Seven Dimensions Of Religion Theology Religion Essay Example
Seven Dimensions Of Religion Theology Religion Essay Example

Seven Dimensions Of Religion Theology Religion Essay Example

Available Only on StudyHippo
  • Pages: 6 (1452 words)
  • Published: October 7, 2017
  • Type: Essay
View Entire Sample
Text preview

The first edition of Ninian Smart's book, The World Religions, was published on August 1st, 1998 by Cambridge University Press. This publication focuses on studying major religions from six different countries and aims to highlight their differences in terms of history, origins, rituals, and cultural practices. It offers a comprehensive context for understanding these faiths. Soon after its initial release on August 1st, 1998, a second edition was published that introduced the exploration of the material dimension. This new perspective delves into the artistic expressions of major religions through mediums like paintings, models, or sculptures.

When comparing and contrasting Christianity and Islam, I have selected three dimensions to analyze: the ethical and legal dimension, the societal and institutional dimension, and the experiential and emotional dimension. The ethical and legal dimension focuses on the laws and regulations practiced by religious com


munities for spiritual enlightenment or fulfillment. The societal and institutional dimension encompasses the rules followed by a spiritual community in their interactions within their faith. The experiential and emotional dimension relates to individuals' emotional responses when encountering something profound in their faith. Although Christianity and Islam are distinct religions, considering Ninian Smart's Seven Dimensions of Religion reveals some similarities as well as a few differences.

Both Christianity and Islam have their own moral codes that followers must observe. Christianity has the Ten Commandments, whereas Islam has a collection of ethical principles and laws detailed in the Quran. The Five Pillars of Islam hold special importance as they are indispensable for Muslims to lead a virtuous and accountable existence. Furthermore, Sharia Law plays a crucial role in governing the majority of Muslim lifestyles.

The text discusses the book 'Reliance o

View entire sample
Join StudyHippo to see entire essay

the Traveller' which is an English translated version of the Sharia Law by Nuh Ha Mim Keller. It outlines eleven different categories of the Sharia Law including purification, supplication, funeral supplication, revenue enhancements, fasting, pilgrim's journey, trade, heritage, matrimony, divorce and justness. The information can be found on the Wikipedia page for Sharia under the section "Definitions and descriptions" (Last Updated 28th February 2013). Additionally, the text mentions that another part of Sharia law still in use today are the Hudud offenses.

The punishments for severe crimes, such as engaging in improper sexual intercourse, falsely accusing others of improper sexual intercourse, consuming alcohol, stealing, and committing highway robbery, can include whipping, execution, stoning, amputation, or deportation. These penalties are carried out publicly.

(See hypertext transfer protocol: // by Toni Johnson, and Lauren Vriens. Last updated January 9, 2013.) The Islamic Law (Sharia) and the Ten Commandments differ in terms of quantity and strictness of laws. Islam has a greater number of laws compared to Christianity and enforces them more strictly. While Christianity mainly focuses on the daily life of Christians, the Ten Commandments specifically instruct them to avoid violating their will. However, there are similarities between these two religions as both prohibit adultery and murder. Moreover, they share beliefs in one God, discourage idolatry, and condemn stealing.

Both Christians and Muslims demonstrate their faith in different ways. Going to Church or a Mosque is especially important for showing devotion. However, there are two significant religious occasions in both Christianity and Islam that clearly exhibit one's faith: Ramadan and Easter. During these events, both Christians and Muslims must observe fasting, although with some variations. Christians fast for 40 days,

while Muslims fast for a month.

In the Christian perspective, fasting entails giving up something considered luxurious, such as takeaway food or television, or anything that would be challenging to go without for a specific duration. Conversely, in the Muslim viewpoint, fasting is regarded as a means to cultivate selflessness and gain insight into the impoverished and destitute's way of life. The primary distinction between Easter and Ramadan lies in Easter commemorating Jesus's life while Ash Wednesday signifies the start of Lent—a 40-day period during which Jesus resisted Satan's temptation in the desert. Palm Sunday ensues when Jesus arrives in Jerusalem receiving palm branches from the crowds. Maundy Thursday encompasses the Last Supper occurrence, followed by Good Friday when Jesus gets crucified.

