Monotheistic religions. The concept of "monotheistic religion"
Monotheistic religion as a type of religiousworld view appeared long before the beginning of our era and represented both the personification of God, and the representation and allotment of all forces of nature by a single conscious egregor. Some world religions will make God a person and her qualities; others only elevate the central deity over the others. For example, Orthodox Christianity is a monotheistic religion, based on the image of the triune God.
To shed light on such an intricate systemreligious beliefs, it is required to consider the term itself from several aspects. Here it should be remembered that all world monotheistic religions belong to three types. These are the Abrahamic, East Asian religions and religions of America. Strictly speaking, the monotheistic religion is not one that is based on the functioning of several cults, but has a central god towering above the others.
Ideas about the uniqueness of God
Monotheistic religions have two theoreticalforms - inclusive and exclusive. According to the first - inclusive - theory, God can have several divine personifications, provided they unite in the whole central egregore. Exclusive theory gives the image of God with transcendental personal qualities.
This structure implies a deepnon-homogeneity. For example, deism assumes the departure from the works of the Divine Creator immediately after the creation of the world and supports the concept of non-interference of supernatural forces in the course of the development of the universe; Pantheism implies the sanctity of the Universe itself and rejects the anthropomorphic appearance and essence of God; theism, on the contrary, embodies the general idea of the existence of the Creator and his active participation in world processes.
Teachings of the Ancient World
Egyptian ancient monotheistic religion, withon the one hand, was a kind of monotheism; on the other hand, it also consisted of a large number of local combined cults. An attempt to unite all these cults under the aegis of a single god who patronized Pharaoh and Egypt was undertaken by Akhenaten in the 6th century BC. After his death, religious beliefs returned to the old course of polytheism.
Attempts to systematize the divine pantheon andto bring him to a single personal image were made by Greek thinkers Xefan and Hesiod. In the "State" Plato aims to search for the Absolute Truth, imperious by all things in the world. Later, on the basis of his treatises, representatives of Hellenistic Judaism attempted to synthesize Platonism and Judaistic ideas about God. The flowering of the idea of monotheism of the divine essence refers to the period of antiquity.
Monotheism in Judaism
From the Jewish traditional point of view,the primacy of monotheism was destroyed in the process of the development of mankind by its disintegration into multiple cults. Modern Judaism as a monotheistic religion strongly denies the existence of any supernatural external forces, including gods, beyond the control of the Creator.
But in its history, Judaism did not always have thistheological basis. And the early stages of its development passed under the status of monolatry - the polytheistic faith in the elevation of the main god over the secondary.
World monotheistic religions, such as Christianity and Islam, have their origins in Judaism.
Definition of the concept in Christianity
Christianity is dominated by the Old Testamentthe Abrahamic theory of monotheism and God as the only universal creator. However, Christianity is a monotheistic religion, the main directions of which bring into it the idea of the triune God in three manifestations - hypostases - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This dogma of the Trinity imposes a polytheistic or tritheistic character on the treatment of Christianity by Islam and Judaism. As Christianity itself maintains, "monotheistic religion" as a concept is fully reflected in its basic concept, but the very idea of tritheism was repeatedly put forth by theologians until it was rejected by the First Council of Nicaea. However, among historians there is an opinion that in Russia there were followers of Orthodox trends denying the triune God, which was patronized by Ivan the Third himself.
Thus, the request "explain the concept of a monotheistic religion" can be pleased by citing the definition of monotheism as a belief in a single God, which may have several hypostases in this world.
Islamic Monotheistic Views
Islam is strictly monotheistic. The principle of monotheism is proclaimed in the First Pillar of Faith: "There is no deity except Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet." Thus, the axiom of the uniqueness and integrity of God - Tawhid - lies in its fundamental theory, and all rituals, rituals and religious activities are designed to show the Uniqueness and Integrity of God (Allah).
The greatest sin in Islam is shirk - equating other deities and personalities with Allah - this sin is unforgivable.
According to Islam, all the great prophets professed monotheism.
The specific characteristics of the Bahá'ís
This religion originates in the ShiiteIslam, nowadays many researchers are regarded as an independent current, but in Islam itself it is considered an apostate religion, and its followers in the territory of Muslim republics were previously persecuted.
The name "Baha'i" comes from the founder of the religion of Baha'u'llah ("Glory of God") - Mirza Hussein Ali, who was born in 1812 in the family of the descendants of the royal Persian dynasty.
Bahaism is strictly monotheistic. He argues that all attempts to know God will be vain and useless. The only connection between people and God is the "Epiphany" - the prophets.
A feature of the Bahá'ís as a religious teaching is the open recognition of all religions as true, and of God as one in all hypostases.
Hinduistic and Sikh monotheism
Not all world monotheistic religions havesimilarities. This is due to their different territorial, mental and even political origins. For example, it is impossible to draw a parallel between the monotheism of Christianity and Hinduism. Hinduism is a huge system of various rituals, beliefs, local national traditions, philosophies and theories based on monotheism, pantheism, polytheism and closely related to linguistic dialects and writing. Such a broad religious structure was strongly influenced by the caste stratification of Indian society. Monotheistic representations of Hinduism are extremely complex - all the deities are united into one assembly and created by the One Creator.
Sikhism, as a kind of Hinduism, alsoaffirms the principle of monotheism in his postulate "One God for All", in which God reveals the aspects of the Absolute and the individual particle of God living in every person. The physical world is illusory, God is in time.
Chinese system of theological worldviews
Since 1766 BC, the traditionalthe world view of the Chinese imperial dynasties becomes the veneration of Shang-Di - the "supreme ancestor", "God" - or the sky as the most powerful force (Tan). Thus, the Chinese ancient system of worldviews is a kind of the first monotheistic religion of mankind, which existed before Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. God here personified, but did not acquire a bodily form, which equates the Shang-Di with moism. However, this religion is not monotheistic in the full sense - in every locality there existed a pantheon of small earthly deities that determined the characteristics of the material world.
Thus, the request "explain the concept of"monotheistic religion" can be said that such a religion is characterized by monism - the Maya's outer world is just an illusion, and God fills all the passage of time.
The One God in Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism never asserted the idea of a clearmonotheism, balancing between dualism and monotheism. According to his teaching, which spread in Iran in the first millennium BC, Ahura Mazda is the supreme single god. In opposition to it exists and acts Angra Mainyu - the god of death and darkness. Each person should kindle the fire of Ahura Mazda in himself and destroy it with Angra Mainyu.
Zoroastrianism had a noticeable influence on the development of ideas of the Abrahamic religions.
America. Monotheism of the Incas
There is a tendency for monotheism of religiousbeliefs of the Andes, where the process of uniting all the deities into the image of the god Vicarochi, for example, the rapprochement of Vicarochi himself, the creator of the world, with Pacha-Kamak, the creator of people, is taking place.
Thus, by making an approximate explanation inanswer to the request "explain the concept of a monotheistic religion," it should be mentioned that in some religious systems, gods with similar functions eventually merge into one image.