Third Year Revision – Section C

By now third years, your revision notes should be well under way. I hope you have made lots of detailed notes on Sections A and B in your revision copy. It is not too late to start now, so good luck with your work.

Section C: Major World Religions

Please study chapters 10 and 11 (Islam and Judaism). Make detailed notes under the following headings according to each chapter. Pay attention to key terms and definitions.


  • Cultural context – the time and the place in which Islam began and how people lived (know map)
  • Importance of Mecca and Kaaba
  • Polytheism
  • Founding of Islam:
  • The story of Mohammed and how Islam began
  • Ramadan
  • Angel Gabriel
  • When and why muslims fled Mecca
  • Hijra, Medina, Kaaba
  • Sources of evidence:
  • Qur’an
  • The Sunnah
  • Beliefs:
  • Each of the five pillars in detail
  • Practices and rituals:
  • Birth and death
  • Festivals, (When, why and how they are celebrated)
  • Eid al Adha
  • Eid al Fitr
  • Place of worship: Mosque
  • Description of mosque
  • Islamic symbols
  • Development and expansion;
  • Persecution of first followers
  • After Mohammed died – new caliph(s)
  • Where muslims travelled to
  • Schism
  • Muslims in Ireland
  • Tradition, faith and practice of Islam today
  • Lifestyle – food and clothes (haram and halal; hijab, burqua, thobe)
  • Community structure
  • Interfaith dialogue
  • Compare Islam and Christianity (smilarities and differences)


  • Cultural context – world in which Judaism began
  • Founders of Judaism
  • Story of Abram – covenant, promised land, patriarch, Abraham
  • Story of Moses – Jews, slavery, Egypt, God – Moses, Moses – Pharoah, ten plagues – last plague, Exodus, ten commandments
  • Jews/Israelites reach the Promised Land
  • Judges, Kings, split in kingdom, prophets, exile (development of Judaism)
  • Role of prophets
  • First destruction of temple (Babylonians/exile)
  • Home, new temple, Torah, scribes, rabbis
  • Roman invasion- second destruction of temple
  • Scattering of Jews
  • Sources of evidence (know each in detail):
  • Torah (Pentateuch)
  • Nevi’im (Prophets)
  • Ketuvim (Holy Writings)
  • All three called Tenakh
  • From oral to written tradition
  • Jewish beliefs:
  • Monotheism, Identity, Covenant – rites and rituals
  • Practices and ritual events:
  • Birth (Covenant of Circumcision)
  • Adulthood (Bar Mitzvah/Bat Mitzvah)
  • Marriage – Kiddushin, huppah, ‘Mazal tov’
  • Death –  prayer of mourning: Kaddish; three stages – shiva, sheloshim, yahrzeit
  • Festivals and special times (when, why, how):
  • Passover
  • Hanukkah
  • Yom Kippur
  • Prayer and practice: weekend, family home and in synagogue
  • Shabbat (Jewish Sabbath) – at home
  • In synagogue – Shema
  • Tallit
  • Kippah
  • Tefillin
  • Kosher food
  • Place of worship – synagogue – other purposes, ark, Ner Tamid, tablets, bimah
  • Western Wall (Wailing Wall)
  • Jewish symbols: menorah, Star of David, Mezuzah
  • Persecution and expansion of Jews
  • Troubled history:
  • Diaspora
  • 1290 expelled from England
  • 1880’s forced to leave Russia
  • Early 20th century moved to Palestine
  • 1933-1945: Holocaust
  • Schism
  • Orthodox vs Reform Jews
  • Hasidism
  • Jews in the world today
  • Jews in Ireland
  • Tradition, faith and practice of Judaism today:
  • Community structure and leadership, education
  • Compare Christianity and Judaism (similarities and differences)
  • Interfaith dialogue

Take two to three days to complete this section of the course. Work as hard as you can – it will all pay off in the end. I will post some revision headings on Section D on Friday.

Best of luck to you all!

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