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Mysticism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam - Research Paper Example

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These mystic doctrines and practices are present in all religions, particularly in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. All three religions have doctrines that considers the existence of the soul apart from the physical body…
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RUNNING HEAD: MYSTICISM IN JUDAISM, CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM Mysticism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam                                 Mysticism Mysticism refers to two things: the doctrines of a particular religion which teach that the follower of that religion has a connection with God or the divine, and the particular religious practices that provides instructions on how one can experience communion with ultimate reality or with the divine. These mystic doctrines and practices are present in all religions, particularly in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Similarities All three religions have doctrines that considers the existence of the soul apart from the physical body and that this soul will either have a good or bad afterlife in either heaven or hell (“Comparison of Islam,” 2011). Another common thing among the three religions is the belief in angels and demons (“Comparison of Islam,” 2011). Lastly, the presence of one God that cannot be described is a common mystical doctrine shared by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike (“Comparison of Islam,” 2011). In Judaism, the Kabbalah teaches that “the true essence of G-d is so transcendent that it cannot be described except with reference to what it is not” (Rich, 2001). When it comes to mystical practices, worshipping God on a special day as well as the practice of prayer are a few striking similarities. (“Comparison of Islam,” 2011) Differences One difference particularly among the mystical doctrines of the three religions is the fact that in Judaism, “everything that belongs to our created world – including humans and everything they have produced – was rooted in this presumed divine world” (Laenen, 2001). Another difference among the three is the Christian idea of purgatory for the purpose of purification before going to heaven (“Purgatory,” 2008). This is particularly followed by the Roman Catholic Christians. Still, another difference is the idea of reincarnation in Judaism, where “the souls of the righteous are reborn in order to continue the ongoing process of [the] mending of the world” (Rich, 1999). A fourth difference is the absence of Savior in Islam (“Muslim Heaven,” n.d.). Still, a fifth difference is the fact that Muslims believe that only Muslims can enter heaven while Christians believe that even some Christians cannot do that if they have not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior (“Difference Between,” 2011). A sixth difference is that Jesus is considered a false prophet in Judaism while He is God for the Christians and a prophet in Islam (“Comparison of Islam,” 2011). However, although Judaism denies both the resurrection of Christ and His second coming, Muslims deny only the resurrection. (“Comparison of Islam,” 2011) In terms of mystical practices, Muslims believe that there are five ways to heaven: confession of faith, praying five times a day, giving alms, fasting during Ramadan and a pilgrimage to Mecca (“What is Islam?” n.d.). Christians, however, that simply accepting Jesus Christ as savior is enough. Moreover, Muslims consider Friday as the main day of worship while the Jews have Saturday and the Christians have Sunday for that (“Comparison of Islam,” 2011). Among other differences among the mystical practices of the three religions include the idea that Christians have to fulfill the sacraments and attend the Eucharist while Jews must abide by the commandments and observe the Sabbath. (“Comparison of Christianity,” 2011). Lastly, among all three religions, there are various differences in religious holy days. (“Comparison of Islam,” 2011) References Comparison of Christianity and Judaism. (2011). Retrieved Mar. 15, 2011 from the Religion Facts website: http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/charts/christianity_judaism.htm Comparison of Islam, Judaism and Christianity. (2011). Retrieved Mar. 15, 2011 from the Religion Facts website: http://www.religionfacts.com/islam/comparison_charts/islam_judaism_christianity.htm Difference between Muslim and Christian Heaven. (2011). Retrieved Mar. 15, 2011 from the DifferenceBetween.net website: http://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/difference-between-muslim-and-christian-heaven/ Laenen, J. H. (2001). Jewish Mysticism: An Introduction. Louseville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 46. Muslim Heaven or Paradise. (n.d.). Retrieved Mar. 15, 2011 from the TruthAndGrace.com website: http://www.truthandgrace.com/muslimheaven.htm Purgatory. (2008). Retrieved Mar. 14, 2011 from the Catholic Answers website: http://www.catholic.com/library/Purgatory.asp Rich, T. R. (1999). Olam Ha-Ba: The Afterlife. Retrieved Mar. 14, 2011 from the Judaism 101 website: http://www.jewfaq.org/olamhaba.htm Rich, T. R. (2001). Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism. Retrieved Mar. 14, 2011 from the Judaism 101 website: http://www.jewfaq.org/kabbalah.htm Read More
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