What is Monotheism?
• Latin based term: MONO-One, THEISM-Gods..
• is defined as belief in the existence of one god or in the
oneness of God…
• The Oxford Dictionary gives a more restricted definition:
"belief in one personal and transcendent God“
( transcendence refers to the aspect of God's nature and
power which is wholly independent of the material universe,
beyond all physical laws.)
• A Jesuit, Father Wilhelm Schmidt, in his book Der Ursprung
Der Gottesidee, is of the view that,”….primitive societies
were originally monotheistic, but because the worship of
one god was difficult, religion was corrupted to
Polytheism..” This theory is known as The Theory of Original
Major Monotheistic Religions
• 3 Basic Monotheistic religions in the world now.. They are
also known as Abrahamic Religions/ Revealed Religions.
• Judaism (1200 BC-)
• Islam (610 AD-)
• Judaism is around 3500 years old
and is the oldest of the world's four
great monotheistic religions (religions with
only one God). It's also the smallest, with
only about 12 million followers around the
• Name of God: Yahweh (Hebrew word for God)
Is not generally written down or said aloud.
• Holy Book/Scriptures: Torah (first five books of the
• Major divisions of the religion:
• Orthodox – believe that the Torah is the word of God and
• Conservative – Jewish law is always changing with the
times, Torah inspired by God, not dictated by God.
• Reform- Rejection of ceremonial Jewish law, Jews should
pick what they believe – Judaism as a religion not as a race
• Who is a member? Anyone born to a Jewish mother and
any convert – once a Jew, always a Jew..
• Place of worship: Synagogue
• Prayers: 3 times daily, a fourth on the Sabbath and
• Sabbath - weekly day of rest lasting from shortly before
sundown on Friday night to shortly after sundown Saturday
night, commemorates God's day of rest after six days of
creation. No work allowed on Sabbath.
• High Holy Days: Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
• 3 Pilgrimage Festivals: Passover, Pentecost, and
• Other: Hanukkah and Purim
• Jews believe that there is a single God who not only created the
universe. but with whom every Jew can have an individual and
• Believe that they descended from Abraham and Sarah, the first
people to worship Yahweh (God). Abraham lived at least 3,700
years ago in kan’aan is now in Israel.
• Torah says that God made an agreement,, with Abraham (move
to Canaan [Palestine] and he will be blessed).
– Because of this, Jews believe they are God’s “chosen people”.
• They await the Messiah, who will be an earthly
king. They believe in heaven, but that God
determines where they go after life on earth
• Ten Commandments
• Most important of God’s laws
• God gave the commandments to
Moses (a prophet, or messenger of God).
• Commandments said that all people are
equal, whether they are rich or poor.
• Star of David (an octagonal star)
• Menorah (mission of Jews:
“A Light Unto The Nation”
• Sign of life
• Christianity is the world's biggest religion,
with about 2.2 billion followers worldwide.
It is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ
who lived in the Holy Land 2,000 years ago.
• Holy land refers to the area between the
Euphrates River and River Neel i.e.
it includes modern Palestine as
well as Israel.
• Name of god: God
• Holy scripture: Bible
• Major divisions of the religion
• Roman Catholic- Recognize the supremacy of the Pope;
• Orthodox – split from Catholics over icons
• Protestant – split from Catholics over corruption and
• Prayers: varies..
• Private prayers
• Public prayers
• Place of worship: Church, Basilica, Temple,
• Christmas (Jesus’ birthday)
• Good Friday (day Jesus was crucified.)
• Easter (most important day of Christian
calendar; believed to be the day that Jesus
rose from the dead.)
• Christianity takes its name from the Greek word ‘Christ’, meaning
Anointed One, whom Christians believe was Jesus, the son of God.
• Originally one of many sects within Judaism (Jesus was a Jew) but
Christianity's form of monotheism was
distinctive from that of Judaism in that there
was a concept that the Godhead was revealed
to be three "persons" known today as the
• God sent his Son to earth to save humanity from
the consequences of its sins
• Beliefs continued..
• Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his Crucifixion
(the Resurrection) and Jesus was the Messiah promised in
• Christians believe that they can have a personal relationship
with God, and that they are saved by faith, not works. Grace is
the law code.
• They believe in actual heaven and hell
• They believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God.
• Holy Cross
• Old Christian sign
• The Holy Faith (Rose)
• The Holy Ghost (Dove)
• Holy Place: Jerusalem
• Jerusalem is believed to be the site of some of
Jesus's teaching, the Last Supper, the subsequent
institution of the Holy Eucharist as well as His
entombment; Christians believe He was crucified
on a nearby hill, Golgotha (sometimes called Calvary).
It contains the Church of the Holy Sepulcher,
Via Dolorosa,Mount Zion and the Dormition Abbey),
andGethsemane (with Mary's Tomb and the Church of All Nation).
• Islam is the second most popular religion in the world with
over a thousand million followers. Islam began in Arabia and
was revealed to humanity by the Prophet Muhammad
(peace be upon him). Those who follow Islam are called
Muslims. Muslims believe that there is only one God, called
• Holy scripture: Qur’an
• The Muslim scripture is the Holy Qur'an.
It is 'the word of God'. Muslim beliefs and
practices are rooted in the Qur'an
• Muslims regard the Qur'an as the
unaltered word of God.
• It is read from right to left and
written in Arabic, the language of heaven.
• Major divisions of the religion
• Sunni – believe that central authority could be passed from
Muhammad to any learned Muslim.
• Shia – believe that central authority should be passed to
those related to Muhammad(PBUH), only the heirs of the 4th
caliph, Ali (RA).
• Five times a day
(pre-dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, evening
• Prayers of Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Azha
• Taraweeh in Ramadan
• Place of Worship: Mosque
• Weekly – Friday (Jumu’ah) – prayer meeting at noon
• Major Holidays – Eid al-Fitr (Festival of Fast Breaking),
Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice).
• Major Seasons
• Believe in One Almighty Allah.
• Believe in Prophet Muhammad PBUH as the last Prophet OF
• Follow code of life known as As Shari’ah
• Believe in life after death
• Believe in Heaven and Hell
• Beliefs continued..
• Five pillars of Islam
• Asshahada: Confession, or statement, of faith
• As Salah: Pray 5 times a day, facing Kaaba
• Zakah: Give charity to people in need
• Fasting: Fast during daylight during Ramadan (the month in which God began
to reveal the Quran to Muhammad).
• Hajj: Make the hajj, or journey, to Makkah to pray (once in each Muslim’s
• Holy Places
• Bait ul Maqdas (Jerusalem)
• God in Sikhi is called Vāhigurū’ and is
shapeless, timeless and sightless: niraṅkār, akaal,
• God is present (sarav viāpak) in all of creation.
• God must be seen from "the inward eye", or the
• The Holy Book is Guru Granth Sahib also known
as Mal muntra.
• This religion is practiced in India
• Arose in 7th century BCE
• worship a single one god named Ahura Mazda
• Ahriman is opposite of Ahura Mazda
• Followers have a moral choice
• To do right or wrong
• Good deeds are rewarded, bad deeds are punished
• People have only themselves to blame for their position in life
• Holy book is called the Avesta
• It is practiced in few cities of Iran