What is monotheism in non-divine religions

I consider it a special honor to be able to speak to professors and students about monotheism in today's world at Al-Azhar University, the recognized spiritual center of Islam.

I will still never forget December 14, 1964, on which, during my official visit to Egypt, I was fortunate enough to set foot in the building of your high school and pay a visit to your authorities. I will never forget the kindness with which I was received by Cheikh Hassan Maamoun and the great Cheikh Ahmed Hassan El-Bakoury, as well as the kindness with which I was shown through this house.

I am aware that I am on traditional ground; for the high school of the Al-Azhar mosque has existed for around a thousand years and has become known throughout the world as the center of theological studies, as the center of Arabic literature and Islamic art.

The Arabic language in its classic form as the language of worship and theological science has received special care here and is well known to all representatives of religious studies in Islam. I particularly appreciate being able to speak here, where students from Turkey, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the African countries come together to be prepared for their tasks from the mouths of respected teachers, in the shadow of large monuments, and the message carry their spiritual leaders to their Muslim homeland.

I have therefore chosen a topic for such an illustrious audience that is of far-reaching importance for both Islam and Christianity and points to a common concern.

Origin of religion

It goes without saying that in dealing with a question as important for the contemporary world as monotheism, a historical consideration of the overall phenomenon of religion and monotheism in particular must be given in advance. The history of religion is not identical with the history of monotheism, because this does not appear - or at least not historically comprehensible - in different periods of the past.

A look at the history of religion shows us immediately that the human being, as revealed to us in the earliest discoveries, already appears as a religious being. For the religious person this is not surprising, since he knows the deep meaning of religion and assesses its importance for human life.

The finds that show us that even the earliest forms of human beings already had religion come from graves. The fact of the grave goods allows us to look deeper than it first appears. It follows from this that "death was not viewed as the end of life. The graves, equipped with weapons, tools, jewelry and food, testify to a firmly rooted belief in survival after death." (S. G. F. Brandon, Man and his Destiny in the Great Religions, Manchester 1962, p. 12).

Already in this belief in survival after death it becomes evident that the finitude of man led to the question of the meaning of the whole of life and that religion wants to give an answer to it.

It is the common conviction of Muslims and Christians that the first man had a particularly close connection with God. In the Koran (2,35) we read: "... and Adam received words from the Lord." But a little later it is added: "Down with all of you (with Adam and his whole family) and if a line comes to you from me, who then follows my line, has nothing to fear ...". So man has not kept close contact with God. So he was left to his own devices without revelation to find his way to the knowledge of God.

Proceeding from this fact, one can also ask the question of the origin of religion and its history. Many opinions have been given on this. As the best answer, however, there are some basic facts that emerge more and more clearly at the beginning of the story. The knowledge that a divine spirit is the creator of the world and of man and that the moral order is under his care, in no way exceeds the intellectual possibilities of a natural people. (Cf. Otto Karrer, The Religious in Mankind and Christianity, Freiburg 1934, p. 120). The research, especially by W. Schmidt, who collected and critically processed the religious property of the ancient tribes still alive today, show that these tribes almost without exception have a belief in high God, each of which is of independent origin and, like archaeological finds in the fore and Middle Orient prove that goes back to the earliest history of mankind (cf. Martin Gusinde, Monotheismus, in: Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, Freiburg 1962, Vol. VII, p. 565). We do not yet want to deal with the question of the origin of this belief in a God, but rather pursue the idea of ​​the importance of religion in the history of mankind.

Early human culture was shaped by religious ideas, especially belief in the hereafter. It is not surprising that people were impressed by the various natural phenomena, such as wind and rain, lightning and thunder, growth and decay, and that these deified forces, which could easily endanger them, wanted to make themselves subservient. The impressive rock carvings that can be found from Europe to Australia are eloquent testimony to attempts to secure hunting luck through magical practices (cf. HG Bandi, H. Breuil, L. Berger-Kirchner, H. Lhote, E. Hom and A. Lommel, Die Steinzeit, Baden-Baden 1960). It is surprising how even in those times - and this is another fact that the rock art suggests - religion and art were closely linked. The creative power of man has experienced its strongest impulses from the relationship with the divine.

The sacrifice in the hunter-gatherer cultures, among the nomads and farmers shows the knowledge of these people about their dependence on the Creator. Life and everything connected with it was surrounded in a special way with religious customs. However, some forms, especially the fertility cults, challenged the prophets to contradict them.