After three years, Jesus finally resurrects and appears to his followers on Easter Sunday, signifying a momentous event for Christians. Concurrently, Ramadan serves as a time for Muslims to reconnect with their faith, purify their thoughts, and strengthen familial bonds. It also encourages introspection on past actions, seeking forgiveness, and breaking negative cycles. The culmination of Ramadan is Eid ul Fitr—a joyous occasion to express gratitude towards Allah for his guidance. Moreover, it mandates Muslims to donate a specific amount of money to charity during this period in order to bring happiness to the less fortunate. While Christians may encounter various emotional or experiential episodes throughout their lives, Muslims also have one significant moment that profoundly impacts them emotionally.

Experiencing moments can be a remarkable occasion for Christians, like witnessing a miracle. Similarly, for Muslims, it could be the profound journey of attending the Hajj in Mecca – a time of immense solidarity and devout worship

to their God. The Hajj occurs from the 8th to the 12th of Dhu al-Hijjah on the Islamic calendar. People from all over the world gather for this sacred pilgrimage because it is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and obligatory at least once in a Muslim's lifetime. Furthermore, World Youth Day holds significant experiential value for Christians.

World Youth Day is a global event that takes place every two to three years in different countries. Its main objective is to inspire individuals aged 16 to 35 by deepening their understanding of Jesus Christ's teachings and life. Although people of all ages can participate, the event primarily targets the younger generation. Those who embark on this pilgrimage have the opportunity not only to reflect on their own lives but also to contemplate the experiences of Jesus as He followed His chosen path.

Both World Youth Day and the Hajj share similarities in terms of experience and emotion, as they are both dedicated to honoring and worshiping their respective gods. The only difference is that they belong to different faiths and have different ways of showing reverence to their God. They also attract participants who are seeking a deeper understanding of their faith.

Ninian Smart's Seven Dimensions of Religion proves useful in comparing Christianity and Islam, as it helps identify similarities and differences between these religions. However, there are limitations to this approach, as some aspects of faith may be overlooked. Nonetheless, using this framework allows for a comparative analysis between different religions.

One shared aspect among most religions is pilgrimage - believers embarking on significant journeys to pay homage and adore their God.

The main differences between Christianity and

Islam are found in the interpretation and enforcement of laws. In Christianity, adultery is viewed as a sin against God, whereas in Islam it can result in execution or stoning. Christianity permits confession of even the most serious sins through the sacrament of confession, while Islam may impose harsh penalties such as death for committed offenses. Both religions emphasize ethical and legal aspects. While Christianity adheres to the Ten Commandments, Islam encompasses a wider array of laws, moral principles, and regulations. Due to their limited shared ground, comparing these two religions proves challenging.

When considering the moral and legal systems of Islam and Christianity, their stark differences are evident, but making a direct comparison is not possible. The same applies to the realm of storytelling and mythology, which also imposes restrictions due to vast dissimilarities. For example, comparing the narratives of Jesus Christ and The Buddha would reveal significant divergences resulting from their distinct origins in different times and locations.

Buddhism and Christianity have different narratives and myths about their origins and beliefs. One aspect that can be easily compared and contrasted is the material dimension. This dimension allows for an examination of the different graphics, sculptures, and buildings created by followers of each faith. Although these artistic expressions may be distinct, their purpose remains the same: to honor and worship their respective deities. These artistic representations often symbolize aspects of their God, a specific day of the year, or a particular individual. However, regardless of the specifics, all religions predominantly seek to honor and worship important figures, days, or deities. Ultimately, Ninian Smart's Seven Dimensions of Religion serves as a useful tool for evaluating the similarities

and differences between two faiths.

By conducting thorough research, you can gain extensive knowledge about both Christianity and Islam. While Christianity and Islam have numerous differences, they also share certain similarities. Utilizing Ninian Smart's Seven Dimensions of Religion is an effective approach to compare and contrast various religions, regardless of their significance.

Get an explanation on any task
Get unstuck with the help of our AI assistant in seconds