POLI136 Midterm Winter 2015 - MidtermPrompt3:...

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Midterm Prompt 3: Use the Analytical Map to describe Monotheist Faiths Religious politics can best be described as the application of religious values and reasoning to the political events of the day. The pieces of this whole, religion and politics, stand foremost as separate entities and two distinct topics, and are considered to be so close to one’s core that they are often avoided in casual conversation. Ironically, this proximity to one’s core is the very reason that they are able to encompass the identity of “who one is” as an individual, as well as creating guidelines around which a societal framework can be constructed.  Through the ages, religion and politics have meshed, one thus affecting the entire product of the other as can be seen today. Following this trend, daily political decisions run parallel to the religious beliefs of the public. Resulting outcomes can be seen reflected through the news and other various media outlets, as more often than not, the entire world is involved – religious politics within a country may substantially affect issues in another country with a completely different outlook on religion, politics, and the issues in question. Hence, it becomes of increasing importance to create an “analytic map of faith in the world,” with the ability to unravel with some certainty the linkage between foundational values determined by faith and real human behavior.  Although this analytic map of faith in the world may be applied to all religions, Professor Victor Magagna at the University of California, San Diego, first applies the idea to the monotheistic faiths of world – more specifically, Judaism, Christianity, and
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2 Islam.  These three monotheistic faiths all share in common the belief that there is indeed one true God, and although there are tremendous differences amongst all three in terms of thought, behavior, and institution, there is an acute, shared focus on salvation. Salvation is considered to be a “function of faith and work,” but this function is also “variable across the three faiths.” In an example of this, one may ask the question,” How much work does faith command in each of these three faiths?” The question brings another issue to light - in particular, the issue is one that presses a direct focus on the convergence and divergence of monotheistic faiths.  The story of Abraham is one that is able to shed light upon this issue; the implications, though not obvious, are essential to understanding the monotheistic faiths.
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