If life in primitive society was regulated by family and clan, when new and larger communities were formed, another very determining factor came into play: the rulers who had to lead such more or less large state structures. This institution, which was so important and directional for human life, was also closely connected with religion. Already in the Sumerian list of kings it is said that "kingship came down from heaven" (J. B. Pritchard, Ancient Near Eastern Text relating to the Old Testament, Princeton, 21955, p. 265). This is not to say that all these ideas and social relations have actually always corresponded to the genuine norms of the moral law. The close connection with religion only shows that the order of human coexistence could ultimately only find its anchoring in the divine order, as is also expressed in the Holy Scriptures of Christians (Rom 13: 1): "There is no violence, except from God. "

In the world of the early advanced civilizations, which lay in the "fertile crescent" that stretched from Mesopotamia to Egypt, religion had become a developed system of belief in many gods. Mankind was deeply absorbed in what you call "Sirk" in your language and which the apostle Paul rejects no less sharply when he says: "They exchanged the glory of the imperishable God for the image of ephemeral people, birds, quadrupeds and crawling animals. " (Rom 1:23).

Although people were dependent on revelation, their religion still contained the answer to the ultimate questions of life demanded by human nature, even in the state of an inextricable amalgamation of animism, magic and astral mythology. Hence religion could permeate human existence even with such inadequacy. At the gates of the city of Cairo, the pyramids give a great testimony to the belief in an afterlife, i.e. H. of a religious lifestyle. This conviction extends unbroken from the inconspicuous graves of prehistoric times to the grandiose mortuary temples of the pharaohs.

Religion has always had drives for that This side given. From the abundance of what one could cite here, only the touching teachings of Amen-em-ope should be pointed out: "Do not let your heart go out for riches, do not hang your heart on outward appearances (VII, 10,12). - Pray to Aton, when it rises, and say: 'Give me my need for this life', and you will be saved from fear (X, 12) "(cf. Rudolf Anthes, rules of life and wisdom of the ancient Egyptians, Leipzig 1933).

It is therefore certainly not an exaggeration when a Christian scholar says in a recently published work: "Religion is the essential, objective, but also proven temporal-historical origin of law, morality, ethos (and) culture" (H. Fries, Religion , in: Handbuch Theologischer Grundbegriffe, Munich 1963, Vol. II, p. 430f). The illustration on the stele of the Hammurabi Codex, which shows the king accepting the role of the law from the hand of the city god, is the artistic expression of the conviction deeply anchored in human consciousness and in the history of mankind that the Religion - the bond with God - represents the ultimate safeguard of law and justice.

On the history of monotheism

All of the previously mentioned forms of religion were so-called popular religions. What they have in common is the conviction that the relationship to the godhead is tied to the community of a certain people (cf. H. Schlette, Religionen, in: Grundbegriffe, Vol. II, p. 441). But they also have polytheism in common. Although we as members of a "religion of the book" have to judge this negatively, the positive values ​​of those religions cannot be overlooked. "In all myths it becomes evident that man also encounters mystery in the created world. He attains admiration and awe and sees that in matter, in the world of plants and animals, and especially in man, there is something that man is In polytheism this reverence is great - we can easily admit it - man sees something divine in the spring, tree and star; he worships the striking lightning, the blessing and scorching sun, the healing and devastating wind, but remains He does not know the great all-unifying principle: he has many divine things, which he calls gods, but no god; there he is just on the way "(manuscript by Prof. Köberl, Biblical Institute, Rome).

With that we have already reached the threshold of what we call monotheism. Even the history of religion shows from its roots that there was a conviction of the existence of a single God. How can the two facts be reconciled: the belief in many gods in large sections of the history of religion on the one hand, the existence of a primordial monotheism resulting from many references on the other. One will have to expose the ultimate roots of human thought about one's existence in order to answer this question.

First of all, reference should be made to archaeological research: "The fact that man carefully buried his dead is a fact of the highest importance. It shows that Homo sapiens differed from the higher mammals by caring for their dead relatives even at its first archaeologically ascertainable appearance of its genus. " (Brandon, op. Cit., P. 8). This fact allows a conclusion that cannot be overlooked: "So we necessarily come to the opinion that at some point in the distant past man recognized the meaning of birth and death and in this way a certain idea of ​​himself and his fate was formed in the world of experience. " (Brandon, op. Cit., P. 7). Through the borderline situation, the human being is directed to the ground of his existence and meaning. But this leads him to the knowledge and to the recognition of a reason which cannot be found in this world and which he therefore perceives as holy and mysterious. (See Fries, op. Cit., P. 430).

