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İsevilik: Hz. İsa İslamı
Kış 2006   [ 93. Sayı ]


Christianity

Editorial

Religion becomes one of the basic elements of human life after the existence of human being in the world. On the one hand, "religion" is a social institution, which has put a certain impact upon other institutions, even for some of them religion has been a source. On the other hand, it is one of the subjects with which the modern men mostly occupy.

God has revealed his messages since Adam via his prophets to the people who has been living in different social structures and conditions forever with "Islam". Islam denotes the achievement of the peace and tranquility through the obedience of the commands of God's religion. The word Islam denotes as a term in the Qur'an as in the verse "the true religion in front of God is Islam" (or Bakara 131, 132) all of the divine knowledge and information sent from God through prophets.

The basic principles of "Islam" who found his last form with Qur'an are the same in all of the religious systems based on revelation. Referring to the name of their prophets and according to the conditions of the time they sent, the religions have different names as Judaism, Christianity; but all of them are originally the religion of "unity". But as happened in Christianity, the change of the social circumstances, the influence of philosophy and the promotion of the social affairs by the clergy led to the corruption of the religion from the original message during the centuries-long process. If the constructed things that are out of the original message of the Christianity would be built away, then it is true that the religion will be in harmony with the last divine religion "Islam".

Instead of the definition of the differences between the Christianity and Islam in terms of their belief system, worshipping forms, prophets, the situation of the clergy, authority etc., and a comparative research on both of these religions, the exposition of the shared points and of the original message of both of the religions in the context of tolerance and dialogue seems to be much more important. If the social affairs in the past would have been left aside, then we can easily say that it exists today a much more convenient intellectual atmosphere than in the past. We are on the side for the constitution of a healthy dialogue environment while living together with Christians in this globalization age, instead of the discussion and approaches that strengthen the "clash of civilizations" thesis.

We think that it is a good deal to accept the idea of dialogue instead of the debates in the process of the EU entrance in the light of the advice of Qur'an "make your struggle with the People of Book fairly, except transgressors" (Ankebut, 46). This new situation could also be interpreted as a new opportunity to make our religion much more known in the EU.

In our time, we should also consider great problems we face with during the application of the Islamic ethics and belief to the social life while studying the impacts of the corruption of the original message of Christianity and its results upon the modern European people theologically and criticizing the result of this development. At this point, Bediüzzaman Said Nursi's advice on a possible alliance with the true Christian pious men and People of Qur'an against the shared enemies which destruct social life such as atheism and materialism becomes more and more significant.

Considering all of the above-mentioned points, we determine our subject for dossier as Christianity in this 93. issue. We plan to analyze this subject in the conceptual framework of "religion, revelation, Christianity, Jesus, Messiah, trinity, church, clergy, reform, people of book, Bible, Qur'an, Israilliyyat, sect, tolerance, dialogue" and seek for answers for the following questions.

What is the main subject of the revelation of Jesus? What kind of divergent points are to be found in Christianity in relation to Islam? How are the Islamic sources dealing with Islam? How does Qur'an see Jesus and Bible? What are the roles of the philosophy and "ego" in the construction of Christianity? What is the true religion of Christianity which also has blessed Europe as remarked by Bediüzzaman? What does the term People of Book mean? How does Qur'an approach to people of book? What are the sociological dimensions of this concept to provide for the inter-religious dialogue and tolerance? What are the common points which may set up the base for the inter-religious tolerance and dialogue? At this point, how should we understand the verse "don't make the Jews and Christians friends for you" (Maide 51)? What kind of a role could many features of a divine religion to be found in Bible such as "belief in God, surrender and gratitude to God, fear from God, love in God, justice, compassion, mercy, opposition against transgression and injustice" play in the reinforcement of the concept of "people of book" and in the possibility of the inter-religious dialogue? How should we understand the conversion of Christianity after a purifying into Islam as mentioned in the works of Bediüzzaman? What is the meaning of the Muslim Christians in the Qur'an? How can we perceive the social and psychological background, the reasons and consequences of the reform movements in religion to be seen especially after the emergence of Protestantism in Christianity? What are the main reasons for the unpopularity of the religious reform movements in Islam? What is the relationship between positivism and the Church? What is the most fitting presentation form of the connection between the Church and modernism?

