Christianity And Islam

Christian thought. One department remains to be examined, which might be expected to offer but scanty opportunity for borrowings of this kind ; this is dogma. Here, if anywhere, the contrast between the two religions should be obvious. The initial divergencies were so pronounced, that any adoption of Christian ideas would seem impossible. Yet in those centuries, Christianity was chiefly agitated by dogmatic questions, which occupied men's minds as greatly as social problems at the present day. Here we can observe most distinctly, how the problems at least were taken over by Islam.

Muhammedan dogmatic theology is concerned only with three main questions, the problem of free-will, the being and attributes of God, and the eternal uncreated nature of God's word. The mere mention of these problems will recall the great dogmatic struggles of early Christianity. At no time have the problems of free-will


and the nature of God, been subjects of fiercer dispute than during the Christo-logical and subsequent discussions. Upholders of freedom or of determinism could alike find much to support their theories in the Qoran : Muhammed was no dogmatist and for him the ideas of man's responsibility and of God's almighty and universal power were not mutually exclusive. The statement of the problem was adopted from Christianity as also was the dialectical subtlety by which a solution was reached, and which, while admitting the almighty power of God, left man responsible for his deeds by regarding him as free to accept or refuse the admonitions of God. Thus the thinkers and their demands for justice and righteous dealing were reconciled to the blind fatalism of the masses, which again was not a native Muhammedan product, but is the outcome of the religious spirit of the East.

The problem of reconciling the attributes

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