This question about the reason of things, which arises for every human being, probably also for the primitive, finds a satisfactory answer only in the assumption of the existence of the one Of God and Creator, who himself no longer has a reason. Islamic theology calls this quality of God "Qidam", and an Islamic theologian has also found a very clear formulation of the train of thought that leads people to God. Al Ash'ari says, "An example that makes this clear is the fact that cotton cannot turn into cloth without a weaver." (Al Ash'ari, Kitab al Lume (Highlights of The Polemic against Deviators and Innovators, trans. Richard McCarthy SJ), Beyrouth 1953, p. 7).

The Koran describes the situation that may have led early people to believe in the one God with the words you are familiar with: "Truly, in the creation of heaven and earth, alternating between night and day, in the ships, who rush through the sea, laden with valuable goods, in the water that God sends down from heaven and through which he gives life to the dead earth, in the animals that he has brought forth in great numbers on it, in the alternation of winds and clouds that be held in labor between heaven and earth, verily, in all of this there are miraculous signs for thinking people! " (2,164f). Our Holy Scriptures express the same fact very briefly with the words: God's "eternal power and divinity can be recognized from his works since the creation of the world through the light of reason." (Rom. 1:20).

The origin of the belief in one God must therefore be described in such a way that the possibility that is in principle present, the one Recognizing God, therefore led to polytheism in many people because they lacked the spiritual strength and ability to advance to actual monotheism (cf. , 1960, and in S. Tokarew, Monotheimus, in: Filosofskaja Enziklopedia, Vol. 3, p. 492, Moscow 1964 ("The results of modern science refute the false theory of primitive monotheism, which asserts the original worship of the one God") ). Monotheism and polytheism have therefore always existed (This opinion seems to gain acceptance. Cf. W. Holsten, Monotheismus und Polytheismus, in: Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, Vol. IV, Sp. 1110, Tübingen 1960 ("Wie der Gang der History of religion from monotheism to polytheism is asserted by the dogma of primordial monotheism, so the reverse course of evolution dogma "). Even G. Mensching, Religion, in op. Cit., Vol. V, Sp. 968, Tübingen 1961:" ... No straight line development ... "), and monotheism, as the history of religion shows, always had to laboriously forge its way.

In addition to the high god, which is not only present in the polytheistic folk religions but also in the religions of the primitive peoples (cf. Paul Radin, The religious experience of the primitive peoples, Zurich 1951, p. 107f), there is always real monotheism. So proclaimed in the 14th century BC The pharaoh Amenhotep IV. The solar monotheism. His work found no strong echo and went under. But only a little later, at God's call, Moses preached faith in the one God, which is also reported in the Koran (20: 8-14). Continuing the teachings of Moses, Christianity professes belief in one God. Belief in the one God, which the New Testament pronounces: "Now God is one and only" (Gal 3:20), is also essentially characteristic of Islam.

All the forms of monotheism mentioned are always in defense against polytheism and, in their historical origins, are in each case its revolutionary negation. They are not the product of a development (cf. Holsten, op. Cit., Vol. IV, Col. 1111), but are each new beginning due to the ever present, because possible, insight into the ground of being in the world. Of course, there is a new element in those religions that are based on a revelation from God.

Monotheism today

As history shows us, monotheism is always at risk. The appeal to the word of God roots him in those who listen to that word. That is why the purely natural religion, founded only by the thinking and meditating human being, has been overcome by revelation, as an attempt by human beings that is constantly subject to decay (cf. H. Fries, op. Cit., Vol. II, p. 440).

The necessity of revelation to strengthen the belief in a God in the conflict of human inclinations is indicated in the widespread explanation of the Koran 30.29 by Mahalli (864 / 1459f): "However, those who pass through israk follow their inclinations and are without knowledge (of God).But who can rightly guide those whom God lets go astray? They have no leader ".

Without the guidance of God, man gropes his way to monotheism. In individual people, monotheism then takes on a concrete form and experiences its coronation and consolidation through the speaking God. The highest being rules time and fills space and next to it all human activity is vanishing and insignificant (cf. Bernardi, in: Nicola Turchi, Le Religioni del Mondo, Rome 1951, p. 17).

