Three Faiths, One God: The Formative Faith and Practice of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Three Faiths, One God: The Formative Faith and Practice of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Three Faiths, One God: The Formative Faith and Practice of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Three Faiths, One God: The Formative Faith and Practice of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Synopsis

In systematic descriptions, three of today's leading scholars detail the classical theologies of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and the authoritative texts of those theologies. They compare and contrast the three faiths, each of which has a set of doctrines, practices, and beliefs that addresses common issues.

Excerpt

The three monotheist religious traditions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, are here systematically described, side by side. Our concern is how, in the early, or classical sources of each of the three the belief in one unique God, who made heaven and earth and who made himself known to his Creation, works itself out in the three different ways set forth here. We lay stress upon Judaism, Christianity, and Islam not as competing philosophies but as three autonomous religious traditions, each with its own way of telling its unique story, yet all of them addressing a common set of five issues: (1) what we know about God and how we know it; (2) what it means to form God's people; (3) what living the holy way of life requires; (4) how to deal with outsiders to the faith; and (5) what the goal of human history, namely the resurrection and last judgment, is.

That is not to allege that the three traditions share a common structure, only that they intersect at some important points of fundamental concern. Here we spell out the five we perceive to be the most important. This is therefore a work of description. Involved, first of all, are the particularities of the three religions: how each one of them, with its own unique foci and emphases, doctrines, practice, and beliefs, respectively, forms a coherent social system of thought and practice. But readers will observe points of commonality and note similar circles of conviction. The conclusion may be simply put. Although comparable in basic categories, in details each stands on its own. God lives in the details, but it is one and the same God. This we show when the three are set forth in a single, common context. In this way we put the relevant information at peoples' fingertips. The upshot is, while at important points the three religions address the same topic and in some ways overlap, they differ sufficiently so that they cannot claim to be saying the same things, and only to be doing so each in its own idiom. The differences are more than

In the citations that follow, each of the authors translated the original Jewish
(Neusner), Islamic (Graham), or Christian (Chilton) sources, unless otherwise noted.

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