This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

NOTICE:
This Dark Age is now available in paperback on Amazon. The print version is MUCH cleaner than this online version, which is largely unedited and has fallen by the wayside as the project has grown. If you’ve appreciated my writing, please consider leaving a review on the relevant paperback volumes. The print edition also includes new sections (Military History, War Psychology, Dogmatic Theology).

Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3| Volume 4 | Volume 5 | Volume 6

Divergences good and bad

It is said in Islam that ‘the divergence of the exegetists is a blessing.’ We could apply this to Christianity only with certain reservations. Prior to what we might call the ‘Roman solidification’ of the Church, there were various communities and ‘paths’ for Christians as scattered throughout the world. As the Church concentrated its powers in Europe, it became less capable of adaptation and less flexible with respect to the ‘spiritual perspectives’ it was capable of embracing. The Great Schism between the Latin and the Greek Churches was the first rupture that occurred. The Reformation was the last. Returning to the Islamic saying, we can say that the original universality of the Church, which proved itself capable of adaptation to almost any mentality with which it came into contact, was a ‘divergence’ and a ‘blessing.’ We cannot, however, say the same with regard to the current ‘scattering’ of Christians, which is not a ‘divergent unity’ but is instead a rupturing and a kind of decomposition of what was once a living body.

Divergence of exegesis is healthy and natural within a tradition, and the highest expression of this can be found in the Hindu darshanas. But when the tradition in question becomes weakened and sick, unable to sustain its various parts, it tends to concentrate all its powers on an epicenter and to withdraw from the extremities, as the blood withdraws from the limbs prior to death. The body then breaks apart and its pieces, their connection with the tradition having been severed–with or without their consent–plunge into ignorance and lose their legitimacy. Hence Protestantism which, even if we grant that it was caused by disease within the Church and in a sense was ‘inevitable,’ was doctrinally stillborn, and although ‘virtually’ in possession of the Holy Spirit, its knowledge would always remain fragmentary and it would struggle to rise above humanism and sentimentality as animating forces.

This distinction between the spiritual and social orders is also present in Islam and is demonstrated in a hadith wherein we are told of the following scene: a thief is brought before the Prophet so that his hand might be cut off according to the law. When the Prophet appeared visibly disturbed, they asked him ‘Hast thou some objection?’ He responded: ‘How should I have nothing to object to! Must I be the ally of Satan in enmity against my brothers? If you wish God to forgive your sin and conceal it, you also must conceal the sin of others. For once the transgressor has been brought before the monarch, the punishment must be executed.”

It is also said in Islam that all sins are forgivable except ‘association,’ which is the confusion of the created with the Creator, or in Christian terminology, idolatry.

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