- August 19, 2012
- Posted by: essay
- Category: Free essays
Historically, Christianity and Islam were two competing religions. However, in actuality, both religions have a lot of similarities. In this respect, it is possible to refer to views of Christianity and Islam on the future of mankind and the end of the world, known as eschatology, which reveals a lot of similarities between Islam and Christianity.
First of all, both Christianity and Islam agree that the life on the earth is not eternal and that eventually the end of the world will come. In actuality, both Christianity and Islam closely interlinks the end of the world with the degradation of the religious beliefs and the end of the world is often associated with the end of the hegemony of the world religions, such as Christianity or Islam. In other words, the end of the world will be marked, according to both religions, by the growing disbelief of people in God or Allah and, at the same time, the growing popularity of materialism will undermine the belief of people in the religion and its major ideals. In such a context, many specialists (Guyatt 2005) tend to explain the prophecies of Christianity and Islam as a kind of defensive reactions against the oppression of these religions and the prediction of the end of the world may be viewed as an attempt to warn the mankind about the danger of ignorance of traditional religious values of Christianity or Islam.
Furthermore, in both religions, the concept of eschatology is closely intertwined with the belief in the return of Jesus, or Isa for Muslims. The basic purpose of his return is similar for both Christians and Muslims. It is should be said that, according to the Islamic tradition, Isa will lead Muslims to the defeat of the opponents of Islam and he will “kill all pigs and break all crosses”¯ (Pearce 2003, p.227). In such a way, his return will mark the victory of Islam as the world religion, which could become the only true religion. The similar view is supported by Christians who believe that by the end of the world Jesus will return to rescue Israel and defeat Antichrist (Guyatt 2005) and he will rule over the Messianic kingdom. Hence, Jesus will become the Messiah that will save Israel and make Christianity the dominant religion since his victory will be the victory of Christianity over all other religions.
At the same time, this victory will also be one of the signs of the upcoming end of the world. Both religions agree that the present world will be destruct. To put it more precisely, Christianity stands on the ground that the Earth will be destroyed, excluding angels who will not perish, while Islam argues that all nations except Islamic ones will be destroyed, the angels will be destroyed too and the earth will “spill out its contents”¯ (DeMar 1998, p.144). In fact, it is necessary to emphasize that both religions suggest that there is the only opportunity for the salvation, the conversion into the true religion, Christianity or Islam respectively.
Thus, Christianity and Islam prepare their adepts to the apocalyptic events which will lead to the end of the world and established order. Instead, both Christianity and Islam promise salvation to their adepts that makes both religions similar and popular.