When we look at the contemporary world, we immediately notice that monotheism is proclaimed in a practically effective form - apart from the Jewish religion - only by Christianity and Islam. Most people that are too one Confess God, live in these two religions. Their range is also the largest. In them the belief in one God appears in an organized, i.e. H. socially comprehensible form.

In this context, it should be pointed out that the religions in the world that is becoming more and more one come closer to one another and meet one another. This creates new tasks, but also new problems. In the spirit of such an encounter one will therefore see and try to understand what is in common differently than before. Such an encounter will take place in the right way if one's own conviction is linked to respect for the location and the conviction of the other (cf. Fries, op. Cit., Vol. II, p. 428).

Let us therefore examine what possibilities the two great monotheistic religions have today in this regard. This is not intended to make a final statement that completely enumerates everything that is possible, rather it is intended to provide an impetus for further exploration of such possibilities.

Allow me to start from the Christian point of view. It is clear to us that - although we cannot accept the other religion - the grace of God can also be effective in the area of ​​non-Christian religions. The phrase "No grace is given outside the Church" has been discarded. We know, of course, that there is still no theology of religions. (See Schlette, op. Cit., Vol. II, p. 444). But the development of such a thing is probably also dependent on the concrete encounter.

One thing, however, the representatives of the great religions must become aware of: as a universal religion (in contrast to the folk religions mentioned above), Islam and Christianity disregard natural ties to the people and address all people by giving them that Salvation absolutely to offer (cf. Schlette, op. cit., vol. II, p. 443). By standing in front of people out of inner drive and genuine conviction and calling them to a decision, they are also in conflict with one another. The people themselves whom they denote one Proclaiming God - but with reference to various revelations, some of which are even mutually exclusive - ask them the question of truth. And if the conviction of the sole full truth of one's own religion is present, the preacher still has the question of the meaning of the other religion, which it must have in God's plan (cf. Fries, op.cit., Vol. II, p. 428: "Today the question of religion has become theologically significant insofar as the problem of theology of religions is explicitly posed and demands an answer."). The Koran (10.99) points to this with the words: "If your Lord wanted, everyone on earth would believe without exception."

That is the situation of monotheism today. That is its core problem. If our own convictions are sacred to us and we want to proclaim them credibly to people, then we must not overlook these questions.

We all know that "theology" in Christianity and "kalam" in Islam do not mean exactly the same thing, although their situation today may be similar (L. Gardet - MN Anawati, Introduction à la théologie musulmane, Paris 1948, p. 471 and 451). Solving difficult problems in today's world can no longer be done in the way that the highly respected Muhammad Abduh could do a hundred years ago. When asked about the compatibility of the omniscience of God and human freedom, in his Risalat al tawhid he only referred to the inaccessible mysteries of God (Gardet - M. N. Anawati, op. Cit., P. 426).

In our time, Christian theology and the Islamic Kalam are not concerned with solving petty problems, but with countering a way of thinking that is not based on monotheism (Gardet - Anawati, op. Cit., P. 454).

Some possibilities for trying to solve the problems that the close coexistence of religions gives up can be seen in the following facts:


1. In the common base of monotheism.
2. In the special commonality that Islam and Christianity are book religions.
3. With respect for the other religion - without giving up one's own convictions - as a path to the goal made possible by God
of man (cf. Schlette, op. cit., vol. II, p. 449: "One may therefore regard religions as ways to one goal of man made possible by one God, if one considers the salvation-historical or gracious uniqueness of Revelation in Christ does not deny. ").
4. In compliance with the principle - also recognized by Christians - which the Koran expresses with the words: "There must be no compulsion to believe." (2.257).

These few thoughts may characterize the position of monotheism today. They should not point out the practical ways of acting together, but only point out the prerequisites that are required of a real encounter.

Monotheism as the root and crown of religion

Monotheism is that form of religion that recognizes a transcendent being as the only deity, without any secondary gods (cf. Gusinde, op. Cit., Vol. VII, p. 65f). This is true for Christianity (even if recently, as in Tokarew, op. Cit., Vol. III, p. 492 is to be found: "Christianity, which took over the cult of this supreme God (God the Father), it through faith to God-Son, who was incarnated in God-Man Christ and supplemented the Neoplatonic doctrine of a world spirit (Holy Spirit), cannot be regarded as a strictly monotheistic religion ") and for Islam too. The history of religions in general and of monotheism in particular shows belief in one God as the ultimately only convincing answer to the question of the origin and meaning of the world and of man. Only one God can be the goal of human life. All religiosity therefore has - consciously or unconsciously - this belief in one God as the starting point. Monotheism was already alive in Christianity when Islam appeared. Islam has made it the property of its many followers.

