This collection of essays covers the classical heritage and Islamic culture, classical Arabic science and philosophy, and Muslim religious sciences, showing continuation of Greek and Persian thought as well as original Muslim contributions ...
In the Greek/Indian period, it is noticeable that different radii were used in connection with the chord. This manner continued in the Indian period with the sine, i.e. different sine tables existed. But throughout the Arabic-Islamic period, there was stability in the radius (for the sine). At the time of al-Batt new terms were introduced, not as functions of angles but as lengths, and again different tables for the same term. Here these terms were not bounded to the (...) circle, and the term miqythe radiusfunctions al-Waf’s time, there was an advancement by introducing the new terms as functions of angles, and they were immediately bounded to the circle, and instead of having two circles in the same figure, a kind of unity appeared, and again there was stability in the value of r, and therefore only one table for each function, and thus the new functions started to appear more abstract than practical as the sine did before, and this unity remained fixed in the modern times. (shrink)
John Stuart Mill's best-known work is On Liberty (1859). In it he declared that Western society was in danger of coming to a standstill. This was an extraordinarily pessimistic claim in view of Britain's global dominance at the time and one that has been insufficiently investigated in the secondary literature. The wanting model was that of China, a once advanced civilization that had apparently ossified. To understand how Mill came to this conclusion requires one to investigate his notion of the (...) stages from barbarism to civilization, and also his belief in imperialism as part of the civilizing process. Here India plays a central role, as both Mill and his father worked for the East India Company. This study, then, investigates the relationship between Mill's liberalism and his justification of imperialism. It takes us into the Utilitarianism of his family background, and such other influences as Romanticism, Scottish political economy and such key French thinkers as Saint-Simon, Guizot, Comte and Tocqueville. Mill, then, provides the focus of a debate on the origins, meaning, and consequences of Western civilization. It encompasses discourses on colonialism and orientalism, on Enlightenment optimism and conservative despair, on the need for leadership and the advance of democracy; in short, on the blessings, curses and dangers of modernization from approximately the time of the American and French revolutions to that of the so-called mid-Victorian calm in which On Liberty was written. Furthermore, current political issues concerning the West and Islamic countries have heightened interest in just the kind of question that this book discusses: that of how the West relates to, and assesses, the rest of the world. (shrink)
Ibn KhaldØun’s theory of history has been extensively discussed and interpreted in widely divergent ways by Western scholars. In the context of present debates, it seems most appropriate to read his work as an original and comprehensive version of civilizational analysis (the key concept of ‘umran is crucial to this line of interpretation), and to reconstruct his model in terms of relations between religious, political and economic dimensions of the human condition. A specific relationship between state formation and the broader (...) context of civilizational processes appears as the most central theme. This civilizational approach is then contrasted with the most influential recent Western interpretation, put forward by Ernest Gellner. Gellner translates Ibn KhaldØun’s analysis into functionalist terms and thus tones down its historical and civilizational specificity. The consequences are most obvious when it comes to discussing the unity and diversity of the Islamic world, especially with regard to the Ottoman Empire. (shrink)
In this paper, I explore the effects of religious denomination and patterns of church-going on the construction of political values for high-school students. I argue that religion plays a role in the formation of political attitudes among teenagers and it influences their political participation. I examine whether this relationship is constructed along denominational lines. From a theoretical perspective, previous research heralded the compatibility between Western Christianity and the democratic form of government. Samuel Huntington, in his famous Clash of Civilization, (...) argued that there is a natural symbiosis between Western Christianity and democratic forms of government, going insofar as to separate the world into religious civilizations. While, this approach essentializes religion as a fixed and immutable entity, Huntington also neglects the importance of dynamic historical, political and social contexts that can, and, in fact, do affect the functioning of religion in different countries, and hence their ability and willingness to accommodate democracy. Much research followed the Clash of Civilizations, either qualifying the central argument, by showing evidence of support for procedural democracy in most of the World, but without its liberal component or even arriving at the opposite conclusion that irrespective