How do Judeo-Christian-Islamic and Navaho worldviews differ in defining the relationships of humans and gods, humans and nature, men and women, etc? How do their origin myths contribute to their...

How do Judeo-Christian-Islamic and Navaho worldviews differ in defining the relationships of humans and gods, humans and nature, men and women, etc? How do their origin myths contribute to their worldviews? How do these provide a basis for proper behavior, or provide a social charter? Can you discuss the worldviews of other cultures with which you are familiar?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are all considered Abrahamic religions because all three believe that God revealed himself first through Abraham. All three of the Abrahamic religions further believe God to be the creator of the universe and that he is everlasting; omnipotent, meaning the infinite, ultimate power; and omniscient, meaning aware of all things. All three also believe that God is a personal God, one that will interact with humanity and develop a personal relationship through prayer. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam primarily disagree in worldview when it comes to belief in Jesus. Christianity believes that, not only is God a personal God, but He also revealed himself through Jesus of Nazareth who is the incarnation of God, meaning that Jesus of Nazareth is God in human form. While Judaism does anticipate some sort of angelic or messianic gift from God, Judaism does not believe the messianic gift was fulfilled through Jesus of Nazareth due to Jesus's failure to conquer the Roman Empire, oppressors of Jerusalem at the time, resulting in Jesus's death on the cross. Islam and Christianity share some similar beliefs with respect to Jesus of Nazareth in that both believe he was born of a virgin, but Islam differs in believing that Jesus was just another prophet and not an incarnation of God. Islam believes that, as a prophet, Jesus of Nazareth taught new laws for mankind to use to submit to God, or Allah. Hence, both Christianity and Islam take their worldview concerning the relationship between God and man one step further than Judiasm by believing that the personal relationship between God and man was further manifested in Jesus, either as an incarnation of God or as a prophet baring new laws.

The Navajos primarily differ from the three Abrahamic religions in that the Navajos believe in multiple gods, while the three Abrahamic religions are monotheistic. Similarly to the Ancient Greeks and Romans, the Navajos believe in a Sun God, but they differ in believing that that Sun God has a consort they call Spider Woman, or Changing Woman, and that Spider Woman has also born twins they call the Monster Slayers. They further believe in the supernatural spirits of the animals, birds, reptiles, "wind, weather, light, darkness, celestial bodies, and monsters" ("Navajo--Religion and Expressive Culture"). The Navajos also believe in personal interactions with their gods, similarly to the three Abrahamic religions. They believe that certain gods they call the Yei can be summoned by the Navajo people during ceremonies and that the Yei can either benefit or harm the Navajo people. Also similarly to the Abrahamic religions, the Navajos believe that the Yei do not live on earth amongst their people, just like the Abrahamic religions believe that God dwells outside of space and time. But, furthermore, just like the Abrahamic religions, the Navajos believe that, despite the gods not dwelling on earth or being above space and time, the Navajo gods still take an active interest in the Navajo people's daily lives, so the Navajo's must continuously perform ceremonies so that their gods can interact with the Navajo people. However, while both the Abrahamic religions and the Navajos believe in relationships with their gods in which their gods interact with the people, the Navajos differ in their beliefs concerning the nature of this interaction. The Navajos only believe that the gods will interact in response to ceremonies, while the three Abrahamic religions believe in a much more personal relationship, a relationship through an individual's prayers to God.