This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

Sacred language

In the same way that Latin is the liturgical language of the Catholic Church, so also is Koranic Arabic the liturgical language of Islam. However, the obvious difference being that for the Koran, it remains in the original form given, preserved from the moment it was ‘recited’ by Muhammad, hence the meaning of the word koran, ‘recitation’. Latin, on the other hand, is given its status by the authority of the Church and its traditional development, and was not, of course, the original language spoken by Christ or used to record the New Testament. This does not denigrate Latin, since it is the authentic function of the magisterium to decide when and if a language is an acceptable vehicle for its Holy Scripture, but the difference would, to a Muslim, be important. The Koran, they would say, is truly found in its original, ‘revealed’ form.

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