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CultureReligion’s In Today’s World – Mutual Understanding Or Conflict (Following the views...

Religion’s In Today’s World – Mutual Understanding Or Conflict (Following the views of Fritjof Schuon and Samuel Huntington, on the mutual understanding or clash between religions)

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By Dr. Masood Ahmadi Afzadi,

Dr. Razie Moafi

INTRODUCTION

In the modern world, the situation related to the rapid increase in the number of beliefs is considered a major problem. This fact, in symbiosis with the peculiar contradictions outwardly apparent regarding the nature of faith, undermines the understanding of the root of religious beliefs. These judgments even provoke in some people the opinion that each nation, based on its needs, creates a religion, and the God of this religion, be it fantasy or reality, is an illusory and unreality.

The solution to the problem is encoded in monotheism. This view testifies that all religions originate from one source, as manifested in the unity of justice. Because of this fact, all of them, from the point of view of intimacy, are one, but in their external manifestation, they differ. Therefore, monotheists and thinkers-philosophers, including Schuon, formulated the following topics for discussion: “Finding ways to determine the processes of increasing the number of religions”, “Religious unity” and “Islamic Law”.

The task of this article is to explore, analyze and explain the ideas of monotheists and thinkers-philosophers from the perspective of Schuon and the mystical basis of “Monotheism and Theology”, as well as to make a comparative analysis between Schuon’s views and Huntington’s new theory “Clash of Civilizations”.

The two views underlying this article possess clarity and contain indisputable evidence of the depth of their ideas, arising from the roots of the mystery of religion, social and cultural manifestations, respecting the opinion of the numerous adepts and opponents of the positions advocated.

  1. SEMANTICS OF RELIGION

The term “religion” comes from the Latin word “religo” and means uniting on a moral basis, overcoming division, good faith, good customs and traditions.

Similar to the meaning of this concept, taken as an explanation of the culture of religion, the word with Greek roots “religale”, meaning

“strongly attached.” This word has a meaning referring to one’s attachment to regular worship.

The commonly accepted meaning of the word “religion” is “a personal attachment of someone having a constructed idea of a complete reality.” (Hosseini Shahroudi 135:2004)

In Farsi, the meaning and significance of the word “religo” means “humility, obedience, following, emulation, resignation and retribution”.

Throughout the ages, thinkers of the Western world have defined “religo” as a term meaning “to pay homage to God” and nowadays this definition is being questioned. In its primary interpretation in the form of “religious” has had a strong impact on those who understand its meaning. (Javadi Amoli 93:1994)

For Javadi Amoli, the terminological meaning of the term “religion” is “a collection of views, morals, laws and rules, regulations serving to govern and educate human societies.” (Javadi Amoli 93:1994)

Adherents of patriarchal traditions use the word “religion”, relating its meaning to “sincere evidence of educational influence on the behavior and manners of a person or a group of people”. They do not deny, but neither do they accept this definition as correct, arguing: “If this definition is correct, then communism and liberalism can be called ‘religion.’ The word is formulated by the rational mind and knowledge of man, but in order for it to be properly understood from a semantic point of view, the patriarchal thinkers direct a reflection regarding its semantic content, to which should be added its meaning of its Divine origin. (Malekian, Mostafa “Rationality and Spirituality”, Tehran, Contemporary Publications 52:2006)

Nasr says: “Religion is a belief by which the general order of a person’s being is placed in union with God, and at the same time it manifests itself in the general order of society” – “In Islam – Omat” or inhabitants of Paradise. (Nasr 164:2001)

2. BASIC CONSTITUENT COMPONENTS FOR THE UNITY OF RELIGIONS

2. 1. PRESENTATION OF THE THEORY OF UNITY OF RELIGIONS

Adherents of patriarchal traditions accept Schuon’s views in

“Theory of Unity of Religions” for mainstream and legitimate.

