Tuesday, August 13, 2013

( 7 ) " Shared Echoes: The Protestant Reformation and Islam. "

By Sodium

Although it is good to acquire as much knowledge as possible about the Protestant Reformation, our concern, here, is the " Shared Echoes, "  that might have existed between the Protestant Reformation and Islam. However, there are certain names that carried initially the Reformation movement on their shoulder and all students of history of the Christian Churches must know, since they are the exponents of the Protestant Reformation. They are:

* Martin Luther.
* Ulrich Zwingli
* John Calvin.

The most radical among the three reformers listed above was John Calvin. In fact, he was the brain behind the strict and demanding tenets of the Protestant Reformation. His theological ideology has seemed to me as similar, if not identical, to the Wahhabi Islamic practices, in Saudi Arabia, or perhaps similar to the Hanbali Mathhab, ( School of Thought ), in Islam.

Any reader who is interested in knowing the detailed life of each one of those three reformers can do so by Googling the following words:

Who's Who in the Reformation.

Before touching the " Shared Echoes, " it will be sufficient, here, to know that the Reformation movement started in 1517, in Germany, by a Catholic monk, named Martin Luther. He was excommunicated by the Catholic Church in Rome, after nailing 95 accusations against his own Catholic Church.

According to Graham Fuller, author of the book, " A world Without Islam," Martin Luther had succeeded in his Reformation because he was " directly supported " by certain German princes who were interested in cutting " the power of Church to size."

The Shared Echoes:
The book contains so many fascinating detailed echoes, or rather similarities between the Protestant Reformation and Islam, one may summarize them in the following important points:

~ Both the Protestant Reformation and Islam have no centralized theological power equivalent to the Catholic Papacy in Rome.
~ Both the Protestant Reformation and Islam adhere firmly to the narrative of their respective theological texts.
~ Because of the absence of a centralized seat of religious power in both the Protestant Reformation and Sunni Islam, they both encountered radical interpretations of the narrative of their respective theological texts, by radical adherents to their respective faith. ( Please notice the two words, "Sunni Islam," because this point does not apply on Shi'i Islam.)

Some Interesting Quotations From The Book Being Reviewed:
" The state is an attractive target for any reformer of society, religious or secular, for its capture provides the means-persuasive or coercive-to impose and implement religious values within society."

" For all of the period's intense focus on theology, it was its political and social forces that drove the Reformation. "

" Above all, the Reformation carried huge and deliberate political implications for the German princes and other northern European rulers. Where you stood on Reformation theology depended on where your economic and political interest lay.
    We have seen this in the turmoil of a changing Mecca, the shift from tribal to more mercantile values, and the loss of more traditional tribal safety nets and  the emergence of Muhammad. Jesus, too, was emerging in a new social environment in which among other things, Galilee was hostile to the economic and religious power of Jerusalem. "

" Those self-trained theologians challenge the state over the proprietorship of Islam. " it is not your Islam, it is my Islam," as one street placard put it. It is the fundamentalists, trained or untrained, who seek to apply Islam and lend it relevance-to use it as an instrument for political and social reform, to change or overthrow the state that they see as serving neither Islam nor the people. "

Some Thoughts/Views of the Christian Reconstructionists:
There is a small segment of the adherents to Protestantism, calling itself Reconstructionists. Although they are  small in number, in comparison to the total number of  Protestants in the world, they have a rather effective influence on the politics of the Christian Right.

I have found the following paragraph in the book, " A World Without Islam, " to be revealing about the Reconstructionists' view points and thoughts:

"  For reconstructionists, TOLERANCE is not neutral concept that acknowledges validity of all religious belief before the law; instead, they speak of a "Christian tolerance" that permits equal treatment but not equal ACCEPTANCE of all doctrine. Reconstructionists would not seek to regulate personal BELIEFS, but would regulate PUBLIC ACTIONS and behavior. This view is remarkably similar to some Islamists who advocate Shari'a law under nearly identical terms. In this view, tolerance within an Islamic state means just that-the state will tolerate other beliefs, but that does not imply acceptance of equal doctrinal validity. "

I must admit that I had almost skipped quoting the above quotation, because the author of the book had/has used, in it, the word " Islamists," which had/has been used by the Islamophobes to imply something evil, to a point that had compelled ( and wisely ) the Associated Press to refrain from using it in its news reporting and forecasting. However, I have overcome my own disagreement concerning the author's usage of the word, " Islamists, " because the paragraph, in the book, was so explicit about the reconstructionists' thoughts/view points; and the probable echoes that might have existed in thoughts/view points with the advocates of Shari'ah Law, among some adherents to the Islamic faith.


Next topic will be topic ( 8 ) The " Third Rome " and Russia: Russia Inherits the Orthodox Legacy.


No comments:

Post a Comment