Essay Sample on the Differences Between Abrahamic and Non-Abrahamic Religions

Published: 2022-03-15
Essay Sample on the Differences Between Abrahamic and Non-Abrahamic Religions
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Religion
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1019 words
9 min read

Abrahamic religions include Christianity, Islam, and Judaism while non-Abrahamic religions include Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism. The reason why the three religions aforementioned are referred to as Abrahamic is that they all have Abraham as their founding father despite the fact that there were prophets who came before and after him. The three religions are similar in several ways but differ from non-Abrahamic religions in many aspects. There exist several differences between Abrahamic faiths and non-Abrahamic and one particular difference is the lack of a crusade tradition in non-Abrahamic religions.

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The Abrahamic religions are conservative whereas the non-Abrahamic faiths are liberal. In Christianity for instance, the bible which is the religious book is regarded as the ultimate guide which cannot be contradicted. The case is the same for Judaism and the Islamic Quran. For Buddhism, there are several religious books and a person has the choice of rejecting them. Also, the non-Abrahamic faiths permit atheism and emphasize on connecting with one's inner self to find peace. Abraham religions on the other hand regard atheism as a sin and one could go to hell for not believing in the existence of God. In Abrahamic religions, it begins with believing in God's existence and that there are rules and commandments that God has put in place for our betterment to go to heaven. Non-Abrahamic faiths, like Buddhism for instance, emphasize on liberation and only have recommendations of how it should be done. Rejecting the religion's doctrines is permissible. Buddha who is the founder of Buddhism spent most of the time of his life seeking the liberation of his inner self to obtain peace by engaging in meditation a lot. The Abrahamic faiths emphasize belief in God and adherence to commandments rather than liberation. Non-Abrahamic religions emphasize on inner peace with oneself whereas Abrahamic faiths focus on adherence to commandments and belief in God.

The Abrahamic faiths differ from non-Abrahamic in the manner in which they worship. In non-Abrahamic religions, there is a lot of use of images in worship. The use of images in worship, especially in the form of idols is something that is shunned in Abrahamic faiths. In Hinduism for instance, images are regarded as sacred and a representation of the deity (Eck, 2007). The Abrahamic faiths usually frown upon worship being centered on images, as for them it idolizes the images and shifts focus from the deity. I agree with this as I believe images should be used only for illustrative purposes in worship, but should not be the center of worship.

Unlike Abrahamic religions, in non-Abrahamic religions, notably Hinduism, worship involves many images. Images are regarded as sacred and beholding them is an act of worship. In the book Darsan, Diana Eck (2007) says that "the visual apprehension of the image is charged with religious meaning." The image could be of Krishna or Durga, Siva or Visnu. In Hinduism, the images are not mere visual aids in worship but are themselves regarded as sacred. When Hindus go to the temple, the term they usually use is "I am going for Darsan" instead of I am going to worship (Eck, 2007). Translation of the term "Darsan" means to see and to be seen by the deity. It depicts that for the Hindus, the use of images is at the center of their religion and just seeing them is an act of worship. However, for the Abrahamic religions, images are only used as visual aids in worship.

One reason why non-Abrahamic religions do not have a tradition of crusades is that they permit individuals to undertake whatever actions they deem necessary for their own specific realizations and spiritual development. In Buddhism for instance, if a person has a different way of seeking spiritual development which is different from what is recommended, the person is allowed to do so even if it could mean that the process would be slower. Tyrannical or forceful religious conversions and the tendency to proselytize is unpopular among the non-Abrahamic religions for this reason. For non-Abrahamic faiths such as Buddhism, what is essential is that all get to the point of appreciating that every human being is a spiritual being and therefore go back to God, but this should be done at a person's own pace. The only thing that spiritual leaders do is advice people to use their energy and time in the best way to enhance their spiritual growth. They do not believe that other religions are wrong and theirs is the only true way, unlike Abrahamic religions. There are no forceful conversions as it has been witnessed with Abrahamic religions such as Christianity in the past.

Non-Abrahamic religions lack a crusade tradition because they do not believe in the competition of spiritual paths. Abrahamic religions are characterized by the fear that their path is the only right one, and that any other path will lead to hell. They tend to act in a manner that suggests they need the reassurance that they are on the right track. The case is different with non-Abrahamic religions who do not possess the fear that they are not correct. For Buddhists for instance, it is the acquisition of individual spiritual realizations that assures them of personal progress. For Christianity however, it is different from the rest as it accepts other religions and does not necessarily judge them as to be going to hell, under the umbrella of universal love taught by Jesus. It is this fundamental reason, whereby non-Abrahamic religions are not fear-based, unlike the Abrahamic religions that contribute to the fact that they lack a crusade tradition.

In conclusion, Abrahamic and non-Abrahamic religions differ in many aspects. Non-Abrahamic faiths are liberal whereas Abrahamic religions are conservative. The Abrahamic religions believe that there is an afterlife while non-Abrahamic religions believe in reincarnation. The non-Abrahamic religions do not have a crusade history. The reason for this is that they permit individuals to do whatever it is they deem necessary for their spiritual development and they do not believe in the competition of spiritual paths.


Eck, D. L. (2007). Darsan: Seeing the divine image in India. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publ.

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