History: is it the timeline of conflict?
Saying that there is not “human history” -in a sense- is not strange!
Many people would like to think of history as a succession of conflicts, not as the story of civilizations…!
As when one views history, he cannot stand sounds of daggers, clashes of swords, shots of guns, explosions of tanks, & cries of people… missiles blast, commanders roar, bombs boom, and the only witness is the moon… magnificent architecture is ruined, massacres are committed, martyrs are dead, & innocent blood is shed.
Among the infinite reasons of conflict, two come up from the ruins of the devastated scene. Just two things, yet not like any other two. Two things, as the famous Arabian philosopher “Al-Gahiz” once said, “everyone messes around with: religion and politics” “أمران يخبط فيهما كل خابط: الدين والسياسة_الجاحظ”.
Religion: is it bad?
Along the long, long, long path of history, religion was misused and exploited; because of interests: the “moral fiber” of politics!
Interests have always found the way to get in, on the grounds of misinterpretations of the texts… the fact that leads to a logical question: are religions bad?
However, our aim goes far beyond this!
The Holy Scripture is the part of religion that can be written by hand, memorized by heart, and thought of by mind, simply it’s considered the reference of the religion and the mirror that reflects its system of beliefs including its map of concepts, its frameworks of divine knowledge, its schemes of behaviour, and its religious jurisprudence by which the believers shall abide.
Thus, the attitudes of the followers towards the texts of the Holy Scripture of their own religion, as well as, this of the others are crucial in understanding the schools of thought that emerged under the name of a certain monotheistic religion.
For if we believe that these Holy Scriptures can be thought of as the word/ revelation emanating from the same god with modes of expression that differ at the course of time, this will lead to unity of the believers of the three monotheistic religions. On the contrary, we find them divided in reality.
When human reason intervened, in an attempt to interpret the Holy Scriptures, it became impossible to unite the believers of even one religion on a certain meaning for the debated parts of the texts, needless to say, indifferences grew larger and larger amongst the followers of different religions.
The Holy Scriptures and reason: the question of authenticity!
The Holy Scriptures’ incompatibility with modern science often lead to questioning their authenticity, furthermore -in certain extreme cases- to questioning the belief in God himself.
In this crucial issue, there has been a difference between the Bible and the Qur’an. As for the earlier, the authors of the gospels had them written down decades after the death of Jesus, in fact they were writing down incidents they didn’t witness. On the other hand, in the case of the Qur’an, the whole book was memorized by heart by the prophet’s companions who began writing it down in his era, until the last recessions were effected under the third Caliphate Othman (from 12 to 24 after the prophet’s death). Thus, the extent to which human intervention was significant in making the Bible, the way we know nowadays, is a lot greater than this that was exercised by the human agent in the case of the Qur’an.
Religion and Reason: the paradox!
In the shadow of such information, it’s not surprising to know that there weren’t any contradictions between what was said in the Qur’an and modern science. In fact there were some verses in the Qur’an that couldn’t be understood until modern science came and shed some light on their issues. On the contrary, we find that the Bible has several parts that are incompatible with some findings of modern science (e.g. the date of man’s appearance on earth). This resulted in the dichotomy of (religion - science).
In fact, we are seeking answers to several questions: are religions equal in terms of: validity, stance from reason, relation with science? Hence, have they experienced the same historical progress?
This leads us to the question: do we really understand religions as we have always been claiming? Is it real that religions are different? How does this difference affect the commitments and obligations every religion holds?
Our empirical question is: how did the differences between the monotheistic religions afftect political thought and political behavior through the course of history?
Our case-study is “secularism”, as a product of the human interaction within the context of the medieval-Europe, in which religion was manipulated by the interest-oriented and power-motivated alliance of the Church and the State.
So, is it possible to reach a common “scientific” understanding concerning these issues; in order to snatch “religion” from the jaws of “political” interests?
We -3amrTomoo7 and AbdoIbnKhaldon- are trying to further develop our ideas and thoughts concerning such issues in our upcoming presentation next Wednesday at FEPS… join us!
The presentation is delivered in both, Arabic and English, successively, at the Faculty of Economics and Political Science, in these times:
10:40-11:50: the Arabic presentation_Al3rian room.
12:10-01:20: the English presentation_room 19.
أهي قصة الحضارة؟ أم تراها حكاية الصراع؟!
ما الإنسان؟ ما الدين؟ ما التاريخ؟ ما الفكر؟
لماذا نجد أن الدين والسياسة -كما قال الجاحظ- "يخبط فيهما كل خابط"؟
لم ارتبط الديني بالقوة والمصالح، وارتبك باستغلاله لصالح السياسي؟
أهي مشكلة صحة النصوص الدينية وأصالتها؟
لماذا يتصور البعض عدم توافق النص مع العلم؟ وهل الأديان تقف من العلم والعقل والفكر موقفا واحدا؟
ومن ثم هل خبرتها التاريخية متطابقة، فضلا عن كونها متشابهة؟
هل نفهم الأديان حقا كما نزعم؟
لم يحلو للبعض تأزيم الأزمة لا حلها: أزمة العقل والدين: التعارض المشئوم-التنازع المزعوم؟
سؤالنا الرئيسي هو: كيف أثرت الاختلافات بين الأديان علي الفكر السياسي والممارسة السياسية علي مر التاريخ؟
عبر تتبعنا لرحلة العلمانية في أوروبا حين كان الدين ضحية الزحف المبرر عليه للقضاء علي ذاك التحالف الملعون: الكنيسة-الدولة... نحاول إجابة سؤال محوري: هل حقيقة أن ذاك الزحف كان مبررا يعني أنه صحيح؟ وهل صحته في ذلك الوقت تعني صلاحيته للإنسان بشكل مطلق يسمو فوق اختلافات الزمان والمكان؟
تساؤلات لا تزيدنا محاولة الإجابة عليها إلا حيرة ودهشة... وأسئلة إجاباتها هي محض أسئلة جديدة!
كونوا معنا -عمرو طموح وعبدو بن خلدون- يوم الأربعاء القادم في الكلية الفيبساوية... إذ نحاول تطوير إجابات تساعدنا علي فهم أعمق لهذه الموضوعات، نتساءل ونناقش ونتحاور؛ علنا نجد شعاعا من نور ينير طريقا أو ينقذ غريقا... شاركونا!
يقدم هذا العرض باللغة العربية والإنجليزية علي التوالي، في كلية الاقتصاد والعلوم السياسية، في الأوقات التالية:
10:40-11:50: مدرج العريان.
12:10-01:20: قاعة 19.