although many people claim that all RELIGIONS share the idea of God, in fact only CHRISTIANITY, ISLAM and JUDAISM have a similar understanding of the term. This understanding probably comes from a common source rooted in the religion of ABRAHAM with the result that these religions may be identified as ABRAMIC RELIGIONS. Traditionally, the Abramic religions understood God as the CREATOR of the UNIVERSE and everything that exists. All three religions saw God as a personal BEING who demanded obedience from humans but it was in Christianity that the personal relationship between God and humans was given its highest expression through the doctrine of the INCARNATION which taught that God became man in the person of JESUS CHRIST. Islam and Judaism place greater stress on God as law-giver and our responsibility to respond to Him by obeying His law. Many INDIAN religions developed highly personal versions of the DEITY but usually limited the powers of each deity through the acceptance of a vast pantheon of over three million Gods. The concept of a CREATOR GOD in the Abramic sense is, however, missing from Indian religions. CHINESE and JAPANESE religions recognized an impersonal force behind the universe but never developed a concept of God similar to the Abramic one. In other religious traditions, God or Gods may play important roles for specific tasks, such as healings, but their power and role as creator or personality is severely limited. BUDDHISM is unique in recognizing the existence of Gods in the affairs of daily life but in declaring in no uncertain terms that as a religion or practice, Buddhism has nothing to do with God. Indeed, Buddhism explicitly denies the Abramic concept of God and is therefore often described as a FORM of ATHEISM.

Concise dictionary of Religion. 2012.


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