Intercultural Interview [Student’s Name] [Institution’s Name] Intercultural Interview Introduction This specific paper is based on interviewing two individuals who belong to different religions, which is the cultural characteristic in question as far as this paper is concerned. The individuals that were consulted for this specific paper belong to Muslim and Christian religions.
The paper and the specific questions which were asked revolve around the aspects of subjective life experiences of these two individuals, milestones and issues that were faced and resolved by the individual under consideration, and his/her perspective in correlation to a controversial topic, for example, whether there are parallel factors between the image of God as portrayed by Islam and Christianity, and how much of a role religion should play in a person’s life.
The paper further makes an inclusion of a description of these respondents under consideration, a comparison and an evaluation of distinctions between their responses, and a summary of chief findings related to the text. The first respondent is a conservative and practicing Muslim, who adheres to the fundamentals of Islam strictly and attempts to apply it to all areas of life. This individual has in depth knowledge of Islam and is familiar with all the intricacies.
The second respondent of the paper is a moderately practicing Christian who is aware of the fundamentals of Christianity, and who believes that the basics of religion should help one lead their life but religion should be viewed in an innovative sense, and that, its application varies with time. The interviews with these individuals depicted that their life experiences also function as a representation of how their lives were shaped by religion.
As far as the Christian individual is concerned, he has always had a very moderate view about religion and his interactions with people belonging to different religions mostly resulted into favorable outcomes. Sometimes, there have been some conflicts between this individual and those Jews and Muslims that have very conservative views. The interviews also indicated that the Christian individual’s encounters with people belonging to other religions have mostly been peaceful.
The Muslim individual’s encounters with people from different religions has mostly been mixed but post 9/11, things have been really difficult for him. Since he has a beard, therefore, those who associate beards and Islam with terrorism have treated him with hostility. He has had to face discrimination because of his religion as well. Research indicates that Christian monotheism differs from Islamic monotheism because in Christianity, the concept of God is defined in terms of Trinity while in Islam, God is “One True God” (Pratt, 2005, p. 98). The Christian respondent was of the specific perspective that this does not necessarily indicate that the God that the devotees of these two religions worship are different. This only signifies that there is a discrepancy in the perceptions of God between these two religions. The Muslim respondent also demonstrated that this means that even though Muslims and Christians worship the same God, Christians have a multi-dimensional view of God and while Muslims have a very fundamental perception about the oneness of God.
Another controversial issue which was discussed in the interviews indicated as to whether prayers should be allowed in public schools or not. In the Christian respondent’s perspective, prayers should not be allowed in public schools because they lead to questionable and discriminatory patterns, and harm the concept of unity. In accord with the Muslim correspondent, prayers should be allowed in public schools because anybody who wants to practice their religion should have the liberty to do so, and no practices should suppress anybody’s religious duties.
Even though several core differences separate Islam and Christianity, noted texts indicate that the differences between the two religions diminish on certain levels (Fish, 2011, p. 56). The Christian individual also indicated that even though these are two different religions, he believes Islam to be an extension of Christianity, which has revised some basic and other complicated definitions. The Muslim individual demonstrated the belief that he believes Islam to be that facet of Christianity which functions as a contradiction to its roots, while retaining some core elements.
The milestones and problems that the Christian individual has had could indicate that his life as a Christian in the region of U. S. was full of diverse factors. He belongs to a conservatively religious family and since he was someone who was not into religion, therefore, he faced some opposition from his immediate and extended families because of his extremely modern values. He also went through the mode of an identity crisis because of this and when his family accepted him for who he was, he accomplished some core milestones because he studied religion later and implemented its core aspects.
The Muslim individual belonged to a very modern Muslim family, which only followed religion to the negligible extent of adopting it as the name of their religion and did not follow any of it. Some milestones were accomplished when this individual went through a major transformation in the route of their twenties and started following religion. Some family members were against him and some supported his choices, same goes for friends. Some perspectives also indicate that Islam is more increasingly institutionalized than other religions of the world (Ebaugh, 2006, p. 19). Further, Islam and Christianity both have sects and differentiations. The Christian individual has faced difficulties and heated discussions because of the conflicts between Protestants and Catholics while the Muslim individual has faced difficulties because of the differentiations between Shias and Sunnis. Research also indicates that Christianity deals with the specific issue of conflicts between fundamental Christian beliefs and modernity by including secularism while Islam accomplishes this by rebuffing secularism (Sperber, 2000, p. 6). The interview with the Christian indicated that those who follow the secular way of life mostly get along well with those following Christianity while Muslims usually do not get along well with those who are secular. The respondents were also interviewed about how following religion to a certain degree has shaped their lives. The Christian individual responded that following religion installs that religious factor in his life which could be believed to be spiritual.
Even though he is not an intrinsically religious individual and religion could not be believed to be a dominant segment of his life, he demonstrates that this spirituality is the stabilizing factor in his existence. The Muslim individual demonstrated that implementing religion in all aspects of his life has brought peace to all facets of his existence. A vital sense of constancy was lacking from his life and religion has placed him in front of it.
Summary of Main Findings Main findings related to the text indicate that Christian and Muslim perceptions about the oneness of God are different, and that there are differentiations in the way these two cohorts might approach prayers. Also, if a person is born in a religious family, no matter whether they are Muslim or Christian, then they are expected to follow religion in the manner of the family and if they do not, they might face some resistance from their families.
The interviews under consideration also depicted that people belonging to different religions may face conflicts from different sects, but these conflicts may be more pronounced for Muslims than Christians. Those who are secular might be more accepting towards Christians than Muslims and vice versa. Also, some differences indicated that even though both Christians and Muslims may discover themselves to be on the threshold of conflicts as far as other religions of the world are concerned, Christians are more favored by people belonging to other religions than Muslims.
Both Christians and Muslims turn to religion to add the core spiritual factor to their lives. References Ebaugh, H. R. (2006). Handbook of religion and social institutions. New York, NY: Springer. Fish, M. S. (2011). Are Muslims distinctive? A look at the evidence. New York: Oxford University Press. Pratt, D. (2005). The challenge of Islam: encounters in interfaith dialogue. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company. Sperber, J. (2000). Christians and Muslims: The dialogue activities of the World Council of churches and their theological foundations. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.