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Tension between local and universal nature of religion.

In that it recognizes one God who rules the entire world, Islam may be called a universal religion. However, although Islam grew out of a particular seventh-century Arabian context, Muslims claims that its central document, the Qur'an, must be read in Arabic in order to be fully appreciated. How can Islam or any similar religion resolve the tension between the universal and the particular? How can it (or any other faith) be a religion for people of all races and nationalities without giving up its distinctive cultural heritage?

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How can Islam or any similar religion resolve the tension between the universal and the particular? How can it (or any other faith) be a religion for people or all races and nationalities without giving up its distinctive cultural heritage?

The primary religious traditions have both an overarching message as well as a specific local context. This is true to some extent of Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Christianity among others. All of them grew out of a particular geographic region, a unique culture and a distinct period in time. Each religion would arguably be significantly different if any of these factors were changed. Most of these religions have been more or less successful in reproducing or transplanting their faith in new geographic regions and cultures. In ...

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This post examines the tension that exists between the local and universal nature of religions. Islam is specifically considered but this tension is true of nearly every religion. A belief system may start small but as it attracts new converts it becomes more heterogeneous and tension ensues.

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