worldmap.gif (11503 bytes) Families of Religions   ONE DEITY   

One ultimate reality is known by various titles or by no title.

  • Among terms commonly used are God, Allah, Jahweh ,G_d, Lord. Some members of this family prefer to use no spoken or written name for the deity.
  • In these religions ongoing debate deals with the nature of the oneness and singular identity of the deity. 

Claims by family members for the unique truth of their particular experience/definition of the one deity.  

  • Each religion has its own unique authority system. It may a person, a document, an organization, personal experience, or mystical visitation.
  • Authority has a special importance for single deity religions. The singleness and unity of the deity results in a strong desire for loyalty and faithfulness.

Sacred texts inspire, inform and may direct daily life for people of this family.

  • The Hebrew Scriptures, the Christian Bible, and the Islamic Qu'ran are the most well known sacred texts in these religions.
  • Some believe their text to have come directly from the deity with little or no human influence. Others believe their texts have a history of human inspiration and participation that continues today.
Problems arise.
  • The definition of "one deity" is made by religions themselves. For example, Hindu spokespersons will say that their religion involves a single elemental power or life force with a multitude of expresses called gods and goddesses. 
  • Muslims respond with the argument that no human likeness of the ultimate deity is allowed. In Muslim thought it appears that the Hindu religion is polytheistic - a religion of many gods over against their concept of a singular deity. The Unitarian Universalist approach developed because some differed from the Christian concept of the Trinity. It is now an eclectic tradition involving people of many perspectives.
  • Resolution of this matter is a long term project. Really long term. 






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Update on 12-2-08