Dr. Nasr is convinced that the above proponents should not debate the question of which religion is “better” due to the fact that all major monotheistic religions have a common origin. From the point of view of application and action in particular historical periods, questions arise about the existence of opportunities for practical spiritual imitation. (Nasr 120:2003) He emphasizes that every religion is a Divine Revelation, but at the same time – it is also “special”, and therefore, the author explains, the absolute truth and the means of reaching its essence are in the bowels of itself religion. In relation to the spiritual needs of the people, it emphasizes the particularities of truth. (Nasr 14:2003)

From Schuon’s point of view, religious pluralism, including union with the Most High, can be accepted as the most important basis and way of thinking. According to the pluralists of Islamic law, different religions are distinguished by diversity in worship and prayers, but these differences do not play a special role in the general essence of unity. Religions and their adherents are in search and knowledge of the ultimate truth. They call the process by different names, but in fact the aim of every religion is to lead man to the permanent, indestructible and eternal truth. Man in his earthly manifestation is not eternal, but transitory.

Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834), Frittjof Schuon – a continuation and follower of his theory, and his students are united around the thesis that at the basis of all religions there is a “Divine Unity”. (Sadeghi, Hadi, “Introduction to the New Theology”, Tehran, Publications “Taha” 2003, 77:1998)

The multiplicity of religions is manifested as a result of the diversity of emotions and their practical application.

According to Legenhausen, the “hidden” religious experience is contained in the essence of all religions. (Legenhausen 8:2005)

William Chittick has a particular interpretation of Schuon’s views. He believes that the unity of religions derives from the respect for the sense of right, moral obligation and sanctity manifested in Islam, borrowed from Sufism. (Chittiq 70:2003)

Adherents of patriarchal traditions profess the truth of the one God uniting all religions. They believe that all religions have a divine origin and are messengers from above, appearing as a door to God, by which turn into a path to God. Therefore, they are all the manifested Divine law, whose brilliance leads to absolute truth.

Adherents of patriarchal traditions pay particular attention to religions that do not originate from the Abrahamic lineage. They explore the essence of the origins of Taoism, Confucianism, Hinduism and the religion of the redskins. (Avoni 6:2003)

The commentators of the adherents of the patriarchal traditions belonging to the school of “Eternal Reason” do not refer to the particularities of a particular religion, but draw both on the rich heritage of Islam, beyond its metaphysical depth, and on Hinduism and the rich heritage of the metaphysics of Western religions and other beliefs. (Nasr 39:2007) Proponents of the idea of Divine Unity believe that the essence of all religions is the same. They have a single message but define it differently. They are convinced of the testimony that all religions originate from one source – like a pearl, whose core is a foundation, and its exterior is of different characteristics. Such is the external manifestation of religions, with a distinctly delicate and individual approach that determines their differences. (Nasr, Genesis 559).

According to Schuon’s view, the top of the pyramid structurally represents the idea of the state of being, united collectively through the unity of the divine origin. As one moves away from the apex, a distance appears, increasing in proportion, revealing the differences. Religions, from the point of view of their sacred essence and content, are perceived as the original and only truth, but through their external manifestation, none of them has absolute authority.

Seen through the eyes of adherents of patriarchal traditions, any monotheistic religion is universal and should be regarded as such. It is necessary to take into account that each such religion has its own peculiarity, which should not become limiting the right of existence of other religions.

2. 2. THE DIVINE UNITY OF RELIGIONS FROM SCHWON’S POINT OF VIEW

From the point of view of the adherents of patriarchal traditions, all religions initially carry a hidden inner unity. Schuon first mentioned the Divine unity of religions. Another interpretation of Schuon’s ideas confirms his belief that religions contain no more than one truth. It is only historical and social conditions that cause religion and traditions to take on different forms and interpretations. Their multiplicity is due to historical processes, not to their content. All religions in the sight of God represent the manifestation of absolute truth. Schuon refers to the opinion of the Divine unity of religions, defining their essence as part of a single religion, a single tradition, which have not derived wisdom from their multiplicity. Influenced by Sufism and Islamic mysticism, his view of Divine unity emphasized the existence of a relationship between religions. This view does not reject the possibility of analysis regarding the differences between religions, it is even advisable to comment on the question of the source of the Revelation containing the absolute truth. Hierarchically structured truth serves as the beginning of the manifestations of the civilizational orders associated with religions. Based on this, Schuon argued: religion does not contain more than one truth and essence. (Schoon 22:1976)

