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Insider/Outsider Problem Of Religion Interpretation - Essay Example
The Arabic term, Islam, which means “submission (to the will of God)”, and the term, Muslim, which means “he who has surrendered (to the will of God),” emphasize a shared belief in one Supreme Being…
The dilemma of who has the right and power to interpret religion has been long known as a problem of insider and outsider. For instance, McCutcheon (1999) thoroughly examines all the ‘insides’ and ‘outsides’ of religion, broadly covering the aspects of autonomy of religious experience and contrasting them to naturalistic analysis and scientific approach to understanding and explanation. It reveals the magnitude of the insider/outsider problem in understanding, interpreting and studying the religions. From the critical perspective, being a practitioner of a religious belief or an insider can be considered as an obstacle to critical reception and analysis of religion, because it adds subjectivity and effectively eliminates objectivity and reasoning from the analysis.
Among many religions, Islam can be characterized as the most controversial religion from the insider/outsider perspective. The Arabic term, Islam, which means “submission (to the will of God)”, and the term, Muslim, which means “he who has surrendered (to the will of God),” emphasize a shared belief in one Supreme Being. Among all Muslims, this is known as tawhid (oneness). This concept is stated in the shahadah, or the testimony of faith: the saying, in Arabic, that “there is no other god but God and Muhammad is His Prophet.” The shahadah is repeated from every mosque five times a day to notify the Islamic community when it is time to pray, and it reinforces the most important belief in Islamic dogma, tawhid. ...