Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Islamic Calvinism!

So you say Islam needs a "Reformation", a "Luther" and "Calvin"? In Turkey, this is exactly what seems to be emerging in the Turkish city of Kayseri. All it means is this: the marriage between Islamic faith and free market economics. Here's the story:


William said...

Islamic Calvanism is scarcely the reformation Islam is in need of. Islam is a religion in trouble because of its archaic stricture that its scriptures are the perfect word of God in their entirity. This is more restrictive than the belief of "bible believing" Christians who believe that the bible was written by God inspired men. This is a belief that the Koran was actually dictated or spoken by God. This ossifies religious thought.

Benedictus said...

Welcome, William!

I agree with you to a point. Yes, the Islamic view of divine inspiration amounts to little more than divine dictation, but this does not quite get at the meat of it. There is a myriad of ways that these texts are interpreted (surprise surprise), spawning a variety of sects like Sunnis, Shiites, Wahabis, Sufis, etc.

This brings me to the Turkish factor. Here you have an Islamic country that has embraced, to a large degree, liberal democratic values, including western capitalism, in some sectors, and made it their own. While I would like all Muslims to embrace beleif in the Holy, Consubstantial, Life-Giving and Life-Creating Trinity, at least in the foreseeable future, this is probably not going to take place on a large scale. So while we send missionary monks from Mt. Athos into Iran, Iraq, et al, proclaiming the Gospel with the boldness of St. Francis of Assisi before the Sultan, could we not at the same time encourage what seems to be an internal movement within some Islamic sectors towards liberal democratic values which stress hard work and prosperity for the largest numbers of Turkish citizens? Merchants more concerned about feeding their families and

I am not of the opinion that democracy only works within a Christian context. Anyone ever hear of "natural law"? Liberal democracy is not a Christian virtue, but rather, to speak Thomistically, a proximate good, accesible to all through reason.