Christianity And Islam

real interest in religion. Hence that surprising similarity of views upon the problem of existence, which we have now to outline.

In details of outward form great divergency is apparent. Christianity possessed a clergy while Islam did not: yet the force of Christian influence produced a priestly class in Islam. It was a class acting not as mediator between God and man through sacraments and mysteries, but as moral leaders and legal experts ; as such it was no less important than the scribes under Judaism. Unanimity among these scholars could produce decisions no less binding than those of the Christian clergy assembled in church councils. They are representatives of the congregation which " has no unanimity, for such wrould be an error.55 Islam naturally preferred to adopt unanimous conclusions in silence rather than to vote in assemblies. As a matter of fact a body of orthodox opinion was developed by this means with no less success than in

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