Exoterism and Esotericism as paths of religions, including Islamic law and doctrine (“exo” – outer path; “eso” – inner path), represent views of the unity of religions referring to the one God. The two paths, having complementary functions, should also be seen as different from each other. According to Schuon, the external path forms the tradition, and the internal path determines its meaning and meaning, presenting its true essence. What unites all religions is the “Divine unity’, whose outward manifestation does not contain the integrity of truth, but truth itself in its essence is a manifestation of unity. The authenticity of all religions at its core contains unity and oneness, and this is the indisputable truth… The similarity of each religion to the universal truth can be represented as a geometric shape with a common core – a point, a circle, a cross or a square. The difference is rooted in the distancing between them based on location, temporal kinship, and appearance. (Schoon 61:1987)

Schuon accepts as true religion that which has an educational character and a clearly expressed mandate. It is also necessary to contain a spiritual value, whose message has not a philosophical but a divine origin, sacrificial and blessing. He knows and accepts that every religion brings Revelation and infinite knowledge of the Divine Will. (Schuon 20:1976) Schuon articulates Islamic mysticism by referring to the unity between the states of ‘awe’, ‘love’ and ‘wisdom’ contained in both Judaism and Christianity. He places in a position of complete supremacy the three main religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam, which originate from the Abrahamic lineage. Each religion’s claims to superiority are relative because of the differences they contain. Reality, in the light of the metaphysical, leads to a clarity distinct from the external factors that shape religions. Only their inner essence leads to the obvious judgment of union with God. (Schoon 25:1976)

3. THE BASIS OF A “THEOLOGY OF IMMORTALITY” FROM SCHWON’S POINT OF VIEW

“Theology of Immortality” is an anthropological teaching united by a common traditional view of avant-garde thinkers – philosophers, such as René Genome, Coomaraswamy, Schuon, Burkhart, etc. “Theology of Immortality” or “Eternal Reason” as religious postulates referring to primordial truth are the basis of the theological traditions of all religions from Buddhism to Kabbalah, through the traditional metaphysics of Christianity or Islam. These postulates, having practical significance, represent the highest estate of human existence.

This view testifies to a unity at the basis of all religions, whose traditions, location and temporal distances do not alter the consistency of wisdom. Each religion perceives eternal truth in its own way. Despite their differences, religions arrive at a unified understanding of the nature of Eternal Truth by investigating it. Adherents of the traditions profess a united opinion on the question of the external and internal manifestation of religions, based on the wisdom of immortality, having recognized the historical truth.

Nasr, one of the prominent researchers, believed that a “Theology of Immortality” could be the key to a complete understanding of religions, taking into account the differences between them. The multiplicity of religions is based on ambiguities and differences in the manifestations of the Sacrament. (Nasr 106:2003)

Nasr considers it necessary that any researcher accepting and following a “theory of immortality” should be fully devoted and dedicated mind and soul to the Sacrament. This is the complete guarantee of true understanding penetration. In practice, this is not acceptable to all researchers except devout Christians, Buddhists, and Muslims. In the speculative world, complete unequivocalness is hardly possible. (Nasr 122:2003)

In the views of Schuon and his followers, the “idea of immortality” is laid down as universal, marking its maximum manifestation in Islam. The goal of universalism is to unite the traditions and rites of all religions. From the very beginning, Schuon considered Islam as the only means to an end, i.e. “Theology of Immortality”, “Eternal Reason” or

“Immortality of Religion.” In his studies he places the “Immortal Religion” above the sacred laws, unrestricted by frameworks.

In the last years of his life, Schuon emigrated to America. In his theory of universalism, new ideas about rites, which are called “Cult” in English, also appear. This word differs from the meaning of the word “Sect”. “Sect” means a small group professing a different religion from the mainstream, with particular ideas and rites. She distanced herself from the adherents of the mainstream religion. The representatives of the “cult” are a small group of adherents of non-spread religions with fanatical ideas. (Oxford, 2010)

Interpreting the basis of the “Theology of Immortality of Religions”, we can distinguish three aspects:

a. All monotheistic religions are based on the unity of God;

b. External manifestation and internal essence of religions;

c. Manifestation of unity and wisdom in all religions. (Legenhausen 242:2003)

