Where did did the idea of circumcision come from?


The practice of circumcision is likely far older than the Biblical account of Abraham and may have originated in eastern Africa.

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The split of early Christianity and Judaism took place during the first centuries of the Common Era. It is commonly attributed to a number of events, including the rejection and crucifixion of Jesus (c. 33), the Council of Jerusalem (c. 50), the destruction of the Second Temple and institution of the Jewish tax in 70, the postulated Council of Jamnia c. 90, and the Bar Kokhba revolt of 132–135. While it is commonly believed that Paul the Apostle established a primarily Gentile church within his lifetime, it took centuries for a complete break with Judaism to manifest, and the relationship between Paul and Judaism is still disputed.

The traditional view has been that Judaism existed before Christianity and that Christianity separated from Judaism some time after the destruction of the Second Temple. Recently, some scholars have argued that there were many competing Jewish sects in the Holy Land during the Second Temple period, and that those that became Rabbinic Judaism and Proto-orthodox Christianity were but two of these. Some of these scholars have proposed a model which envisions a twin birth of Proto-orthodox Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism rather than a separation of the former from the latter. For example, Robert Goldenberg asserts that it is increasingly accepted among scholars that "at the end of the 1st century CE there were not yet two separate religions called 'Judaism' and 'Christianity'".

The men's rights movement (MRM) is a social movement and part of the larger men's movement. It branched off from the men's liberation movement in the early 1970s. The men's rights movement contests claims that men have greater power, privilege or advantage than women and focuses on what it considers to be issues of male disadvantage, discrimination and oppression. The MRM is considered to be a backlash to the feminist movement. The men's rights movement has been involved in a variety of areas related to law (including family law, parenting, reproduction and domestic violence), government services (including education, compulsory military service and social safety nets), and health that they believe are biased towards women. The men's rights movement's claims and activities have been critiqued by scholars and others, and sectors of the movement have been described as misogynist.

Children usually acquire the religious views of their parents, although they may also be influenced by others they communicate with such as peers and teachers. Aspects of this subject include rites of passage, education and child psychology, as well as discussion of the moral issue of religious education of children.

Male circumcision has often been, and remains, the subject of controversy on a number of grounds—including religious, ethical, sexual, and health.

The Ancient Greeks and Romans valued the foreskin and were opposed to circumcision—an opposition inherited by the canon and secular legal systems of the Christian West that lasted at least through to the Middle Ages, according to Hodges. Traditional Judaism and Islam have advocated male circumcision as a religious obligation.

Religious male circumcision generally occurs shortly after birth, during childhood or around puberty as part of a rite of passage. Circumcision is most prevalent in the religions of Judaism and Islam, and as such is most common in Muslim countries and Israel. The practice is also common in some predominantly Christian areas such as the United States, the Philippines, South Korea, Ethiopia, Kenya and West Africa, as well as among Christians in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Israel. It is also common in several African tribal groups. It is less common in Europe and Latin America, though practised in the large Muslim population in India and among some Indian Christians, depending on region and family background. Circumcision for medical reasons is quite widely performed in China and Japan, being the largest single medical procedure performed in both countries, but religious circumcision in each is comparatively rare, and largely confined to Muslim communities. Hodges argues that in Ancient Greece the foreskin was valued and that Greek and Roman attempts to abolish ritual circumcision were prompted by humanitarian concerns.

Male circumcision practised as a religious rite is found in texts of the Hebrew Bible, as part of the Abrahamic covenant, such as in Genesis 17, and is therefore practised by Jews and Muslims and some Christians, who constitute the Abrahamic religions. Some rabbinical sources indicate that even before the covenant of Abraham, the aposthia of Shem may have been an inspiration for circumcision; though the aposthia of Shem is not specifically mentioned in the Genesis text.

East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 20 territories constitute Eastern Africa:

Due to colonial territories of the British East Africa Protectorate and German East Africa, the term East Africa is often (especially in the English language ) used to specifically refer to the area now comprising the three countries of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. However, this has never been the convention in many other languages, where the term generally had a wider, strictly geographic context and therefore typically included Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan.


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