A Comprehensive Analysis of Social Reforms and Cultural Contributions - Essay Sample

Published: 2024-01-29
A Comprehensive Analysis of Social Reforms and Cultural Contributions - Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Culture Sociology Analysis
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1547 words
13 min read


The most crucial person in Western Civilization is Muhammad. He was born around 570. Around 610, he started to receive Koran revelations from God for twenty years. Muhammad greatly impacted society. He changed the beliefs, customs, behavior, and social norms of people. He also convinced people with kindness and gentleness to change their primitive traditions and beliefs without forcing them. Muhammad lived in Makkah. The state comprised of countrymen who persecuted him. He later settled in Madinah and focused on safeguarding his society. During that Madinah era, there was a war among the people. Muhammad entered into a peace treaty with the Makkans (Elsyam 373). Muslims saw this situation as a humiliation for the Islamic religion. Eventually, the Muslims entered Makkah without shedding blood, indicating a peaceful conquest. Makkans feared revenge for persecuting Muslims but Muhammad freed them peacefully. This scenario was the first amnesty in the world.

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Muhammad restored the rights of the weak and the oppressed. He freed slaves and raised the status of the people. He abolished oppression against women. He eliminated exploitative practices among the people without punishing the parties involved. Generally, he uprooted pernicious customs among the Arabs (Elsyam 373). He created awareness among the people on the falsehood related to their traditions. Muhammad opposed polytheism by dismantling it in the minds of people. He endeavored to bring monotheism among the people.

Muhammad is crucial because he enabled the Arab society to have a new mindset, which was free from the pernicious ancestral traditions. He was able to abolish superstition and divination among the people. He eliminated sexual exploitation and racism. Muhammad taught a practical lesson which was and is still being passed from generation to generation. Madinah's people learned ways of calling others to Islam and how to live peacefully with individuals of various denominations.

Historical Facts about Early Christianity

The book explains patronage and reciprocity among the early Christians. It explains the lives of Nicanor and Erastus. Nicanor is a former slave and is employed by Erastus. He felt obligated to support his boss Erastus. There is an unbreakable patron-client relationship between Nicanor and Erastus. The patron, in this case, Erastus, provides and protects his client, Nicanor. The client respects and supports his patron. Aemilianus wants to create a relationship with Nicanor to destroy Erastus's political reputation, but his plans do not work. The book explains the loyalty of early Christians to their employees. Nicanor does not betray his patron, indicating that they have a healthy relationship. Early Christians were not easily manipulated by evil acts like the Christians of today. It is essential to understand the patronage and reciprocity among the early Christians to apply it today in people's daily lives.

The book indicates that early Christians converted after witnessing miracles. Aemilianus secretly plans to destroy his political rivalry Erastus. This situation is triggered by Aemilianus' desire to uphold respect. He believes for him to be honored, Erastus should be decreased. He then plots to kill Erastus. Erastus and his family believe in God, and their lives rotate around Him. Nicanor is not a Christian. He fully converts to Christianity when Paul anoints Erastus, who miraculously heals from Aemilianus' evil plot. This scenario is essential since it explains how early Christians converted to witnessing miracles. It highlights the difference between Early Christianity and the society of today. Today, people are not curious about Christianity or other religions, and they easily convert from websites and pure preachings.

The book reveals how it was challenging to convince people to early Christianity. Nicanor attends an event hosted by Erastus and his family. He participated in praying and singing hymns with his friend Krackus. He listens to Camilla's message from God, and he is terrified and excited. Nicanor has numerous unanswered questions about God and the new religion, but he believes. This situation depicts how it may be challenging convincing people to faith. However, today people are taught to believe without seeing at an early age.

How Geography Impacted Western Civilization History

Geography pertains to the study of physical features and human settlement. It plays a critical role in explaining human societies and civilization. For instance, humans first settled along with the source of water. In Egypt, they settled along the river Nile and in India around the Indus River. Settling near rivers led to civilization because humans who settled near water bodies were much brilliant than individuals in other regions. The large water bodies, like rivers, were a source of food and water. There was the availability of fertile soils favorable for growing crops—the ability to grow crops and harvest plenty of food prevented people from relocating to water and food. Nevertheless, ancient humans did not search for food all day, but they participated in leisure activities. They started being aware of religion and design plans that would strengthen their relationship with other individuals.

