mayisgrey asked: In response to your question about Jewish contribution--first of all, Jewish culture founded monotheism, so you can thank the Jews for the origins of pretty much all of Western advancement by Muslims and Christians. The reason Judaism has no golden age comparable to those of other religions and cultures is because Jews, unlike Muslims and Christians, were never allowed in a position of power from which to convey their aptitudes.
Thanks for the suggestions. Here’s my thoughts on them:
1) Just worth mentioning that israelite judaism began as a monolatrous religion, not a monotheistic one. Also, that other cultures nearby had similar notions.
2) Not sure why monotheism is important for the development of christianity and islam; were judaism not monotheistic, christianity and islam could theoretically have evolved from it just as easily, just without that precise detail.
3) But more importantly, if we’re going to say that judaism gets credit for what other religions did, then we might as well give that credit to even earlier religions and cultures which helped shape judaism. e.g. hammurabi’s code. Also, I’m interested in this entire question bc of religious claims that Judaism has contributed to the world; I think there’s something ironic by claiming that Judaism’s major contributions to the world - were non-judaic religions!
4) Maybe Judaism didn’t contribute more bc they didn’t have power and autonomy - though what of the early periods in Israelite history when they seemingly did? - but even if this excuse is acceptable, the fact remains that it’s just an excuse for something not done. (And by the same token - and I think very much just as reasonably - one can also explain why other cultures contributed more or less to the world. That is, using secular, reasonable explanations, with no need to argue about whose religion is actually more valid or divine.)
Thanks for writing =]