Shared Roots Spur Many Fights Among Abrahamic Religions

September 30, 2006

Source: The Dallas Morning News

On September 30, 2006 The Dallas Morning News reported, "In his controversial speech this month at a German university, Pope Benedict made a broad claim: Catholic understanding of faith is necessary to properly understand the world. He whacked at Protestants who dismiss centuries of Catholic analysis, and at materialists who deny the importance of religion in reasoned understanding. And he took his well-documented powerful swing at Islam. Muslim commentators have asked in sorrow or anger how the pope could show disrespect to another 'Abrahamic faith,' particularly just before the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan... 'Abrahamic' is a big-tent word that implies the three faiths are part of one family... But no fights are nastier than family fights - particularly when the battle is over the inheritance. And that's what was at stake in the most recent squabble... Can 'Abrahamic' really be a unifying concept? Religion historian Martin Marty quoted anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski to explain both the pope's speech and the reaction: 'Aggression, like charity, begins at home.'"