When the humanistic goodness (my bias) leaves the religious culture and is replaced with Text Only Fundamentalism, it’s bad news.

That was brilliantly formulated with a robust sociohistorical perspective. Enjoyable to read.

In short: “back to basics” is the problem when taken too far.

When you “return solely to the text” and allow the text to rule rather than guide the culture that embraces it it becomes the straightjacket of law with equivalent force to a police state enforcing secular laws with minimal variance.

Look back to the fall of constantniple. What made it fall? What was different about the guy who led the charge to reform? What was different about what he did once he gained control?

What did he keep?

What did he destroy?

To me, that was the end of Islam, First Time.

A new book-based religion emerged under the same name.

Then it mellowed over the course of history and there was growth again.

But the mellowing process comes to an abrupt halt when someone decides “we’ve strayed too far” and wants to strip away the culture that grew with the texts as an integral part of natural life, with variations and exceptions and a natural humanistic tendency among humans… and wants to “return to the text alone”.

Of course then you have problems again. Pick and choose. Same problem with Protestant Reformation and splintering. Pick and choose.

This is, to me, the cause of the difference. Fundamentalist thinking. Return to the text and the definition within the text with no straying allowed.

Of course it’s impossible to stick to ANY text completely as law, because even LAW requires interpretation. Laws, like proverbs, are contradictory and one must choose what to apply and when.

When the humanistic goodness (my bias) leaves the religious culture and is replaced with Text Only Fundamentalism, it’s bad news.

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