Culture clashes · Religious life

Judaism is like which religion?

Americans often compare Judaism to Christianity. The over-used word, Judeo-Christian tradition, kind of makes me wince.

Christianity and Judaism are really not so similar. Paritcularly, Protestant Christianity (which “Christianity” has come to usually mean in American English) has very little resemblance to Judaism.

The religoin that is the closest to Judaism is Islam, then Catholicism, then comes Protestant Christianity.

Islam has a holy language (Arabic) like Judaism (Hebrew) that cannot be replaced by translations. (Catholicism)

Islam has women cover their hair like Judaism used to mandate and still does for married women.

Islam has food prohibitions like Judaism.

Islam has a sense of holy places like Judaism. (Okay, that’s one thing the Christians also share in.)

The term “Judeo-Christian tradition” was an academic term that was referring to very specific things, but then seemed to have gotten coopted by well-meaning Americans who wanted to have a sense of alliance with the rest of the American population. But, really, that’s a misuse of the term. I have also heard the newer term, the “Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition,” which tends to be more accurate although not always. These terms are not there to make things sound fluffy and nice. They are supposed to actually describe something substantial. Or so I thought.


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