4. THE DIVINE UNITY AND THE APPARENT PLURALITY OF RELIGIONS

Schuon’s teaching, with its tolerant attitude towards differences of faith, does not impose its claims and arguments on the devout believers in the tenets of their own religion. (Schuon, 1981, p. 8) Adherents of his teaching perceive neutrality as a form of tolerance and, being fair and indifferent, accept the differences in faith of other communities. The essence of

the teaching is fundamentally similar to the manifestations of Sufism. Nevertheless, differences in the outward appearance of Islamic law and Sufism do exist. Therefore, Schuon and the supporters of his teaching adhere to the thesis of the existence of differences between religion and faith. The important feature in the differences arises from the nature of the manifestation, concerning external and internal manifestation. All the faithful declare their faith, through external factors, which should not lead to an interpretation of appearances, but should be related to the essence of the beliefs of the mystics in the religion. The external manifestation of “Islamic Law” is a collection of concepts, wisdom and deeds for the praise of God, affecting the worldview and culture of the society, and the mystical manifestation carries the true essence of the religion. This formulation concerning external and internal manifestation no doubt leads to conclusions of mutual contradictions between beliefs and religions, but to arrive at the idea of unity between religions it is necessary to direct attention to the essence of the basic beliefs.

Martin Lings writes: “Believers in different religions are like people at the foot of a mountain. By climbing, they reach the top.” (“Khojat”, book #7 p. 42-43, 2002) Those who reached the top without traveling to it are the mystics – sages standing at the foundation of religions for which unity has already been achieved, a consequence of union with God.

For Schuon, the imposition of a certain limiting view on faith is dangerous (Schoon p. 4, 1984), on the other hand, confidence in the truth of any religion is not a path to salvation. (Schuon p. 121, 1987) He believes that there is only one way of salvation for mankind; the manifestation of numerous Revelations and traditions are a fact. God’s will is the basis of the diversity that leads to their primary unity. The external manifestations of religions create incompatibility, and the internal convictions of doctrine – unify. The object of Schuon’s reasoning is the dimensions of the external and internal manifestations of religion. The source of true religion, on the one hand, is the Divine manifestation, and on the other, the intuitive in man, which is also the center of all existence.

Interpreting Schuon’s statements, Nasr shares about Schuon’s manifest inner anxiety regarding the transcendental aspects inherent in his teaching, and otherwise lacking in spiritual clarity. He is also of the opinion that the outward manifestation of religions carries the idea of the Divine unity, which, according to the various religions, predispositions, environment and principles of their adherents, creates the individual reality. The essence of all knowledge, customs, traditions, arts and religious settlements are the same manifestations throughout the levels of the plane of human-centered being. Schuon believes that there is a hidden gem in every religion. According to him, Islam is spreading throughout the world due to its value derived from an unlimited source. He is convinced that Islamic law, from the point of view of its essence and value, represents an immense value, which, manifested in the sphere of the general human in the totality of emotions and other feelings, appears relative. (Schoon 26:1976) God creates and manifests the heavenly dimensions and Revelations through the various religions. In every tradition He manifests His aspects to manifest His primal significance. Therefore, the multiplicity of religions is the direct result of the infinite richness of God’s existence.

Doctor Nasr in his scientific works shares: “Islamic law is a model for achieving harmony and unity in human life.” (Nasr 131:2003) Living according to the laws of Islamic law, following the external and internal principles, this implies existing and knowing the true moral essence of life. (Nasr 155:2004)

5. CLARIFYING THE ESSENCE OF UNITY AMONG RELIGIONS

Adherents of patriarchal traditions maintain the thesis of the existence of an originally hidden inner unity between religions. According to them, multiplicity in the visible spectrum of being is an ostentatious expression of the world and the outward appearance of religion. The emergence of total truth is the foundation of unity. Of course, this does not mean to ignore and downplay the individual characteristics and differences between religions. It can be said: “That Divine unity – the foundation of the various religions – cannot be anything other than the true essence – unique and irrevocable. The particular differences of each religion should also be noted, which should not be dismissed or belittled.” (Nasr 23:2007)

On the question of the unity between religions, Schuon shares that the original wisdom brings sacredness, not ostentation: first – “No right is above the Divine truth” (Schuon 8:1991); secondly, the differences between the traditions cause doubts in wavering believers about the reality of eternal wisdom. Divine truth – as primordial and irrevocable – is the only possibility that causes awe and faith in God.