***

Davut Aydüz talks about the Inter-religious Dialogue" and analyzes the Islam-Christian dialogue from the point of view of Bediüzzaman Said Nursî. According to the Aydüz, the essence of the universe is love and harshness and peevishness does not bring up anything useful. His article regards the support of every type of democratic developments, respect for the human rights and freedoms, the peaceful coexistence of the members of two religions or of two different sections of society instead of conflict, and the rise of the tolerance and dialogue activities as very important.

The article of Şinasi Gündüz questions the ways for the understanding of Jesus' teachings. According to his contribution, Islam emphasizes Jesus as a ring of the prophet chain sent to humanity through the course of history of mankind, as a prophet and messenger. Any attempts to deify him are denied by Islam very strongly. The most basic message of the prophet Jesus was to believe in the ultimate unity of God and to submit himself to the sovereignty of God. The author touches on the significance of his messages because of the resemblance of the social circumstances in the time of Jesus to the contemporary "social world which is in serious crisis". The political power which was dependent on Rome and the Jewish elites has used the law, and religious beliefs according to their own interests. The author explains how the extensions of this perception could be seen also in our day.

Metin Karabaşoğlu asks in his article whether "Jesus was a laic, or not?" and discusses the speech of "Ceasar's right to Ceasar, God's right to God" in the framework of secularization, and materialization. The author draws our attention to the fact that Islam defines Christians as People of Book and contains an address towards them loaded with compassion and fairness. He firstly remarks the approach of the Qur'an against Christians and then reveals that Christianity already holds many truths even though it has been distorted. Then, the author criticizes those who behaved in a 'non-Islamic' way without understanding the real stance of Qur'an against Christianity and prevented the opening of many Christians' hearts to Islam.

Lütfullah Cebeci's text clarifies the view of Islam on Torah and Bible. Cebeci emphasizes that in order to determine the view of Islam in any issue, firstly, the main book and constitution of Islam, i.e., Qur'an, should be referred in order to find out the relevant parts of Qur'an in that subject. Qur'an announces itself as the last ring of the holy books, and its prophet is also the last prophet of the long chain of prophets in different ways. He cites the relevant verses from the Qur'an which are both sublimating these two books, on the one hand; and bringing up clearly that they have been distorted, on the other hand.

A. Hakim Murad tries to put forward as a Muslim his understanding of trinity as a Muslim. According to him, the trinity perception by Muslim is different and distinctive as the Christian theologians. The author deteriorates the reasons of these different perceptions.

Şadi Eren's article displays the relationship between Muslims and People of Book in its historical process and also proposes how it should be. According to the author, 21st century would be a century in which Christianity will be surrendered to Islam. Because, the Islamic army which came in front of Wien with their arms reached today through the swords of proofs and persuasion almost to all of the places of Europe and of the world in which Christians are living.

Mustafa Alıcı attracts our attention in his article into the gradually increasing need of the inter-religious dialogue and approach. According to the author, this situation is a very vital issue concerning the pious people in our modern age. He proposes to offer a general definition of dialogue, and the comprehensive look of Islam towards the members of other religions. In this respect, the author talks about a practical aspect to the Muslim-Christian dialogue in the light of the 64th verse of the sura Al-i Imran.

Ramazan Altıntaş examines in his article Protestantism, which he defines as "libertarian theology" in the conceptual framework of Protestantisation, Protestantism, and secularism. As a result of the impact of this religious movement, the material and spiritual power have been separated from each other. The Protestantism emerged firstly in the Anglo-Saxon countries, where "job ethics" has been transformed into the development ideology. Altıntaş states that the Protestant ethics has also played the leading role in the legitimacy of capitalism. Protestant Christianity used religion as a tool to enforce saving and increase accumulation, and the author lastly mentions that Islam orders working, too; but stands against the monopolization of the capital on some definite hands.

