Inter-denominational Harmony and Peace: Modern and Postmodern Approaches
Conflicts and controversies caused by denominations and religious movements all over the world, and in Islamic world in particular, continue to maintain their position, as in the past, at the forefront of the reasons that disrupt social peace and stability, even lead to bloody disasters. In order to prevent the risk of confrontation, different theories and projects have been devoloped, legislation works have been improved, and, through the efforts of dialogue, certain results have been achieved. One of the issues to be discussed is that which theoretical approach should be applicaple in this process. One of these approaches proposes to return to the main sources of religion to achieve a kind of supra-denominational idea, through which differences could be easily minimized and sectarian peace safeley provided. In this approach, modernism s defining, designing, uniforming and centralist tendencies evidently manifest themselves. In the other approach, where a multi-cultural post-modern character is apparent, all sectarian-communal formations are accepted as reality regardless of their righteousness or fallaciousness, trying to reach to a certain concensus in a pluralist and egalitarian atmosphere, avoiding any theoretical and theological determinations and efforts of orientation In this paper, by comparing above-mentioned theoretical and practical aproaches, we try to set forth what sort of approach can be consistent and serviceable to provide sectarian peace and reconciliation in the current situation of the Islamic world. The paper discusses the Ottoman millet system, particularly in reference to the post-modern approach, and examines the Lebanese sect-based administrative system, which was inspired by the Ottoman one. It also discusses the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which also has a sect-based system. In light of these analyses, the paper concludes that the most suitable approach to secterian peace entails a social contract based on multiculturalist and egalitarian notions formed around common values among different denominations.
Mehmet Ali BÜYÜKKARA
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