View from Islam, View from the West

Diogenes 50 (4):49-59 (2003)
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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



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