In Christian political integralism the idea of order has great importance. The primary intrinsic common good of the political community is, I have argued, the good of the order of peace. This comes from a view of creation according to which that which God primarily intends in creation is the good of the order of the whole, as the most perfect reflection of the divine beauty. So I was interested to read in Remi Brague’s book The Wisdom of the World that the Islamic idea of creation lacks this emphasis on the order of the whole. Brague notes that while there are parallels between the Islamic idea of “He who excelled in the creation of all things” and the first creation account in Genesis, there is also “an essential, though subtle, difference:”
the totality in the Bible is additive, and here it is distributive; according to the Bible the object of admiration is the entirety of creatures, in the connection that gives them their consistency; according to the Koran it is every creature viewed individually, without any connection to the rest of creation, indeed, without any link other than that with Allah. (p.57)
One can readily imagine that this difference could lead to all kinds of other differences in between Christian and Islamic politics. I don’t now enough about Islam to be able to tell to what extent actual differences between Islamic and Christian societies are connected to this difference, but I should like to look into it more.
I am hoping to visit Iran soon for a conference for a Muslim-Christian conference at the Al-Mustafa International University in Qom. I shall propose this question of the order of the whole of creation as a presentation topic.