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Oldest surviving monotheistic religion arose in the eastern Mediterranean in the second millennium B.C.E.
Most Jews lived in Diaspora until the founding of Israel in 1948
Various subcultures had developed with distinctive histories, languages, religious practices
Jews from Germany + E. Europe—A.K.A. Ashkenazim + spoke Yiddish
In Europe, Jews segregated from the Christian population
Late 19th + 1st half of 20th century—Ashkenazi came to Palestine to escape persecution
Sephardic Jews—ancestry to Iberian Peninsula, spoke Ladino (mixture of Hebrew + Spanish)
Mizrahi Jews—ancestry to N. Africa + Asia
Orthodox Judaism—only form of religion formally + legally recognized in Israel
½ of Jews call themselves secular; 15-20% as Orthodox; and rest traditionally observant
Orthodox Jews—Jewish law is unchanging and mandatory
Conservative Jews—God’s laws change + evolve over time
Reconstructionist Jews—laws are guidelines that individuals can choose to follow or not
Jewish law is in the Torah and Talmund, more concerned w/human behavior than debates over beliefs
Don’t believe in prophets after Jewish prophets, including Jesus and Muhammad
Communities often subject to violence from Christians

Islam created from Judaism Christianity was born from Judaism in

Dietary rules—forbid the 1st century C.E.
certain foods, outlaw Relationships in communities difficult in
Christian Europe
Islam alcohol, dictate how animals
All monotheistic religions born Many Christians in M. E. converted to
should be slaughtered Islam during + after 7th century
in the Middle East—cultural
exchange Protected to the Quran as peoples of the Christianity
Arose in 7th century C.E. in Mecca Book
As Islam expanded, news societies adapted + synthesized many of
Recognize Abraham as their
the customs they encounteredMuslims in diff. areas of world
first prophet—also called
created a wide array of cultural traditions Abrahamic religions
Culture of Islamic Spain—cosmopolitan Crusades—unsuccessful Many early Christian saints lived in the Middle East, where asceticism
Many Indonesians converted to Islam bet. 15th + 17th attempt to reverse Islamic (denial of physical pleasures) 1st dev.
Communities—Sunnis, Shiis, Ismailis, Alevis/Alawites, + Druze conquest of the e. Christians in Middle East today include Copts, Maronites, Russian,
originate in political + doctrinal differences Mediterranean + holy places of Greek, + Armenian Orthodox, Roman + Armenian Catholics,
Sufism—mystical tradition, direct exp. of divine forces Assyrians, + Protestants
all 3 religions Coptic Church—dominant form of Christianity in Egypt arose from a
Believe Allah sent revelation, the Quran, to Muhammad—explains
how Muslims should treat others properly doctrinal split in the Church at the Council of Chalcedon in 451
Hadith—written by scholars after death of Muhammad, explains Maronite Church—started in 5th century by followers of a Syrian priest
how certain rituals should be performed named Maroun
Christian communities of diff. sects in Syria (10%), Jordan (6%),
5 pillars of Islam—declaring faith, praying 5 times/day, fasting Islam created from West Bank (8%), + Iraq (3%)
during Ramadan, giving money to charity, making trip to Mecca at
least once in their life
Christianity Minority of Middle East—but 75%+ of Americans of Arab descent are
Calendar—Lunar, shifts in relation to solar calendar, count years Quran = Jesus Christian
from Muhammad’s move from Mecca to Medina Founder—Jesus, a member of Jewish community in Roman Palestine
Major festivals—Id al-Fitr + Id al-Adha Holy books—Old + New Testament
Believe in Day of Judgment—when souls go to heaven/hell God revealed through 3 ways—Father, Son (Jesus Christ) + Holy
Sees Judaism + Christianity as earlier versions of Islam gone wrong Spirit
by their followers Easter—Jesus rising from the dead and ascending into heaven;
Christmas—birth of Jesus
Believe in afterlife—heaven for good, hell for bad
Relationships w/Islam + Judaism had problems
Don’t accept Muhammad as prophet