Relationship between Spirituality and Theology from the Perspective of McGrath and Martyr Motahhari
One of the basic needs of human is spirituality. Spirituality is the inner connection of man with God, which affects various aspects of life. One of the dimensions of the subject of spirituality is its relation to other concepts, including religion, ethics, mysticism, and concepts of this kind. One of the concepts that discusses its relation to spirituality is the concept of theology. The meaning of theology is the systematic explanation of God and the relationship of God with the world and the same system of belief. One of the Christian theologians who deals with spirituality and theology, is McGrath, a professor of theology at the University of Oxford. In the field of Islam, Martyr Motahhari also deals with the relationship of spirituality with beliefs. He is an influential scholar of contemporary religious thought in the Muslim world. The purpose of this paper is to examine the views of these two thinkers on the relationship between spirituality and theology with a comparative and descriptive-analytic approach based on their work. Although both thinkers have lived in two religious traditions and periods of time, both of them have been bound up with their religion. Both were concerned with the comprehensive, accurate, and systematic expression of religious doctrines. Both sought to strengthen the religiosity of humans in achieving prosperity and salvation. Both have focused on the issues and concerns of the society of their time. Therefore, their views are comparable. Considering the importance of spirituality in the contemporary world, the necessity of dialogue among religious followers in today's world, the importance and capacity of the topic of spirituality as a common topic for dialogue and the place of comparative studies in order to better understand the topic, the necessity of this research is determined. From McGrath’s point of view, spirituality has a strong link with theology. In his view, spirituality is based on knowledge and, of course, is also a component of feeling, tendency and personal experience. The other component of spirituality is action and behavior based on personal beliefs and experiences of God. In his view, Christian spirituality should not be ignored of social conditions. Spirituality from the perspective of Martyr Motahhari is a comprehensive concept that is the result of all the teachings of Islam. Spirituality is based on true faith that embraces all aspects of human life. Martyr Motahhari believes that faith has two basic components of knowledge and tendency. In other words, he believes in epistemic and emotional aspects of faith. In his view, true faith is meaningful with these two components, and the lack of each one leads to flawed faith. He not only believes in faith based on knowledge, but also believes in knowledge as a necessary part of faith and as its components. From the point of view of both thinkers, spirituality is an important element in religion. Both emphasize religious spirituality based on religious teachings and beliefs. Spirituality should be theocentric and based on the holt text. Both emphasize the comprehensiveness of spirituality. Both believe in the relationship between spirituality and beliefs and the foundation of beliefs for spirituality. They do not regard spirituality and faith, apart from knowledge and belief, as well as action and social life. The existence of similarities indicates the importance of the spirituality and spiritual needs of human, the necessity of religious spirituality and the attention to the theological foundations of spirituality. Despite these similarities, there are some differences. Although McGrath insists beliefs must be firm, some Christian beliefs are not. For example, the doctrine of the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus is a belief in the opposite of reason. Also, the revelation and infallibility of the text of the Quran, as the sacred text of the Muslims and the source of spirituality, can be proved on the basis of rational and religious reasons. But this is not true for the Bible and there is no valid rational or historic reason for the heavenly nature of the whole Bible. The New Testament is a collection of records of some of the apostles. In addition, during the Biblical historical critique, it has been proven that some of its books do not belong to their authors. Regarding the Old Testament, in addition to the Quranic reasons, there are several reasons in the Biblical historical critique that shows that the Old Testament, especially Torah, has been altered and distorted. It seems that the differences are due to differences in the worldview of two thinkers, most of which are due to the religious tradition that they belong to.
Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Comparative Theology, Volume:10 Issue:22, 2019
17 - 30  
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