The rivers dictated where the civilization took place. For instance, the colonial economies of the United States depended on trade with England. As a result, major cities in the US are located on an ocean or other massive waterways. New York City, Baltimore, Boston, and several others are located on a sea or major water bodies accessible to shipping.

Climate as a geographical factor impacted Western Civilization. The temperate climate and adequate rainfall in Europe and North America enabled ancient humans to carry out numerous developmental activities. While countries with extreme hot or cold temperatures found it challenging to carry out various development like planting, some countries were strategically positioned so that people never had to irrigate to acquire food. They depended on rainfall.

Reasons for Studying History

Chapter 5 of John Fea's book is about how the Imago Dei and the Incarnation should influence Christian historians in doing their activities. It also shows how the reality of sin and moral reflection impact Christians who study history in carrying out their business.

This chapter is important because it explains how historian work is related to Imago Dei. According to Judeo-Christian tradition, God created human beings in his likeliness and image. John Fea suggest s that making them in His image indicates the most excellent form of his creation (Fea 150). It implies the value of human dignity and that people are independent of their actions or behavior. It signifies that human life is sacred.

I agree with John Fea because, indeed, human life is sacred. Christians have the responsibility of celebrating and protecting human life. Imago Dei lays a foundation for Christian preaching. The belief that human beings are created in God's image should transform people's understanding of war, abortion, and caring for the poor. Discriminating people, depending on race, language, or color, violates God's design and will towards human beings.

According to John Fea, God created human beings and granted them the freedom to make choices. The choices that people make align them towards God or lead them to sin. Most people make choices for personal preferences and not for the true worship of God. They engage in acts that directs them to sin. Human beings have a natural inclination towards selfish gain rather than towards loving other people and pursuing God.

I agree with John Fea that God granted human beings the freedom to make choices. However, human beings having the natural inclination to sin is not the will of God towards humanity. If human beings have the natural tendency to sin, they were not created in God's likeliness, for He is Holy and does not sin. I wish Fea would have elaborated on this point of people's natural desire to sin.

Study of Western Civilization and My Understanding of History

There are various ways in which the study of Western Civilization has challenged my understanding of history. One way is about cultural isolationism. According to John Fea, Americans stay in isolated places that make it impossible or challenging for them to participate in activities with individuals who do not live in such enslaves. American Christians are also involved in this type of isolationism and hence are not concerned with other people's welfare. Cultural isolationism prevents people from knowing other individuals who have different political agendas, religious beliefs, races, and classes. Living in such areas may limit their knowledge about the culture and beliefs of other individuals. Understanding the effects of cultural isolationism challenges my understanding of history because it does not give a clear picture of whether an individual's needs are met.

Moreover, individuals with power use that opportunity for selfish gain in politics, religion, and culture. Although civilization is essential, it leads to people's division in terms of political and cultural powers. Learning historical facts enables people to learn and understand the minority and powerless. People should aim at defending people of the past and not to use them for selfish gain.

Works Cited

El Syam, Robingun Suyud. "Prophetic Leadership: The Leadership Model of Prophet Muhammad in Political Relation of Social–Ummah." Jurnal Pendidikan Islam 6.2 (2017): 371-396. www.core.ac.uk/download/pdf/186753733.pdf.Accessed December 111, 2020.

Fea, John. Why Study History?: Reflecting on the Importance of the Past. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2013. Print.www.amazon.com/Why-Study-History-Reflecting-Importance/dp/0801039657.Accessed December 11, 2020.

Witherington, Ben. A Week in the Life of Corinth. Downers Grove, Ill: IVP Academic, 2012. Print. www.amazon.com/Week-Life-Corinth-Ben-Witherington/dp/0830839623.Accessed December 11, 2020.

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