6. MAIN VIEWS OF THE CREATORS OF THE THEORY OF THE CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS

6. 1. PRESENTATION OF THE Clash of Civilizations Theory Samuel Huntington – an American thinker and sociologist, the creator of the “Clash of Civilizations” concept (a professor at Harvard University and director of the Organization for Strategic Studies in America) in 1992 presented the “Clash of Civilizations” theory. His idea was popularized in the magazine “Foreign Policy”. Reactions and interest to his point of view have been mixed. Some show deep interest, others fiercely oppose his view, and still others are literally amazed. Later, the theory was formulated in a voluminous book under the same title “The Clash of Civilizations and the Transformation of World Order.” (Abed Al Jabri, Muhammad, History of Islam, Tehran, Institute of Islamic Thought 2018, 71:2006)

Huntington develops the thesis about the possible rapprochement of Islamic civilization with Confucianism, giving rise to a clash with Western civilization. He considers the 21st century to be the century of the clash between Western civilization and Islamic and Confucianism, warning the leaders of European countries and America to be ready for the possible conflict. He advises on the need to prevent the rapprochement of Islamic civilization with Confucianism.

The idea of the theory leads to recommendations to the statesmen of the Western civilization to preserve and guarantee their dominant role. Huntington’s theory as a new project explaining world relations after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the period of the bipolar West, East, North and South presents the doctrine of three worlds for discussion. Spread unexpectedly quickly, greeted with great attention, the doctrine claims its timely appearance in conditions where the world is experiencing a vacuum caused by the lack of an appropriate paradigm. (Toffler 9:2007)

Huntington says: “The Western world in the Cold War period recognized communism as a heretical enemy, calling it ‘heretical communism.’ Today, Muslims regard the Western world as their enemy, calling it the “heretical West.” In its essence, the Huntington Doctrine is an extract of debates and important discussions concerning the discrediting of communism in the political circles of the West, as well as the themes explaining the restoration of faith in Islam, predetermining the changes. In summary: the theory presents the idea of the possibility of a new cold war, as a result of a clash between the two civilizations. (Afsa 68:2000)

The basis of Huntington’s doctrine is based on the fact that with the end of the cold war – a period of ideological conflict that ends and begins a new era, the main discussion of which is the topic of a clash between civilizations. Based on cultural parameters, he defines the existence of seven civilizations: Western, Confucian, Japanese, Islamic, Indian, Slavic-Orthodox, Latin American and African. He believes in the idea of transforming national identities, focusing on the possibility of rethinking state relations with an emphasis on broadening beliefs and cultural traditions. The multitude of factors predetermining the change will contribute to the collapse of political borders, and on the other hand, critical areas of interaction between civilizations will be formed. The epicenter of these outbreaks appears to be between Western civilization, on the one hand, and Confucianism and Islam, on the other. (Shojoysand, 2001)

6. 2. THE CONFLICT BETWEEN CIVILIZATIONS ACCORDING TO HUNTINGTON’S VIEW

In his works, Huntington gives importance both to several world civilizations and points out and interprets a possible conflict between two of the main civilizations – the Islamic and the Western. Apart from the mentioned conflict, he also pays attention to another, calling it an “intercivilizational conflict.” In order to avoid it, the author relies on the idea of the unification of the states on the basis of common values and beliefs. The researcher believes that the unification of this foundation is solid and other civilizations would recognize the pattern as significant. (Huntington 249:1999)

Huntington believed that Western civilization was losing its luster. In the book “The clash of civilizations and the transformation of the world order” he presents in the form of a diagram the sunset of Western Christian civilization from the point of view of the political situation and the spiritual state of the population. He believes that political, economic and military forces, compared to other civilizations, are declining, leading to difficulties of a different nature – low economic development, inactive population, unemployment, budget deficit, low morale, reduction of savings. As a consequence of this, in many Western countries, among which is America, there is a social rift, in whose society crime is clearly manifested, causing great difficulties. The balance of civilizations is gradually and fundamentally changing, and in the coming years the influence of the West will decline. For 400 years the prestige of the west has been undisputed, but with the decline of its influence, its duration may be another hundred years. (Huntington 184:2003)

