By Keith Popple
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Additional resources for Analysing community work : its theory and practice
Duncan B. Macdonald (– ), once a professor at Hartford Theological Seminary in Connecticut, was one of a handful of American scholars who took an interest in Islam, with a speciﬁc focus on Ghazālī. 30 Reﬁning the orientalist approach of making backhanded insults, Macdonald conﬁdently noted: ‘‘The diﬀerence in the Oriental is not essentially religiosity, but the lack of the sense of law. ’’ 31 Understanding Macdonald’s approach to Ghazālī requires that one grasp his Manichean dichotomy of being and existence, which posits an unbridgeable distance between self and other, occidental and oriental, and Christian and Muslim.
There is no gainsaying that Ghazālī did carefully and frequently cite and elaborate on the teachings of Jesus. In fact, if his insights are properly articulated, they can serve as an ecumenical bridge between Islam and Christianity, one that could lead to a more productive understanding between the In t r o d uc t i o n two Abrahamic traditions. But it is precisely this potential that eluded the missionary, for such an inclusive approach was antithetical to the exclusivist notions of religion held by Zwemer.
30 Reﬁning the orientalist approach of making backhanded insults, Macdonald conﬁdently noted: ‘‘The diﬀerence in the Oriental is not essentially religiosity, but the lack of the sense of law. ’’ 31 Understanding Macdonald’s approach to Ghazālī requires that one grasp his Manichean dichotomy of being and existence, which posits an unbridgeable distance between self and other, occidental and oriental, and Christian and Muslim. For Macdonald, the distinctions were marked by an essential diﬀerence between the oriental and the occidental mind.
Analysing community work : its theory and practice by Keith Popple