Benedict then asked if Islam conceives of God in the same way. Does Islam have an equivalent to the divine Logos? Does the Islamic conception of God as utterly transcendent, beyond all human categories, mean that God is beyond reason itself?
The suggestion is not that Allah is insane or irrational, but, rather, that he is not bound by a reason accessible to human beings.
Benedict argued that faith without reason gives rise to fundamentalism. He employed a late-14th century quotation from Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologus — the one that ostensibly set off the riots on the inflammable Muslim street: "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."
In 2014, it is more obvious why the question needs to be asked — ordinary people watching the news are asking it. Benedict warns that one of the consequences of a faith-only fundamentalism is violence. Violent force — which by its nature does not seek to persuade — can grow out of a zeal to convert without recourse to reason. This is partly behind the rise in Islamic violence.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Labels: Pope Benedict XVI