Al Ghazali rightly puts the belief in one God as the main commandment of the Koran: "In short, the Koran is an argument against the unbelievers from beginning to end, and the main evidence of theologians for monotheism is the saying of God (21:22) : 'If there were several gods besides Allah in heaven and on earth, they would perish.' "(Hans Bauer, Die Dogmatik Al Ghazalis, Halle 1912, p. 23).

Since the answer to the question of the existence of a higher being can only be found in monotheism for the thinking person, the meaning of this answer must be explained in more detail. Monotheism, which in most religions is present at least in the form of a high god, in its unfolded form becomes the culmination of all religious endeavors of men.

Only the only one God has all those qualities in himself which man can already guess in conclusion. This God is a personal being, probably hidden from us, but one that we should face one day. Our existence in the world, our practical, daily life, also learns from this one God very essential impulses. We see how man keeps looking for role models for this life, to which he can orient himself. Very often he is met by propaganda of all kinds People presented as the last model. We feel immediately that this cannot be satisfactory. Whenever a person makes himself the measure of all things, he experiences disappointments. But this is precisely the picture of the one and exalted by God an example that surpasses all human perfection. By proclaiming God as the absolute measure of things and the norm of life, the great monotheistic religions are able to protect their followers from the deification, from the absolutization of man.

In polytheism it has always been possible to deify people. In monotheism this is definitely excluded. There is nothing divine but God. With this all creatures are put in their place.

Now perhaps the question arises whether man does not lose his freedom through this dependence and subordination. We do not mean so much the question of how man's free will is preserved in the face of the omniscience and omnipotence of God, but whether man does not become unfree through free submission to the will of God. It must be the sole, final measure of all human activity. A look into the world of today shows that man is never less free than when he makes himself free from God. Liberation from God enslaved in many ways. Liberation from God gives every person who has power unlimited dominion over those who are subordinate to him. The responsibility towards the Creator, which alone saves man from being drowned in the various forms of totalitarianism, disappears.

So we don't preach them submission of man, but his dignity, which is secured in the dignity of God. All human power finds its limit in responsibility towards God. Therefore - and we must be clear about this - monotheism becomes an opponent of all those who want to make themselves the sole norm of existence. We have to expect that.

In this, however, lies the responsibility that we ourselves do not overlook the organization - I mean our respective religious community and their earthly interests - that God alone is the Lord of men and not we. Let us help people in these difficult times to be ready to lead a life according to the will of God, so that what is germinally present in every person - you call it "fitra" in your language, i. H. the recognition of the one God - actually the culmination of the religious life of the people.

Atheism and monotheism

From the above, it is not difficult to see why atheistic materialism turns against monotheism in the first place. The final root is the fact that he is concerned with making man, and only man, lord of the world. Karl Marx expresses this very clearly: "The criticism of religion ends with the doctrine that man is the highest being for man." (Karl Marx, Introduction to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right, 1843. Cf. also the introduction to his dissertation, 1841).

Ultimately, this opinion is common to all atheists, whether they belong to the militant, organized branch of the East or to the liberal branch of the West. The English philosopher B. Russell expresses the situation in a similar way to Marx: "It is we ourselves who create the evaluations ... In this realm we are kings ... We determine what the good life consists of, not nature - not even nature embodied by God "(Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian, p. 67).

From this it is perfectly clear that such conceptions are related to the central message of the Koran, that it one God gives, gracious, compassionate, "the Lord of heaven and earth, the witness of all things and the omniscient, omnipotent Creator of all things" are just as incompatible as with the fundamental and first sentence of the Holy Scriptures: "In the beginning God created heaven and Earth." (Gen 1,1).

This fact is very clearly and openly admitted in an editorial in the Soviet magazine "Nauka i Religija": "However one adapts the religion to the new circumstances, however one interprets its teachings, it remains belief in God and a life after death. It is and will remain opposed to science and communism. " ("About Leninist irreconcilability with religion", "Nauka i Religija", No. 4/1961, p. 4f).

