Thursday, June 21, 2007


Christianity and Islam, a clash of civilizations?

One for the current 'religion is the root of all evil' approach to religion bashing, from Diarmaid MacCulloch, fellow of St. Cross College and Professor of the history of the church, Oxford University, from his article 'Clash of Civilizations?' in BBC History Magazine vol 8, no 5, May 2007:

'There is indeed a clash of civilizations in the world in the 21st century, but it does not align with a simple conflict between Islam and Christianity. It is a stand-off between social conservatism and the acceptance of radical social change... The world has always been a scary place, and it is particularly scary now. But we do ourselves no favours if our fears lead us to misread how our present troubles have arisen. If we invent clashes of culture on the basis of past traumatic moments like the Siege of Jerusalem, or by frantically over-simplifying cultures of which we know little, then we will look for the wrong solutions to real problems.' (p. 40, my italics.)

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