In contrast to faiths that believe in several gods, monotheism is the belief in a single, all-powerful god. Monotheism is extensively practiced in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Any religion that believes in a single god is considered monotheistic. About 80 percent of the world's population practices some form of monotheism.
Monotheism is defined by many scholars as a system of worship that focuses on a single supreme being. This being is often called "God" or "Allah." Although other deities may be mentioned in scripture or tradition, it is believed that they are merely manifestations of this one true God.
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are all monotheistic religions. While it is true that many people throughout history have practiced various forms of polytheism (the belief in more than one god), only those religions that continue today have retained their identity as monotheistic. It is because these three major religions agree on the existence of only one God that they are able to co-exist peacefully within the same geographic area.
The idea of a single, all-powerful God is not unique to any one culture. In fact, it can be said to exist independently across different cultures. What does vary greatly from culture to culture is how people respond to this concept.
Introduction Return to the Beginning The belief in the presence of a single deity, or in God's oneness or uniqueness, is known as monotheism. It is a kind of theism that is often compared with polytheism (belief in numerous gods) and atheism (the absence of any belief in gods). Although many religions include elements of both polytheism and monotheism, only one religion is classified as wholly monotheistic: Judaism. Christianity and Islam are also considered monotheistic because they include a single, exclusive god who cannot be divided from himself.
In Judaism, God is said to have existed eternally in one essence or being before creating the universe. He does not change nor can he be changed; thus, he cannot be described as having attributes such as love or anger. Judaism maintains that there is only one God and no other gods. While it is possible to practice Judaism without believing in God, it is not possible to be a fully faithful Jew if you do not believe in him.
In Christianity, God is said to have been united with humanity in a single person called Jesus Christ. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus makes it possible for humans to be forgiven of their sins. Christianity maintains that this union with Jesus can only be achieved through faith, not by performing actions such as going to church or praying regularly. As in Judaism, it is not possible to be a fully faithful Christian if you do not believe in Jesus.
The term monotheistic is derived from the Greek words monos (one) and theos (god). Monotheism is hence the belief in the presence of a single god. Monotheism is sometimes compared with polytheism (see below), which is the belief in many gods, and atheism, which is the lack of belief in any gods. However, these three concepts are not equal partners in society. Rather, they represent different positions on religious issues.
In terms of numbers, it could be said that polytheism is more common than monotheism. This is because there are more religions around the world that are based on the concept of polytheism than on that of monotheism. Atheism, however, is much less common. There are more atheists in countries where religion is widely accepted such as Europe and North America, but also many countries where religion has little influence such as India and China.
As I mentioned, monotheism and polytheism are ideas that come from philosophy and theology, respectively. It is important to understand that these are not beliefs that can be verified or falsified by science, but rather categories used by scholars to describe how people think about God.
According to the work of Abrahamic religions scholars, such as Paul Ricoeur and Michael Hardt, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism share a number of traits that make them unique. First of all, they are all one-true-faiths.