As far as the argument of science is concerned, we have already tried to show that the question of the existence of God is entirely meaningful and that it repeatedly imposes itself on man. "As long as there are people, the deepest religious disposition cannot be stifled." (Karrer, op. Cit., P. 71). We can also point out that numerous natural scientists can reconcile their science and religion in their personal lives and, what is even more essential, also find no fundamental opposition between science and belief.

It is now clear, for theoretical and practical reasons, that the general discussion of religion is concretely turning into a struggle against monotheism. From a purely philosophical point of view, the refutation of polytheism is not a problem. Several gods are mutually exclusive. From a practical point of view it is also the case that polytheism no longer has a chance in today's world, and as far as it still exists is doomed to perish by itself. Monotheism, on the other hand, is also a social power in the world religions of Islam and Christianity.

If you open the "Treatises on Scientific Atheism" written by Karljuk (A. S. Karljuk, Ocerki po naucnomu ateizmu, Minsk 1961), the table of contents already shows that this atheism makes the monotheistic religions the main target. It goes without saying that both Christianity and Islam will be attacked and rejected. Klimowitsch writes: "Islam is an anti-scientific, reactionary worldview that is alien and hostile to the scientific, Marxist-Leninist view." ("Zarja Vostoka", quoted in Kolarz, Religion and Communism in Africa, London 1963, p. 400).

There is not as much agreement on the concrete arguments against Islam as there is against Christianity. In both cases, however, the theoretical argument is added to that of social backwardness, and furthermore the - as one puts it - exploitative character of religion. It could be summed up as follows: "It is God who disturbs history by interfering with it." (Ramzi H. Malik (Fr. Lukas) O. P., Israel and Ismael, Düsseldorf 1962, p. 15).

Fate community of the monotheistic religions

The argument of the backwardness of religion and its hostility to progress can serve as a starting point for this last section. The above theoretical considerations must lead to practical conclusions. And this opposing argument deals with practice.

Practical action is required of us as believers all the more since we are faced with a front of opponents who are not just fight our point of view with the means of intellectual controversy. The already quoted Koran word can serve as the norm of our actions: "Nobody should be forced to believe." Catholic canon law also has an almost identical formulation.

If we now accept this common conviction also with regard to our common opponents, the nature of the matter imposes a community of action among those affected. Whether this succeeds or not depends a great deal on it; for who does not know that unity gives strength. Even if we are clear that there is much that divides us on the theological level, we also know the amount of common convictions that unite us at the roots.

The relationship between Islam and Christianity is old, but we must also say that they have not always been friendly. But perhaps we can be comforted by the fact that the overall structure of the work of the Christian theologian John of Damascus shows a stronger bond with the Islamic Kalam than with the systematics of Western theology. (See Gardet-Anawati, op. Cit., P. 203).

In this sense it would also be conceivable that precisely in the argument against atheism and in favor of monotheism the theologians could learn from each other: Christians from Islamic theologians the clear, realistic representation, Muslims the strict logical form in the theologies of Christians. (Gardet-Anawati, op. Cit., P. 207: "... des emprunts et perfectionnements réciproques d'outillage technique.").

We must also be on our guard together not to succumb to the strivings for unity of today's world in such a way that we come to religious indifference and thus serve liberal atheism, which considers all religions to be the same and means that they are equally false. From the world's striving for unity, however, there will arise the duty of those responsible in the monotheistic religions to promote mutual understanding and tolerance - without any blurring of equalization. (See Schlette, op. Cit., Vol. II, p. 444).

This tolerance should not only mean that one does not fight each other through hostile acts, it should also lead to positive cooperation in the religious, moral and especially in the social field. Nobody should be able to accuse us of proclaiming the dignity of creatures, but not worrying about the creation of the material prerequisites for this. In this way we will take the wind out of the sails of the enemy, and the people, who are often depressed by poverty, will then not be in danger of selling their dignity at the price of temporary material betterment, of giving up their freedom in the hope of winning it and then to experience that disappointment that is certain to those who put man in the place of God.

In this way, Christianity and Islam can meet each other not only in a new way, different from the past, but also for the first time common ground who, at this very important hour in human history, should strive for all those who are united in the consciousness of the ordinance of all things in God. (See Fries, op. Cit., Vol. II, p. 441).