Radicalism is the decline of rational faith and the beginning of emotional reactive faith claims to exclusivity.
These claims cannot be reconciled or resolved by furthering radical's claims to absolute Truth.
Absolute truth claims in the Christian tradition is based on Scripture and/or Tradition. These believe that the Church or God's "Word" is God's revelation. And these think that others must be reached to further what they deem as absolute.
Islam is no less committed to absolute claims to faith. These believers, just as radical Chrsitian believers, are willing to die for their faith. It was reported that (Hassan's talk on the Koranic worldview affirmed death more than Americans value life.) Both leave behind this world for "that world", believing that this world is somehow less than "that world".
My husband recieved an e-mail from the Netherlands that suggested that the curse of the Christian Church was a lack of commitment and a lack of conviction. This would be true to radical idealists, who do not temper their understanding to be inclusive of difference. Everyone must "dot their "i"s and cross their "t"s" in the same way. There seems to be little or no understanding of man's limitation in understanding that world since that world is understood to be revealed and they "have recieved the revelation". How the revelation comes and what it depends on is what is debated.
Some Christians such as fundmentalists believe that Jesus, as God's revelation is an absolute. And that Scripture is God's testimoney to His Son. And His Son is the only entrance into heaven, as one must be 'born again". The text is considered closed by these believers because God has revealed everything that was needed in " His Son".
Fundamentalistic Islamic believers believe that Allah is the One and Only True God and that his messenger was Muhammed. Those who do not adhere or convert to Islam are infidels. And infidels are not considered equal to Muslim believers. The Koran is understood to be the text of their faith.
Both these traditions base thier claims on absolutistic understandings of God, as revealed in a text, visions, and eye-witness accounts. Both "win" when they are willing to "die for the cause of Christ or Allah".
The Essenes were the Jewish sect that believed in a sectarian view of life. But, i am not sure whether they understood themselves in exclusivistic ways.
In today's climate of violatility, we do not need radical faith, that cannot be verified. Dialogue is not possible with these that believe that they have THE handle on Truth. The Transcendental in this view, is to be loved over the Material.
I am afraid for our future in this world, if radical claims of faith continue to be perpetuated, at the costs of many lives, and without recourse for the value of diversity.
I am not sure of how radicalism can be tempered, as the radical always thinks that when other do not believe as he does, that it just proves the validity of his faith and his "specialness" in 'knowing the Truth". Persecution is a validation, instead of a correction. These are not open to input. But, they definatley think others should be open, or else these radicals will do the persecuting.
Paul Novel 4.2: Down to Jerusalem
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