Journal Entry 1
This course was quite interesting and informative. Having grown up as a Muslim, I have learned several new concepts in this class. One of these concepts is Christianity. I did not have any knowledge of Christianity but in this class, I have learned a lot about the doctrine and Christianity beliefs. I have learned that the central doctrine of Christianity is that Jesus was the personification of God. According to Christianity, Jesus is both human and divine in that unlike all other human beings, he is with no sin. Also, God is manifested in three persons; Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The Christianity concept was new because it is very different from our Islamic faith. The concept of salvation in Christianity was also very new and interesting. according to Christianity, one can only be saved through grace after accepting Christ as the savior. I also learned that good deeds do not guarantee one salvation in Christianity and that salvation makes one morally upright. I found this difficult to understand because morality is about doing the right thing and so good deeds are supposed to make someone moral. However, I know understanding a different religion is not easy and I would like to learn more about Christianity.
Another new concept I learned in this course is Judaism which is a type of worship practiced by people who identify as descendants of Abraham. I learned that there are various similarities between Judaism and Christianity. Something interesting about the concept of Judaism is that Jews think of themselves as the chosen people who are responsible to God because they believe that they made a covenant with God. They also have their bible, which is different from the one used by Christians. I believe that there is beauty in every religion, and as a Muslim, I respect other people and their beliefs.
What challenged me in this class is the huge difference there is between what we believe in and what other people believed in. For example, as a Muslim, there are things about other religions that made me feel like they were doing things the wrong way. Sometimes I felt judgmental about other people's beliefs and felt that Islamic beliefs were the right ones. However, reading and comparing other religions, challenged me to become more open-minded and accept and respect other people's beliefs. I realized that someone else might also be questioning Islamic beliefs, and so no religion is superior.
The thing that tugged at my heart in this course is the realization that there are other religious beliefs apart from the main ones that most of us know. Before this class, I only knew of religions such as Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Judaism. However, I have learned of strange religions in this class, such as dynamism and animism. Animism particularly tugged at my heart because it is a belief in the spiritual afterlife, which is caused by the fear of death. I realized that most of us have been practicing animism without even knowing that it existed.