator on the seventh day believed to be a day of rest. The Catholics also bear different festivals ranging from celebrating the life of Christ, fasting festivals and even the death of Christ is commemorated as the Good Friday. Hindus on the other hand have festivals ranging from a religious pilgrimage to celebrations of the birth of different icons they worship as their gods.
Though there exists a similarity in the belief of a supernatural force, these religions regard the supernatural force differently. The Catholics and Judaists for example regard the supernatural force as the force of a human like being. They believe in God. The Catholics also believe in Jesus Christ. They use the bible as their book but the Judaist only uses the Old Testament because they don’t believe in Christ. The Hindus hold iconographical supernatural beings. They have several gods who perform different functions.
Another difference is in the form of worship of these religious groups. Hindus worship carved images or icons of their gods and goddesses. Hindus will worship with sounds they belief have been spiritually empowered. These sounds are referred to as Shlokas and Mantras. They will also worship by giving tributes to their different gods, goddesses and gurus. The tributes are referred to as Strotas. Hindus perform rituals during their worship known as Puja. It is a step by step ritual. Scriptures are read during the ritualistic worship. They always have devotional songs during their worship. The songs are referred to as Bhajans. Catholics on the other hand worship an unseen God who they believe is the creator of the universe. A common prayer is cited orally by the congregation presided over by an appointed religious leader. Their worship service is inclusive of songs written in a common book. Catholics hold the belief of mediation where a congregation member confesses his or her sins to a religious leader who in turns prays to God for forgiveness. They believe in the Holy Communion where a sacrament symbolizing Christ’s body is taken during their worship service as a medium of cleansing one’s sins. The jewish people who practice Judaism hold some of the strong beliefs in the worship service. They call their day of rest and worship day Shabbat. This day starts on Friday evening to Saturday evening. During the worship day prayers are done communally. Jewish men will cover their heads with a garment referred to as kippah. They always perform three prayers a day but on their worship day they do perform four prayers.
Religion is one of the major areas of concern of human lives. Many people regard religion differently. Different models of religion have come up with regard to different beliefs. Religion has also been defined differently by different groups of people. Their exists some similarities in almost all the religious groups but still there are some differences.
Julius Lipner.1994, Hindus: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, Routledge.ISBN 0415051819.
Wayne D. Dorsik. 1995, Living Judaism; the Complete Guide to Jewish Belief, Tradition and Practice, HarperSan Francisco. ISBN 0060621192.
Charles George Herberman, Edward Aloysius Pace, Conde Benoist Pallen, Thomas Joseph Shahan, John Joseph Wayne. 1913, the Catholic Encyclopedia, Robert Appleton Co.