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Religions in the Modern World - Essay Example

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Religions in the Modern World

In his desperate search for a reason to hope, for a reason to believe in a better life now and in the hereafter, man has for time immemorial made recourse to the guidance of a supreme being. He has expressed his belief in this being through diverse forms of worship known as religions. Antiquity had its religions. No period in human history has probably ever witnessed a boom in religions like the modern era. There has been the birth of thousands of religions in the last century, each religion vying for adepts.
In an analysis of the number of adherents of the major religions of the contemporary world, the Religious Tolerance website makes allusion to David Barret et al, editors of the “World Christian Encyclopedia”. According to the editors’ Comparative survey of churches and religions AD 30 to 2200, “there are 19 major world religions which are subdivided into a total of 270 large religious groups, and many smaller ones. 34,000 separate Christian groups have been identified in the world." According to the same web source, Christianity has the largest (but declining) membership, be it 2,039 million adherents. Islam follows trail with 1,226 million adepts and is a growing religion. Judaism counts 14 million members world wide. Wicca is the smallest religion with only 0, 5 million members. It is interesting to note that the source informs of 775 million persons with no religion. It may not be an overstatement to say that aside Christianity and Islam no other religion has ever attained the degree of fame Judaism has attained, especially in the last century and more so in the last two decades. This is certainly because Judaism is linked to the Jewish nation. This nation has been the object of several controversies. She is the hot pot of political tensions in the Middle East. The Jews or the Israelites believe in their divine right to the land of Palestine. The United Nations (UN) and the Zionists created the state of Israel on 29.11.1947 (E:/

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Peace has never existed between the Israelis and the Palestinians since that date. But the Israeli determination to ensure their sovereignty is more than firm. The source of this unshakeable resolve to ensure their autonomy, aside being backed by the constant support of the Zionist is rooted in the historical background of the Jews presented in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible. In one of his works, Professor S. D. Kunin of the Department of Theology and Religion of the University of Durham wrote; "The biblical depiction of God's promise of the land clearly provided a strong religious and emotional tie to specific geographical location, and continues to provide political and religious motivations for many Zionists" (Kunin). It is interesting to discover the link between religion, sovereignty and territory. The biblical depiction mentioned by Kunin is embedded in what is known as the covenant myth. The rediscovery of this myth in the last two decades by the Jews has added more force to the emotional, religious and political ties mentioned by Kunin. Due to this discovery, the Zionists have had more reason to affirm the right of the Jewish nation to be situated where it is today. A criticism of Kunin's statement would necessitate an eminent discussion of the covenant myth and its rediscovery as well as the role of the Zionists in the Jewish nation before any judgement can be made of the merits of that assertion.
Judaism, Jewish politics, Jewish social life and culture all draw their origins and inspirations from the old Testament of the Bible. It probably started with the covenant God made with Abraham. (Genesis 12.) Daniel J. Elazar, explaining the rediscovery of the covenant myth in an article entitled; "Covenant as the Basis of the Jewish Political Tradition" published on the Jerusalem Centre for Political Affairs website states clearly states that, "the covenant is as much a ...Show more


In his desperate search for a reason to hope, for a reason to believe in a better life now and in the hereafter, man has for time immemorial made recourse to the guidance of a supreme being…
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Religions in the Modern World essay example
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