Overcoming Tradition And Modernity: The Search For Islamic by Robert D. Lee

By Robert D. Lee

“Authenticity” has all started to rival “development” as a key to knowing the political aspirations of the Islamic international. nearly in all places modernity has laid waste to culture, these behavior and practices deemed to be undying and actual. Imperialism carried ecu notions of development into Muslim-dominated elements of the globe, and consequently Muslims themselves espoused Western practices, options, and philosophies. Regimes calling themselves liberal, socialist, and Arab nationalist all embraced modernity as their vital objective.Most of those regimes didn't create the promised higher lives their voters wanted. furthermore, traditional Muslims felt depression as modernity ripped aside households, uncovered kids to the materialism and hedonism of Western entertainments, heightened social expectancies, and undermined spiritual trust. even supposing culture has proved itself incapable of staving off modernity, the guarantees and premises of contemporary improvement literature were known as into question.Where is the reality to which Muslims can rally? Does modernity require a rejection of culture? Does the include of Islamic principles necessitate turning clear of modernity? Robert D. Lee explores those compelling questions by way of featuring 4 modern Muslim writers—Muhammad Iqbal, Sayyid Qutb, ‘Ali Shari‘ati, and Mohammed Arkoun—all of whom have refused to bow to this kind of dichotomy of modernity and culture. This examine examines their efforts, deeply stimulated by means of eu considering, to discover a fact past culture and modernity—an “authentic” realizing of Islam upon which Muslims can construct a future.All 4 thinkers think such an actual knowing can function the basis for a brand new politics. Lee argues, even if, that every of theseversions of authenticity suffers shortcomings and falters in its efforts to maneuver from the particularity of tradition onto a grander scale of political association acceptable for the trendy international.

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Edward W. Said, Orientalism (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1978). 28. Ahmed, Postmodernism and bhm, p. 183. 29. Said, Orientalism, p. 239. Philip Hitti, Islam: A Way of Life (Chicago: University of Minnesota Press, 1970). 31: I am grateful to Michael Bead for alerting me to this question. 32. See Mohammed Arkoun‘s Rethinking Islam: Common Questions, Uncommon Answers, trans. and ed. by R O M D. Lee (Boulder: Westview, 1994) for an introdudion to his thought. 33. Mohammad Iqbal, Serrets ofthe Sey A Philosophical Poem,trans.

But these writers do share Gramsci's emphasis on autonomy and his opposition to tradition, The theme of autonomy h authezztic thotrgS-tt runs even d e q c s in the existentiaiist strain than in the Marxist tradition of Western thought. "sFor Kierkegaardt, Christianity mq u i ~ an s act of i~~diwidual will. fndividuals must choose it. God speaks to alt human beings, but he is so relnote that h u m n beings cannot know him or understand him, Truth is in this sense unavailable; neither aesthetic nor ethical wisdom is liable, but human beings c m nonettneless choose through a leap of faith to do God's will.

Such an arwment leaves him far h m such writers as Pascd, Gutierra, @lib, or momeini-atl expments of an authenticity rooted in religious belief. But these writers do share Gramsci's emphasis on autonomy and his opposition to tradition, The theme of autonomy h authezztic thotrgS-tt runs even d e q c s in the existentiaiist strain than in the Marxist tradition of Western thought. "sFor Kierkegaardt, Christianity mq u i ~ an s act of i~~diwidual will. fndividuals must choose it. God speaks to alt human beings, but he is so relnote that h u m n beings cannot know him or understand him, Truth is in this sense unavailable; neither aesthetic nor ethical wisdom is liable, but human beings c m nonettneless choose through a leap of faith to do God's will.

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