Huntington believes that Islamic civilization in the past hundred years has developed, thanks to the growing population, the economic development of Islamic countries, political influence, the emergence of Islamic fundamentalism, the Islamic revolution, the activity of Middle Eastern countries…, creating a danger for other civilizations, giving a reflection on Western civilization as well. As a result, Western civilization gradually lost its dominance, and Islam gained greater influence. The redistribution of influence should be perceived by the third world as: moving away from the world order with the resulting economic losses or following the Western mode of influence that has existed for many centuries. In order for a balance to occur in the world civilizational development, it is necessary for the Western civilization to rethink and change the course of its actions, which in the way of desire to preserve its leading role – lead to bloodshed. (Huntington 251:2003)

According to Huntington, world civilization has moved in a direction under the influence of the politics of domination, as a result of which, in the last years of the new century, continuous clashes and conflicts have been observed. The difference between civilizations leads to a change in awareness, which in turn increases the influence of religious beliefs, being a means of filling the existing void. The reasons for the awakening of civilization are the duplicitous behavior of the West, the peculiarities of economic differences and the cultural identity of peoples. The severed ties between civilizations have today been replaced by the political and ideological borders of the Cold War era. These relationships are a prerequisite for the development of crises and bloodshed.

Huntington, presenting his hypothesis regarding the clash with Islamic civilization, believes that the present time is a time of civilizational changes. Pointing to the disintegration of the West and Orthodoxy, the development of Islamic, East Asian, African and Indian civilizations, he gives reason to draw conclusions about the occurrence of a possible clash between civilizations. The author believes that the clash on a global scale is taking place thanks to the differences in the human race. He believes that the relationship between different groups of civilizations is unfriendly and even hostile, and there is no hope of change. The author has a particular opinion on the question of the relationship between Islam and Western Christianity, which, with their variable interaction, based on the rejection of differences, leads to offensiveness. This can lead to conflict and conflict. Huntington believes that the clash in the future will be between the west and Confucianism united with Islam as one of the greatest and most significant factors shaping the new world. (Mansoor, 45:2001)

7. CONCLUSION

This article examines the theory of the unity of religions, according to Schuon’s views, and Huntington’s theory of the clash of civilizations. The following findings can be made: Schuon believes that all religions originate from a single source, like a pearl, the core of which is the foundation and the exterior of a different characteristic. Such is the external manifestation of religions, with a distinctly delicate and individual approach, denoting their differences. Adherents of Schuon’s theory profess the truth of a single God uniting all religions. One of them is the philosopher-researcher Dr. Nasr. He considers that the legacy of science belonging to Islamic civilization, containing knowledge from other civilizations as well, seeking their genesis as the main content source. The principles of the foundations of Islamic civilization are universal and eternal, not belonging to a particular time. They can be found in the realm of Muslim history, science and culture, and in the views of Islamic philosophers and thinkers. And, based on the universal principle encoded in them, they become a tradition. (Alami 166:2008)

According to the views of Schuon and the traditionalists, Islamic civilization can reach its peak only when it manifests the truth of Islam in all spheres of human life. In order for Islamic civilization to develop, it is necessary for two circumstances to occur:

1. Conduct critical analysis for renewal and reform;

2. Bringing about an Islamic renaissance in the sphere of thinking (revival of traditions). (Nasr 275:2006)

It should be noted that without performing certain actions, failure is achieved; it is necessary to transform society on the basis of the traditions of the past with the expectation of preserving the harmonious role of traditions. (Legenhausen 263:2003)

Schuon’s theory is in many cases of a cautionary nature, alerting the Western world to the inevitable crises and tensions that will follow. This view is also accompanied by a lot of uncertainty. The purpose of all religions is to argue by pointing to universal truth despite the many differences that exist. It is for this reason that Schuon’s theory is accompanied by uncertainty. The importance of religion from the point of view of adherents of tradition is the foundation, the basis of worship and service. The postulates and essence of monotheistic religions, as well as the adherents of traditions, can be a basis for overcoming extremist ideas. Reality shows non-acceptance of differences in antagonistic teachings, as well as non-reconciliation with the truth of religions. (Mohammadi 336:1995)

The adherents of the traditions accept the preliminary hypothesis on the basis of which they create the theory of Divine unity. The hypothesis unifies the knowledge of the manifestation of Divine unity, pointing the way to unification through universal truth.

