Author Topic: Difference in understanding: Christians and Muslims suffering under the plague  (Read 48 times)


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Western Historian Ross E. Dunn in writing about the plague (Black Death, 1348) gives an assesment of how Muslims and Christians understood the overwhelming devastation and destruction.  


"Christians struggled to fit this unprecendented disaster into a framework of spiritual meaning.  Christian doctrine invited the conclusion that the sins of mankind had accumulated to the point where God was obliged to teach his creation a lesson it would never forget.  Amid the horrors of the plague, many believed the lesson was to be the final one, the end of the world.  A mood of impending apocalypse seized Europe, producing obsessive preoccupation with images of death, furious self-flaggellating movements to expiate sins, and massacres of Jews, the traditional target of hostility and fear."


"In Islam, by contrast, no doctrine of origional sin pervaded theology.  All events affecting the community of believers were to be understood as the continuing revealing of God's will.  Despite social trauma in the midst of the plague, Muslims mostly accepted it as a manifestation of God's unknowable plan for His creation.  Mass public supplications to God to lift the scourge probably occurred in most cities and towns, but expiation crusades, messianism, or persecution of minorities were not in evidence."
« Last Edit: June 01, 2004, 07:30:19 AM by Hajj Ibrahim Islam »