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Christianity in the east is more radical than the west, although it's minority there.

What's the meaning of radical here?

Radical means a fundamental change but I see no change here. It's a general statement. Is radical wrongly used in this context?

closed as off-topic by Jason Bassford, SamBC, Hellion, shin, Rompey Mar 12 at 21:27

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"Radical" can also mean "extreme", particularly in politics and religions. The buzzphrase "Radical Islamic Terrorists" means that the terrorists practice an extreme form of Islam. "Radical Liberals" would be Liberals that have a very strongly left position on a political spectrum. Someone who is "radical" is extremely different as compared to the population.

In your example from the question, it probably means that Christianity in the East is more strict in its interpretation of the Bible (and therefore the people live in a more extreme variation of nonreligious life).

  • extreme means as it is form of scriptures. Right? – user88834 Mar 10 at 6:23
  • one who follows everything literally – user88834 Mar 10 at 6:24
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    Possibly, yes, but those who extrapolate to extreme positions outside of scripture are also radicals. "Radical" is rarely used as a compliment when talking about religions. – user45266 Mar 10 at 6:30
  • yeah like those who form cults and preach really extreme things. – user88834 Mar 10 at 6:39
  • One might say they practise "radical religion". In your example from the question, it probably means that Christianity in the East is more strict in its interpretation of the Bible (and therefore live in a more extreme variation of nonreligious life). – user45266 Mar 10 at 6:56
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This is too little context to say. "Radical Christianity" has a range of different meanings to different people, but context should make it clearer which one of them a given author means. It can mean radically different from what came before, in a number of ways, and then a particular group of people keeps using it to mean, specifically, radical in that way. One of the more popular uses at the moment is a form of Christianity focusing on the gospels (not Acts or the Epistles or Revelation, and not the Old Testament) and the direct teachings of Christ, especially those about love and care for one another.

  • So basically radical means significantly different from mainstream. Whether it is extreme(taking every word of the scriptures literally) or a sect like what you said only focuses on the red words.(Jesus' own) – user88834 Mar 10 at 13:58
  • There are other meanings, but that's what I'd read it as here. – SamBC Mar 10 at 14:01
  • and what are they? – user88834 Mar 10 at 14:02
  • I did check a dictionary. But it wasn't much thorough – user88834 Mar 10 at 14:03
  • It has other senses that are variants on novel - a "radical change" is novel and significant in extent. It has a specific meaning in chemistry, where it's a chemical species with a non-filled electron 'shell', and that's where we end up talking about "free radicals". It can mean severe or significant in extent without being novel, as long as it's something that's a minority thing, like "radical socialism" - though I suspect that meaning started as incorporating the "novel" sense. – SamBC Mar 10 at 14:07