All ideas deserve attention because of the truth contained in them. The acceptance of the idea of multiplicity of religions is modernist and is contrary to the above hypothesis. The idea of multiplicity is incompatible, being an obstacle to Islamic teaching, due to the manifestation of its cultural diversity serving all people. As long as this is the cause of differences between religions (Islam and other traditions), it will cause cultural upheaval. (Legenhausen 246:2003) The ambiguity in this hypothesis stems from the external and internal manifestation of religions. Each religion in its quality represents a whole – “indivisible”, whose parts are inseparable from each other, and the presentation of individual constituents would be incorrect. According to Schuon, the division of external and internal manifestation was dictated by the development of Islam. Its popularity and influence are due to the enormous value of Islamic law, while the hypothesis as a whole poses serious obstacles. On the other hand, the similarity of religions with Islam, from the point of view of their essence, in no way means the end of Islam. Let us mention the great thinkers – theorists of the school of traditions, such as Guénon and Schuon, who left their religions, accepting Islam and even – changed their names.

In the theory of the clash of civilizations, Huntington lists several evidentiary arguments. He is convinced of the existence of differences between civilizations, not only as an actual component, but also as a general basis, including history, language, culture, traditions and especially religion. All of them differ from each other as a result of the different receptivity and knowledge of being, as well as the relationship between God and man, individual and group, citizen and state, parents and children, husband and wife… These differences have deep roots and are more fundamental than ideological and political orders.

Of course, the differences between civilizations caused by wars and harsh protracted conflicts, which became obvious existing differences, give rise to the opinion that there is a clash. On the other hand, the hasty world changes and development of international relations is the cause of civilizational vigilance and notice of the existence of differences between civilizations. Increased inter-civilizational relations cause the development of phenomena such as immigration, economic ties and material investments. It can be concluded that Huntington’s theory refers to an interaction between culture and social action rather than mystical views.

The research method refers to Schuon’s views, emphasizing seriously the Divine unity of religions formed on the basis of their inner essence. Until now, the said thesis has not received worldwide recognition due to political and military unrest in various parts of the planet, making it impossible to implement soon.

In the world of ideas, Schuon’s religious recognizability and views lead to the thesis of Divine unity, while in the world of action one discovers ambiguities and the impossibility of realizing his doctrine. In reality, he paints an idealistic picture of like-mindedness among people. Huntington in his theory, based on economic, social and cultural phenomena, presents a realistic view of reality in the field of civilization cases. The basis of his judgments are formed by historical practice and human analysis. Schuon’s religious views became the main idealistic concept of international unity.

Huntington’s theory, based on economic, social and cultural phenomena, is considered important and fundamental, presenting one of the many causes of actual civilizational clashes.

The direction of modernization, as well as economic and social changes, create conditions for the separation of existing identities and a change in their location. A state of bifurcation is being discovered in the Western world. On the one hand, the West is at the height of its power, and on the other, there is a decline in influence caused by resistance to its hegemony, with cultures different from the West gradually returning to their own identities.

This interesting phenomenon is increasing its influence, meeting the strong powerful resistance of the west against other non-western powers, constantly growing with their authority and confidence.

Other features are deepening intercultural differences compared to economic and political ones. This is a prerequisite for more difficult problem solving and inter-civilizational reconciliation.

In the meeting of civilizations, a basic case concerning the desire for identity dominance is manifested. This is not a circumstance that could be easily modeled due to differences in national phenomenology. It is much more difficult to be half-Christian or half-Muslim, due to the fact that religion is a more powerful force than national identity, distinguishing each person from one another.

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8. Nasr, Seyed Hossein. ISLAM AND THE DIFFICULTIES OF MODERN MAN / trans.

