Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Islam and Christianity: Role of Women, Cultural Changes to, Choices Among, Old Texts

Western Civilization:
Genesis papers

Christianity.

Watch the oldest texts become distorted down, so that the woman by now is accepted as a mere helpmeet, in the context of an established patriarchy, see Vetting Roots, Jerome's Ignoring Ezer Kenegdo.

Middle Eastern Civilization:
They had the Jewish Texts as part of their culture.
Genesis Papers, adapted. 

Islam.

Watch the same process of taking earliest texts that demonstrate woman's full participation and capability into affairs of the culture;  and introducing fear, uncertainty, doubt, and then deleting, changing interpretations to fit the need of the evolved culture - the patriarchy.   See Middle East Forum, Middle East Quarterly, at ://www.meforum.org/717/assessing-english-translations-of-the-quran/.  This process affects not only the role of women, but also the place of Judaism as a respected established religion historically.  The changes can be to support the more conservative, or the more liberal in the faith, as with us. Watch the "modernization" process in Turkey at ://static.rnw.nl/migratie/www.radionetherlands.nl/currentaffairs/080229-turkey-hadith-redirected

In both, the nature of the linguistics allows, say some, for a range of interpretations - where there were no vowels in the original text, for example, use of one or another vowel in the modernizing can lead to differing meanings. See ://www.islamset.com/encyclo/qur%27an.html/:  But it does not solve the problems of finding original texts and meaning - it, as the west, cherrypicks many themes, but not addressing others:

"Islam recognizes the divine origins of the earlier Hebrew and Christian Scriptures and represents itself as both a restoration and a continuation of their traditions. Because of this, the Qur'an draws on biblical stories and repeats many biblical themes."

So, the role of woman remains one of evolving cultural choice, not unambiguous deity demand; and one that has linguistic roots favoring her strength and autonomy; not servitude in patriarchy. Is that so?

"Despite the consensus among Muslims on the authenticity of the current format of the Qur'an, they agree that many words in the Qur'an can be interpreted in equally valid ways."
 ://www.islamset.com/encyclo/qur%27an.html#q3

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