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Radical Hospitality (Radical Torah repost)

Jewish/Muslim conversation at Islamicate

My friend Hussein is hosting a conversation about Jews, Muslims, and Orthodoxy at his blog Islamicate. His post comes in response to a post by Abu Noor, who spoke first about the notion of reform or reformation within Islam, and then wrote:

The different possible approaches for a religious tradition in coming to terms with modernity are most easily understood by looking to the Jewish tradition of Orthodox, Reform, and Conservative approaches as well as all the various twists on those three main distinctions that have developed.

Hussein agrees that instead of speaking in terms of a Reformation within Islam, it may make sense to use the analogy of the Jewish denominations, though he has interesting qualms with the notion of orthodoxy within Islam. He writes:

I do not think that we can begin using the term "orthodox Muslim" as a descriptor. Where as the Rabbinic tradition in Judaism functions as a way to determine "correct belief," the literal meaning of "orthodox," we have not had that sort of the authority universally recognized in Muslim traditions...

We have a lot to learn about the experience of others, and about our own history and diversity. Once we've begun that level of exploration, as we are now, I think we can decipher what best to call ourselves in our different communities of interpretation.

In a comment on his post, I've made the argument that Judaism is historically more concerned with praxis than with belief (I think of R' Soloveitchik's Halakhic Man and his point that behavior may in time create faith or create a space in which faith can arise.) I also had a few things to say about Orthodoxy and liberal Judaism and the different relationships between them in Israel and in the Diaspora.

If you have thoughts on this, hop over to Islamicate and join the conversation. Hussein's post is here: Jews, Muslims, and Orthodoxy.

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