Carol Platt Liebau: Just Musing...

Monday, July 30, 2007

Just Musing...

This is guest blogger Ruth Anne Adams of The Maternal Optimist. [Thanks, Carol, for allowing me to pinch-hit for you at your place.]

I readily admit to a lack of knowledge on the inner workings of Islam, so please, just know that I'm musing from my decidedly Catholic Christian perspective.

The Muslim faith has been around for about 1500 years now. At about this point in the Christian faith, internal tensions manifested themselves in a reformation and a counter-reformation. Is there a Muslim equivalent of Martin Luther? Is there a reformer who will nail 95 theses to the Muslim equivalent of Wittenburg Cathedral? there?



Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

The historical analogy you are drawing doesn't carry over well. Christianity had a steady stream of disagreements, squabbles, and outright heresies. Some of these were swept under the rug, some died out naturally, and some were violently suppressed.

Islam has no central authority to dictate the "correct" interpretation comparable to the Papacy, hence there was never any basis for stamping out heresies. Basically, Islam just fractured into lots of different variations. Sometimes the different sects get along. Sometimes they kill each other.

Luther's success in fracturing Christianity arose from several factors, the most important of which was the obvious corruption in the Church. The Church had become so attached to material wealth that it lost its spiritual hold on the masses. No such corruption appears in the structure of Islam today.

9:21 AM  
Blogger Earth to Carol said...

The neocons have been musing about this for a long time. If we reform them to be more like us, there could be peace and oil. But Iraqis didn't attack us, we invaded their country and destroyed it. So who is really in need of reform?

9:39 AM  
Blogger Patrick O'Hannigan said...

Google search reveals that some people think Tariq Ramadan could become a Muslim Martin Luther. As a Catholic, though, I'm more inclined to the view Jonah Goldberg (of all people) expressed a few years ago-- that Muslims would benefit from having a pope. I thnk that column-- a classic-- is part of the National Review Online archive.

10:49 AM  
Blogger Ruth Anne Adams said...

Thanks, Patrick. I found a Goldberg article about that subject, but it's not even a year old. Is it the one you recalled?

12:10 PM  
Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

I suspect that most Muslims would react to the idea of having a pope in much the same way that most American conservatives would react to the idea of giving the UN greater powers.

12:27 PM  
Blogger The Flomblog said...


Fascinating - that seems to correspond to that amount of time Judaism (give or take) before Moses Miamonides came along and structured Judaism.

4:32 PM  
Blogger wile e coyote said...

"[C]ame along and structured Judaism"?

Care to explain that, please?

9:21 PM  
Blogger The Flomblog said...


Miamonides read the Torah (The 5 books of Moses) and wrote some major books, theses, etc.

MIshna Torah - was a systematic code of all Jewish Law

A Guide to the Perplexed - was a guide to the philosophic aspects of Judaism.

Book of Commandments - is a compilation of the 613 Laws in the Torah.

While he wrote in the 12th Century. He is to this day his writings are a focal point of Jewish study.

Translations are easily available, Google will yield some fascinating information.

6:27 AM  

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