of religion, every country is “democratizable”. While I do not attempt to disconfirm fundamental huntingtonian thinking, I do raise the questions of how context can and does influence the intimate relationship between religion and politics. The analysis is conducted on survey data collected by the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) at Babes-Bolyai University with subjects of 14-15 years old, and the results show that, while Greek Orthodox students do not seem to differ in their political values form their Catholic and Protestant counterparts, they are more prone to participate politically. Nevertheless, their active participatory behavior is only more pronounced in what voting is concerned, an opposite effect being recorder for any other acts of political participation. (shrink)
This article explores the 'transmission of knowledge' between the western world and Indian and Chinese civilization, a role fulfilled over several centuries by Muslim civilization. The Muslim world is essentially 'western' for philosophical and religious reasons: it was informed by Greek thought and fed upon Judaeo-Christian culture, of which the Koran is a newer reading. For these reasons, the Islamic countries, situated between India and China, may be considered as an extension of the western view of the Far (...) East. From among the Fare Eastern knowledge systems with which Muslims came into contact (and which they sometimes adopted), the author has chosen some that later revolutionized or challenged western thought, precipitating a (positive) 'clash of civilizations': Buddhist thought, yoga, acupuncture, and Ayurvedic medicine. (shrink)
This essay provides an interpretation of Sayyid Jamāl ad-Dīn al-Afghānī, a controversial figure in nineteenth-century Islamic political thought. One aspect of this controversy is the tension between "Refutation of the Materialists," Afghānī's well-known defense of religious orthodoxy, and a short newspaper article entitled "Reply to Renan" that dismisses prophetic religion as dogmatic and intellectually stifling. In this essay I argue that close attention to Afghānī's theory of civilization helps resolve this apparent contradiction. Afghānī's interest in Ibn Khaldūn and the (...) French historian Guizot is well known, but has not been fully explored in the literature. I suggest that understanding Guizot's distinctive approach to the concept of civilization illuminates Afghānī's writings on the political utility of religion. Afghānī was an ardent anti-imperialist and his goal was to encourage reform in Islamic countries while resisting Western hegemony. He concluded that the tension between prophetic religion and critical thought could help Islamic civilization to flourish. (shrink)
Introduction: Eurocentrism, capitalism and modernity -- The emergence of Eurocentrism: fragments and contradictions -- Anthropocentrism and Europic universals -- Marxism and the Europic problematic -- The dual dialectics of Europic theory -- Critique of the Eurocentrism of civil society -- Ethical economic symbolic representation: Eurocentrism and imaginary dialectical universalisation -- Capital: Marx's anti-Europic theory of modernity -- Conclusion: Eurocentrism, capitalism and the end of modernity (and post-modernity).
It is often said that Greek civilization underwent a transition from myth to reason. But what does this assertion mean? Is it true? Were the Greeks special in having evolved our sort of reason, or is that a mirage? In this book, some of the world's leading experts on ancient Greek myth, religion, philosophy, and history reconsider these fundamental issues.
Tracing the course of thought, action, and expression in the golden age of Islamic civilization, L. E. Goodman's Islamic Humanism paints a vivid panorama that departs strikingly from the all too familiar image of Islamic dogma, authoritarianism, and militancy. Among the poets and philosophers, scientists and historians, ethicists and mystics of Islam, Goodman finds a warm and vital humanism, committed to the pursuit of knowledge and to the cosmopolitan values of generosity, tolerance, and understanding. Drawing on a (...) wide range of writings, from love poetry to pietism, to satire, to history and metaphysics, and on to hunting, music and the dance, clothing, politics, and the marketplace, Goodman discloses the rich texture of classical Islamic civilization-its distinctive problematics and the space it left for the talents and creativity of the individual. His philosophic openness and easy familiarity place Islamic humanism securely in its larger context, revealing clearly what is of universa and abiding vitality and interest. In place of stereotypes, suspicions, and unease, Goodman sets out concrete and detailed expositions and explorations of Islamic thought and experience as seen through the eyes of the participants themselves. His engaged but sympathetic readings penetrate beneath the surface of the ancient texts to the humanistic values embraced by some of the greatest thinkers of Islam. As a result, Islamic Humanism does much more than remind us how much we owe to the intellectual achievements of Islamic civilization. The work is a significant contribution to Western understanding of Islam and to Islamic self-understanding of the profoundly humanistic dimensions of the Islamic tradition. (shrink)