(This post is part of the 30 for 30 challenge)
Well, this post comes a day late. Why? Well, let’s just say that sometimes life gets in the way of one’s own creative pursuits, and we have to make time for those we love. Now, back to the post at hand.
As I mentioned at the end of yesterday’s post, I heard something on the radio this past weekend that really got me thinking about the whole problem of fundamentalist certainty that is seemingly awash in our current political discourse.
The radio program is the Ted Talk Radio Hour, and the subject of the show was “Faith and Doubt”.
The part of the program that most intrigued me was given be author, and agnostic Jew, Lesley Hazelton. A self prescribed “accidental theologian”, Leslie took it upon herself to research and write a book about the prophet Muhammad, titled “The First Muslim”. In the five years she researched the project, she looked back to some of the earliest known biographies of Muhammed, and realized that there was one very key thing about him that modern conservative interpreters of the religion seem to assert. Namely, that Muhammed never doubted what he experienced was real, let alone Divine. Quite the contrary. As Hazelton puts it:
In his own reported words, he was convinced that what had happened couldn’t have been real. At best, he thought, a hallucination – a trick of the mind…at worst, possession…and when he found himself still alive, his first impulse was to finish the job himself – to leap off the highest cliff and escape the terror of what he’d experienced by putting an end to all experience.”
In short, she says, “He came down from the mountain that night not overwhelmed with conviction, but by doubt.” Continue reading “Day 5 – Fear, Faith, Fundamentalism, and Doubt (part 2 of 2)”