Enshola Rahmati. 2. ed. Tehran: Research Office. and publ. “Suhravardi”, winter 2006.

9. Nasr, Seyed Hossein. THE NEED FOR SACRED SCIENCE / trans. Hassan Miandari. 2. ed. Tehran: Kom, 2003.

10. Nasr, Seyed Hossein. RELIGION AND THE ORDER OF NATURE / trans. Enshola Rahmati. Tehran, 2007.

11. Sadri, Ahmad. HUNTINGTON’S DREAM REVERSAL. Tehran: Serir, 2000.

12. Toffler, Alvin and Toffler, Heidi. WAR AND ANTI-WAR / trans. Mehdi Besharat. Tehran, 1995.

13. Toffler, Alvin and Toffler, Heidi. THE NEW CIVILIZATION / trans. Mohammad Reza Jafari. Tehran: Simorgh, 1997.

14. Huntington, Samuel. THE ISLAMIC WORLD OF THE WEST, CIVILIZATION

CONFLICT AND RECONSTRUCTION OF THE WORLD ORDER / trans. Raffia. Tehran: Inst. for a cult. research, 1999.

15. Huntington, Samuel. THEORY OF THE CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS / trans. Mojtaba Amiri Wahid. Tehran: Min. on external works and ed. PhD, 2003.

16. Chittick, William. INTRODUCTION TO SUFISM AND ISLAMIC MYSTICISM / trans. Jalil

Parvin. Tehran: I’ve got Khomeini on the trail. inst. and Islamic revolution.

17. Shahrudi, Morteza Hosseini. DEFINITION AND ORIGIN OF RELIGION. 1.

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18. Shojoyzand, Alireza. THEORY OF THE CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS. // Reflection of thought, 2001, no. 16.

19. Schuon, Fritjof, Sheikh Isa Nur ad-Din Ahmad. THE PEARL OF PRECIOUS ISLAM, trans. Mino Khojad. Tehran: Research Office. and publ. “Sorvard”, 2002.

In English:

20.OXFORD ADVANCED LEARNER’S DICTIONARY. 8th ed. 2010.

21.Schuon, Frithjof. ESOTERISM AS PRINCIPLE AND AS WAY / Transl. William Stoddart. London: Perennial Books, 1981.

22.Schuon, Frithjof. ISLAM AND THE PERENNIAL PHILOSOPHY. Al Tajir Trust, 1976.

23.Schuon, Frithjof. LOGIC AND TRANSCENDENCE / Transl. Peter N. Townsend. London: Perennial Books, 1984.

24.Schuon, Frithjof. ROOTS OF THE HUMAN CONDITION. Bloomington, Ind: World Wisdom Books, 1991.

25.Schuon, Frithjof. SPIRITUAL PERSPECTIVES AND HUMAN FACTS / Transl. P. N. Townsend. London: Perennial Books, 1987.

26.Schuon, Frithjof. TRANSCENDENT UNITY OF RELIGION. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1984.

Illustration: Fig. A horizontal-vertical graph representing the structure of religions, according to the two principles (cf. Zulkarnaen. The Substance of Fritjohf Schuon’s Thinking about the Point of Religions. – In: IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science (IOSR-JHSS) Volume 22, Issue 6, Ver. 6 (June. 2017), e-ISSN: 2279-0837, DOI: 10.9790/0837-2206068792, p. 90 (pp. 87-92).

Notes:

Authors: Dr. Masood Ahmadi Afzadi, Ass.Prof. Comparative Religions and Mysticism, Islamic Azad University, North Tehran Branch, Tehran, Iran, [email protected]; &Dr. Razie Moafi, Scientific assistant. Islamic Azad University, Tehran East Branch. Tehran. Iran

First publication in Bulgarian: Ahmadi Afzadi, Masood; Moafi, Razie. Religion’s In Today’s World – Mutual Understanding Or Conflict (Following the views of Fritjof Schuon and Samuel Huntington, on the mutual understanding or clash between religions). – In: Vezni, issue 9, Sofia, 2023, pp. 99-113 {translated from Persian into Bulgarian by Dr. Hajar Fiuzi; scientific editor of the Bulgarian edition: Prof. Dr. Alexandra Kumanova}.

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