Apart from the easy ‘unitary’ rhetoric, the differences appear to be powerful and implacable: Holy Scriptures, founders, institutions. And the diversity is not just connected with historical facts, but concerns ‘the origin’ of a way of considering life and the world, which the author sums up in a series of formulas. ‘According to the Islamic conception, the person as servant and representative of God, called upon to obey and answer God’s will as it was revealed definitively and conclusively in the Koran; in the Christian faith the idea of the human being according to the image of Christ through the force of the Holy Spirit. In Islam human duties, explicitly revealed and enforced by God, determined and sealed so as to say by the divinely sanctioned sharî‘a; in the Christian doctrine human rights founded on human nature as such’. In the second part are set out the differences in faith, from the very conception of dialogue, to Abraham, to the nature of the “prophet” Jesus and the “prophet” Mohammed. The third part is entitled Valutazioni della teologia with references to the conception of the Word of God and to theological elaboration and Christian teachings in relation to Islam.
Can people coexist in this way? – one asks oneself. If this distance has repercussions on so many deep aspects of existence, what kind of contact will ever be possible, what kind of understanding? The road is not easy. There are however positive signs, reciprocal appeals which encourage people to go on. The Christians for example must recognise that ‘the most impressive thing of worldly Islamic faith is undoubtedly the conscience of the majesty and the presence of God. This conscience is expressed and renewed continuously in the faithful fulfilment of the ritual prayer of countless men and women’. Besides ‘it will be of vital importance that all Muslims understand that the democratic secular legal system is the universally required condition for the possibility of a plural coexistence in solidarity and justice’. Therefore, suggests Father Troll, if we observe one another we can learn. And many others say the same thing. But generally their proposal is to look vacantly, without expression or affectivity. Instead, what the author, who has built up a specific and keen competence in this during his life, is asking for man to look with awareness, self-awareness, at himself and at others, and everything that makes us very very different. This is the only possibility to be able to recognise others as equals in the unique human condition.
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