Two Cities and the Spirit of the Desert. Dispute on Temporality Cover Image

Dwa miasta i duch pustyni. Spór o doczesność
Two Cities and the Spirit of the Desert. Dispute on Temporality

Author(s): Ewa Łukaszyk
Subject(s): Theology and Religion, Islam studies, Comparative Studies of Religion
Published by: Polskie Towarzystwo Orientalistyczne
Keywords: Islam versus Christianity; Absolute; temporality; secularisation

Summary/Abstract: The author comments on the debate concerning the ideal model of life in the perspective of history and philosophy of religion. Taking as the starting point George Steiner's criticism of the “tyranny of the Absolute” introduced by the monotheistic idea, she sketches an outlook of the sources and character of the tension between religious requirements and the desire for secular life in Christianity and Islam. Already at its beginnings, Islam treated this tension in quite a different way than historical Christianity, stressing the necessity to achieve the ideal state in this world; quite to the contrary, such ideas were contested by early Christians, who claimed that the Kingdom of the Christ is not from this world. As suggested by Bernard Lewis, Muhammad took on the role of Constantine, establishing a different tradition of universal law in which the distinction between public and private affairs is blurred. The modern and postmodern debate on the frontiers of the sacred and the profane is thus treated as a consequence of the historical beginnings of Christianity and Islam, as well as the primary principles with which both religions confronted the Mediterranean world of late Antiquity. The conclusion accentuates both the agonistic and dialogic character of the disagreement concerning the sacred and the profane of Christianity and Islam, treated as essential answers to the same, still pertinent question asked at the end of pagan Antiquity.

  • Issue Year: 273/2020
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 39-54
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: English, Polish