January 30, 2015

The Christian Example for Modernizing Islam

Today's Wall Street Journal includes on its Opinion Page the weekly "Houses of Worship" by Kevin Madigan, a professor of history at Harvard Divinity School.  Today's article is titled "The Christian Example for Modernizing Islam."  He notes that the current violence seen in radical Islam today was once a part of Christendom as well.  He reminds us that Catholics and Protestants once killed in the name of God, but eventually liberal ideas took hold.  Only in the past 50 years did Roman Catholicism reject its medieval worldview and begin to tolerate other world religions.

He suggests that we can only hope that Islam can adjust more rapidly than Christendom so that a broad-minded form of religion will prevail.  He adds that "Muslims will have to recognize what the West, through many centuries of hard experience and reflection, has learned: that religious texts arose in a particular context and must be reinterpreted in the new context of modernity; that pluralism within one's own tradition and the tolerance of other faiths must be appreciated anew; and finally, that the coercive imposition of faith will generate only nominal or hypocritical, not authentic, conversions."  read article here