Will a saviour come? Islamic messianism in light of the eschatology of Zoroastrianism, Judaism and Christianity
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A central aspect of many religions is eschatology: a prospect for the end of times. In this thesis, the eschatological expectations within Islam are examined. The focus lies on the dissimilarities between the end time views of Zoroastrianism, Judaism and Christianity with an explicit comparison to those of Islam. Especially, the concept of messianism will be highlighted. Whereas the advent of a saviour plays a key part in the first mentioned faiths (the sons of Zoroaster in Zoroastrianism, the Davidic descendant in Judaism and the second coming of Christ in Christianity), it remains rather vague in Islam. Nevertheless, we can distinguish a clear development. In early Islam, Muslims believed that Muhammad was the messiah promised in other Abrahamic religions. As time went by, however, different Islamic confessions began to incorporate the belief in a messiah as well: namely the Mahdi, who would come in a foreseeable future to cleanse humanity.
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