The Unthought in Contemporary Islamic Thought

Saqi (2002)

Abstract

Mohammed Arkoun is one of the Muslim world's foremost thinkers. His efforts to liberate Islamic history from dogmatic constructs have led him to a radical review of traditional history. Drawing on a combination of pertinent disciplines ? history, sociology, psychology and anthropology ? his approach subjects every system of belief and non-belief, every tradition of exegesis, theology and jurisprudence to a critique aimed at liberating reason from the grip of dogmatic postulates. By treating Islam as a religion as well as a time-honoured tradition of thought, Arkoun's work aims at overcoming the limitations of descriptive, narrative and chronological modes in history by recommending that the entire development of Islamic thought ? from Quranic to present-day fundamentalist discourses ? be subjected to a critical analysis guided by these categories. The expected outcome of such a strategy is an emancipated political reason working hand in hand with a truly creative imagination for a radical re-construction of mind and society in the contemporary Muslim world.

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