Hierarchical Rationality of Religious Beliefs System in Islamic and Christian Theology (Qodratullah Qorbani)

Hierarchical rationality of religious beliefs system indicate their longitudinal relationships, so that each belief benefits from pertained rationality based on its ontological place within the web of religious knowledge. Therefore, it can be possible to consider three layers of religious beliefs that include fundamental, middle, and marginal ones. Concerning these levels of beliefs, fundamental beliefs have the most rationality, followed by middle ones, and finally marginal ones have the least rationality. So there can be two beliefs in Islamic and Christian theology, including believing in one God and the hereafter, that are considered as fundamental beliefs. There are also common beliefs between Islamic and Christian theology that generally are about divine attributes, the relationship between God and human beings, the doctrine of creation, and so on. In the meantime, it is possible to have some dedicated middle Christian theological beliefs like doctrines of trinity, incarnation, atonement, inherited sin, and so on, and some dedicated Islamic middle theological beliefs, such as the relation of God’s essence and attributes, the creation or oldness of the Quran, doctrines of Imamate and Caliphate, and so on. Finally, the level of marginal beliefs of two Islamic and Christian theological, are about the sacredness of places, times, events, things, persons, situations, and so forth. This research shows that although all religious beliefs have been expanded and changed under the influences of epistemic and non-epistemic factors in their historical contexts, but fundamental beliefs of these two traditions have more stability, immutability, universality, and compatibility with human beings’ innate, and have fewer influences under the cited factors. So, such beliefs have more rationality. Islamic and Christian middle beliefs, are generally based on believers’ plural understandings of religious texts and under the influences of the mentioned factors. While marginal beliefs are the most changeable ones, and depend upon many factors. Consequently, the rationality of Islamic and Christian beliefs system has been decreased from fundamental toward marginal levels and is being expanded gradually. So, in order to study the rationality of religions and their theologies, it is necessary to pay closer attention to how and under what conditions (epistemic and non-epistemic) their web of religious beliefs are formed and shaped.

Author: Dr. Qodratullah Qorbani