Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

JUDIASM

The oldest living religion of the Western world, and historically the parent of Christianity and Islam. Present-day Judaism is at once a culture and a religion and should be distinguished accordingly. As a religion, Judaism is the body of a permanent moral tradition, which has its roots in the Old Testament prophets, and its hopes in a forthcoming Messiah. As a culture, it is the Jewish people, many of whom are not descendants of Abraham, and among whom is a wide spectrum of faith and worship, yet a mysterious solidarity that is quite unique in the history of mankind.

Modern Judaism may be conveniently divided along religious lines into Orthodox, Reform, and Conservative. Each of these forms builds not only on the Torah or Jewish Bible but also on the Talmud, which is the principal repository of Judaic tradition. Historically, Orthodox Jews are the oldest, reaching back to the synagogues in Palestine and Babylonia in the first century, and theologically they are the most conservative. At the other extreme, and opposed to Orthodoxy, is Reform Judaism, also called Progressive of Liberal, which began in Germany in the eighteenth century as a movement for cultural assimilation. Aroused by this break with historic Judaism, a group of English-speaking rabbis decided to create the Conservative alignment, which seeks to steer a middle course between Orthodoxy and the Reform.

Recent developments have brought all the segments of Judaism into greater unity, of which the State of Israel is their symbol of a common hope for the future.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

New HHS Mandate must truly eliminate complicity 14 hours ago
Self-Esteem: Beyond Pop Psychology 21 hours ago
Government Crackdowns on God and Nature July 22
A legislative mockery: Massachusetts lawmakers rush to replace unconstitutional 'buffer zone' bill July 22
Gay and Transgendered: What Comes Next? July 22

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Vatican issues working document for Synod of Bishops on the family CWN - June 26
New management, new changes coming for reformed Vatican bank CWN - July 8
Sweeping reforms to Vatican's media, financial operations CWN - July 9
‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this’: Mosul emptied of Christians CWN - July 21