Christianity And Islam

regarded as the basis of religion. Reason, however, gradually became an independent power : orthodoxy did not reject reason when it coincided with tradition, but under the influence of Aristotelianism, especially as developed by Averroes, reason became a power opposed to faith. The essential point of the doctrine was that truth was twofold, according to faith and according to reason. Any one who was subtle enough to recognise both kinds of truth could preserve his orthodoxy : but the theory contained one great danger, which was immediately obvious to the Christian church. The consequent struggle is marked by the constant connection of Arab ideas with the characteristic expressions of Christian feeling ; these again are connected with the outset of a new period, when the pioneers of the Renaissance liberate the West from the chains of Greek ecclesiastical classicism, from Oriental metaphysical religion and slowly pave the way for the introduction of


Germanic ideals directly derived from true classicism. Not until that period does the West burst the bonds in which Orientalism had confined it-

Christianity and Islam then stand upon an equal footing in respect both of intellectual progress and material wealth. But as the West emerges from the shadow-land of the middle ages the more definite becomes its superiority over the East. Western nations become convinced that the fetters which bind them wrere forged in the East, and when they have shaken off their chains, they discover their own physical and intellectual power. They go forth and create a new world, in which Orientalism finds but scanty room.

The East, however, cannot break away from the theories of life and mind which grew in it and around it. Even at the present day the Oriental is swathed in medievalism. A journalist, for instance, however European his mode of life, will write leaders

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