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Judaism The religious beliefs and practices and the way of life of the Jews.

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Presentation on theme: "Judaism The religious beliefs and practices and the way of life of the Jews."— Presentation transcript:

1 Judaism The religious beliefs and practices and the way of life of the Jews.

2 Originally called Hebrews Abraham is considered the “Father of the Hebrews.” Jews written laws: First five books of Hebrew scripture are called The Torah: Unlike the laws of the Greeks & Romans, the Jewish laws focused more on morality & ethics. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy (first 5 books of modern day Bible) – Written by Moses Jewish religion was/is monotheistic – Belief in only one God. All other religions before this were polytheistic – Belief in many Gods. Significance to Democracy: Jews believed that each human being was created in the image of God, therefore, each human being has a unique, individuality. Greeks & Romans believed this not because of God, but rather because of man’s ability to reason. The Jews also believed that God had given man moral freedom, or the capacity to choose between good & evil, meaning that each person was responsible for his or her choices. The Jews believed that it is the responsibility of every person to oppose injustice & oppression & that the community should help the unfortunate.

3 The code included rules of social & religious behavior to which even rulers were subject. While the Hebrew code of justice was strict, it was softened by expressions of God’s mercy.

4 Moses: A closer look: Moses was revered as a prophet in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Moses’ wife was Zipporah, daughter of Hobab (Jethro), Priest of Midian. There has been much debate over the skin color of Zipporah. Moses is considered by many to be the greatest figure in Jewish history. He was a diplomat, a lawmaker, a political organizer, a military leader, a judge and a religious leader. Moses also had a speech impediment (many believed that he stuttered, other believed that he would just get overly nervous) Moses presented the Ten Commandments to the Jewish people. According to biblical scripture, Moses witnessed God incarnate (he saw the backside of God ).

5 Christianity The word Christianity was derived from the name Christ. Yahshua (Jesus in English) was his name. Christ was his title. Christos is a Greek word meaning Savior or Messiah.

6 Christianity’s Significance to Democracy: Jesus stressed the importance of people’s love for God, their neighbors, their enemies and themselves. Ultimately Jesus was persecuted because he was referred to as “The King of The Jews.” He was considered as a political threat to the Roman Empire. After the death of Jesus, his message was preached all throughout the eastern Mediterranean by Saul Of Tarsus (Paul). He stressed the essential equality of all human beings, which is a belief that is central to democracy. Although Christianity was a threat to the Roman Empire, by 380 A.D. it became the official religion of Rome. Eventually, it took root in Europe, The Near East and Northern Africa.

7 Islam - Another monotheistic religion that taught equality of all persons & individual worth which developed in southwest Asia in the early 600’s. Islam was based on the teachings of the prophet Muhammad, which are found in the book called the Qur’an. He emphasized the dignity of all human beings & the brotherhood of all people. A belief in the bond of community & the unity of all people led to a tolerance of different groups within the community. Followers of Islam are called Muslims & they are required by their religion to offer charity & help those in need.

8 The Legacy of Monotheistic Religions Several ideas crucial to the shaping of a democratic outlook emerged from the early monotheistic religions of southwest Asia. The duty of the individual & the community to combat oppression The worth of the individual The equality of people before God

9 The Roman Catholic Church During the Middle Ages it was the Most Dominant institution in Western Europe Leader – Pope –His Bishops – Parish Priests It influenced all aspects of life: Religious, Social & Political. It was strongly authoritarian in structure. Renaissance & Reformation

10 Renaissance "Renaissance," French for "rebirth," describes the intellectual and economic changes that occurred in Europe from the fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries. During the era known by this name, Europe emerged from the economic stagnation of the Middle Ages and experienced a time of financial growth. Also, and perhaps most importantly, the Renaissance was an age in which artistic, social, scientific, and political thought turned in new directions.

11 When Gutenberg of Germany invented the printing press in 1445, he forever changed the lives of people in Europe and, eventually, all over the world. Previously, bookmaking entailed copying all the words and illustrations by hand. Often the copying had been done onto parchment, animal skin that had been scraped until it was clean, smooth, and thin. The labor that went into creating them made each book very expensive. Because Gutenberg's press could produce books quickly and with relatively little effort, bookmaking became much less expensive, allowing more people to buy reading material. Humanism Emerges - Books also helped to spread awareness of a new philosophy that emerged when Renaissance scholars known as humanists returned to the works of ancient writers. Previously, during the Middle Ages, scholars had been guided by the teachings of the church, and people had concerned themselves with actions leading to heavenly rewards. The writings of ancient, pagan Greece and Rome, called the "classics," had been greatly ignored. To study the classics, humanists learned to read Greek and ancient Latin, and they sought out manuscripts that had lain undisturbed for nearly 2,000 years. The humanists rediscovered writings on scientific matters, government, rhetoric, philosophy, and art. They were influenced by the knowledge of these ancient civilizations and by the emphasis placed on man, his intellect, and his life on Earth.

12 THE REFORMATION AGE (1500-1600 AD) Martin Luther, one of a few men who significantly altered the course of world history, was born in Eisleben, Germany on November 10, 1483. Throughout his early life Luther had been burdened by a heavy sense of sinfulness. He became more and more convinced that the works of Roman Catholicism were not the means of salvation. Finally, focusing on Paul's statement, "The just shall live by faith," Luther came to a climax in his convictions. Men were saved by the grace of God manifested in the forgiveness of their sins and the imputation of Christ's righteousness. God's grace was given, not on the basis of good works, but on the basis of absolute faith in God's promises. However, this faith, Luther asserted, was wholly the gift of God. On October 31, 1517 Luther nailed his famous Ninety-five Theses, (95 points of criticism of the church’s practices) to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg. This was the customary manner of calling for a debate, but this act was the spark which exploded the powder keg of the Protestant Reformation. Those who wanted to reform the Catholic Church were called Protestants, because they protested against the power & abuses of the church. It was significant to democracy because it encouraged people to make their own religious judgments, or read & interpret the Bible for themselves, which in turn caused new churches to be established. It also introduced people to reading & it exposed them to more than just religious ideas.

13 Martin Luther

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