İntizam Seyda Durgun stresses that the world and the perceptions are changing and the humanity is seeking for the better and more beautiful continuously; and the most important goodness is Islam containing all of the good things within it. The author draws our attention to our need to a new understanding and world where all of the good things will meet. Exactly at this point, it may be many points where Islam and Christianity may come together. In this context, Durgun's article scrutinizes the change in the world, Jesus, People of book and turmoil; in addition to these concepts the article also takes the approach of Bediüzzaman Said Nursi on the Islam-Christian alliance.

İsmail Taşpınar examines the ascetic community of "Essenes" which emerged during the era of Jesus. The author firstly analyzes the structure and way of life of this community with their basic beliefs. Then, he talks about the holy books and the styles of worship of this community; thus he clarifies their relationships to Jesus and Christians.

Mehmet Ali Kaya discusses the Resurrection of Jesus. As all of the prophets, Jesus explained people also the "unity" and made them from the polytheism away. The author claims that because of various reasons, Jesus could not have understood sufficiently. Then, the prophet of God who was also told by Jesus has brought the claim of "unity" to three continents, so that one fifth of the total humanity could enter Islam and find the right way, and the most of the unitarian Christians reached the right way via the guidance of the prophet of God. On the resurrection of Jesus, Kaya mentions that even after the materialist philosophy and the irreligion stemming from this philosophy would lose their effects in the world, then, would Jesus come back to this world.

Mustafa Özcan studies the idea of salvation in different religions through the framework of turmoil and discusses evangelist people of turmoil.

Ali Murat Yel's article looks for answers of the kind of relations between the assassination attempts of Mehmet Ali Ağca to Papa II. John Paul and Fatima and explains the secrets of Fatima. The religious revival is not a phenomenon pertaining to the Muslim countries, but it is also to be seen in the West. The author criticizes the discriminative positioning of the West against the Islamic revival. Yel also calls our attention to the fact that the assassination attempt to Papa II. John Paul together with worship prayer has revived the religious awakening in the West.

Halil İbrahim Bulut analyzes Isawiyya group which is a Jewish sect. Bulut argues that after the Muslim domination in a vast geography, some thoughts and ideas among the Jews in this geography began to emerge. At this point, the author accentuates the significance of the Isawiyya sect under the leadership of Ebû Îsâ el-İsfahânî as to their claim of "the prophecy of Hz. Muhammad is only peculiar for the Arabs". The author introduces the sect by referring to its religious and political ideas. Secondly, he cites the rational, narrative and historical evidences on the universality of the prophecy of Hz. Muhammad.

Lejla Demiri brings up the Christianity according to Muslim theologians. The author draws attention to the refutations as witnesses to the religious debates and encounters betweeen the theologians of both religions. The debate focused on two basic doctrines of the Christian teachings, i.e., Trinity and Incarnation. This text also contains the views of Kadı Abdülcebbar who tried to discuss and refute the belief of the deity of Jesus theologically.

Ziya Kazıcı contributes to our dossier from a different aspect. He criticizes missionary movements. He touches on the missionary activities and their audiences, emphasizing that the missionary organizations recognize every places and areas as untouched and efficient soil to which relevant seeds should be fertilized to get yield on return. As a result of this approach, the missionaries have been continuing their activities through different methodologies. The author calls also attention to the missionary activities in our country, and adds that some sections of the society ease their activities by humiliating Islamic values, and opposing against the Islamic educational institutions.

Abdulhalim Yener presents us to the biography of Jesus.

Sadık Yalsızuçanlar reviews us Ahmet Yüksel Özemre's "Hazret-i İsa'nın 114 Hadisi"[114 traditions of Jesus].

***

We are sure that you can find relevant answers to the questions above and let you enjoy this issue. We hope to meet you again with the 94th issue with the dossier subject "anarchy".

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