By Aaron W. Hughes
Lately, the time period "Abrahamic religions" has been used with exceeding frequency within the academy. We now usually come upon educational books, meetings, or even positions (including endowed chairs) dedicated to the so-called "Abrahamic religions." yet what precisely are "Abrahamic religions"? even supposing many understand him because the universal denominator of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Abraham is still deceptively out of succeed in. An ahistorical determine, a few contend he holds the seeds for old reconciliation. Touted as image of ecumenicism, Abraham can simply as simply functionality as certainly one of department and exclusivity. Like our figuring out of Abraham, the class "Abrahamic religions" is obscure and nebulous. In Abrahamic Religions, Aaron Hughes examines the construction and dissemination of this term.
Usually misplaced in modern discussions is a suite of the most important questions: the place does the time period "Abrahamic religions" derive? Who created it and for what reasons? what kind of highbrow paintings is it appeared to practice? half genealogical and half analytical, this booklet seeks to elevate and resolution questions on the appropriateness and usability of utilising "Abrahamic religions" as a car for knowing and classifying facts. In so doing, Abrahamic Religions might be taken as a case examine that examines the development of different types in the educational learn of faith, exhibiting how the types we hire can develop into extra an obstacle than an expedient to figuring out.
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Extra info for Abrahamic Religions: On the Uses and Abuses of History
I will make him fertile and exceedingly numerous. He shall be the father of twelve chieftains, and I will make of him a great nation. But my covenant I will maintain with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this season next year. (Gen. 17:19–21) After Isaac’s birth, undoubtedly worried about inheritance rights, Sarah asks Abraham to dismiss Hagar and Ishmael, which Abraham does with a heavy heart. The next morning, Hagar and Ishmael leave and wander oﬀ into the Negev, a desert where presumably they will die.
Behold you are with child And shall bear a son; You shall call him Ishmael. For the Lord has paid heed to your suﬀering. He shall be a wild ass of a man; His hand against everyone, And everyone’s hand against him; He shall dwell alongside all of his kinsmen. (Gen. 16:10–12) Hagar returns to Abraham’s household and subsequently gives birth to a son, whom not surprisingly she names Ishmael. God again appears to Abraham and informs him that Sarah, now ninety years old, will herself 22 a br a h a mic r el igions become pregnant with a son, subsequently to be named Isaac.
Perceived to exist beyond the conﬂicts of today, always just out of reach, “Abrahamic” becomes a quasi-theological, quasimythic essence that has very little historical precedent. It is incumbent upon us to inquire into the diverse political, intellectual, and social processes that have contributed to the creation of this term. If not, the term “Abrahamic religions” risks becoming, like so many of the other words we employ in the academic study of religion, a stereotype or a cliché. And, with suﬃcient repetition, such stereotypes can be mistaken as natural qualities immune from historical scrutiny.