This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Lord God,give me light in my heart, and light in my tongue. Give me light in my eye,and light in my hearing. Give me light upon my right side and upon my left side. Give me light above me, light beneath me, light before me, and light behind me. Give me light. Make me light. (Hadith in Muslim, Musafirin, 181, 187)
If the modern West is the civilizational climax of the profane and the material, then Islamic civilization, when it existed, was probably the civilizational climax of the sacred. This function need not be attributed to a spiritual eminence, which Muslims might wish to claim but which is certainly undemonstrable; nor can it be shown that any given Muslim artifact or text was more refined than a cognate production of, say, Hinduism. Rather, Islam's civilizational eminence stemmed from a spectacular plenitude. Of the other religions of the pre-Enlightenment world, only Buddhism rivaled Islam in massively encompassing a range of cultures; however Islam, uncontroversially, was the foundation for a still wider range and variety of cultural worlds. In particular, we may identifY distinctive high civilizations among Muslim Mricans, Arabs, Turks (including Central Asians), Persians (including, as an immensely fertile extension, Muslim India),
but it is closely allied to the more totalitarian possibilities which the Enlightenment unleashed. Muslim thinkers therefore tend to contemplate the Enlightenment from within. Islam saw itself as abolishing all mediators between creature and creator. This is why Rilke. like a river bursting through a mountain range. might have fallen from the lips of Voltaire or Condorcet.and the population of the Malay Archipelago. no less than Marx or Hayek. its God's name is The Light.imeitreforms. The Enlightenment. then. 'Hallo. and must therefore be reckoned as a precursor of the Enlightenment. whether as revolutionaries. Instead. radiating from the complex court cultures ofJava. a Protean tidal wave of disparate sects and currents.. Much Enlightenment anticlericalism was moved by the spectacle of religious wars in a Europe in which confessional difference was considered a threat to the coherence of the state. Despite brave talk of a "dialogue of civilizations" proposed by the United Nations and the Iranian ex-president Khatami. typically defines itself in solidly Western terms as a "vanguard" (~l"i'a). In the place of elaborate liturgies led by a priesthood which governed the people's access to truth. Islamism is far from the liberal entailments of the Enlightenment. and the transformation of the world which it seeks is classically seen by apologists as a tanwir. or. Kepnes would see this as a potential by-product of scripture's "combination of ethnocentrism and theocentrism." (9:34) words which. The struggle with radical Islam is yet another western family quarrel. First. Even modern Islamism. was not uniformly secular in a straightforward way. and dead Aristotelian verbiage. collaborators. is anyone there. translated into French. and Clive's destruction of Mogul India. "movement" (~araka). is at root a subaltern one. an "Enlightenment.3 Islam. If such an argument will not stand on its own. indeed. in fact.2 Let us begin.' and no-one replies. the Racovians and the Quakers." because it sweeps away superstition. he breaks through to the One God with whom you can talk so wonderfully. which Louis Gardet was able to call "a lay. every morning. denying that any ritual might be the preserve of a distinct human category. which. it was a reaction against certain specifically Christian institutions and doctrines. there is the matter of clerical power. not a single Islamic civilization remains. Our larger embeddedness lies always within political and economic structures borrowed from the values and administrative methods of the West. we admit that our civilization has been profoundly defeated. and proposing a radically nonsacramental system of worship which obstructed the creation of religious hierarchies. precisely in the Enlightenment spirit. or academics. then it is hard to deny that it was anticipated also by the Ishmaelite Reformation. when finally ensconced in the palace of a fallen tyrant. as an "Islamic Republic. many of which Islam also rejects. modern Islamic movements are typically presented as symptoms of the sole remaining Other's desperate resistance to the universal march of reason and science."4 thus appears as a sort of seventh -century Reformation. For like Servetus." Such a combination also exists in cultures grounded in Qur'anic . Individual Muslims may frequently be embedded in neighborhoods or congregations whose values are substantially pre-Enlightenment. without the telephone called 'Christ' into which people constantly shout.5 The Qur'an calls itself "Light" on many occasions."l Islamic civilization as such did not long outlive the Ottoman tan'. with the proposition that the current "Islamic revival" is a proof of Islam's intrinsic receptivity to modernity. priestcraft. or fundamentalist or conservative positions. egalitarian theocracy. while praising some clergy (5:82) claims that "many of the rabbis and monks devour the people's property without any right. let us consider Islam's vision of a diverse but ordered society. its insistence on a return to what it thought was Jesus' original doctrine through the rejection of supposed Hellenic accretion and sacramental excess was more thoroughgoing than even Luther's. Napoleon's invasion of Egypt." Hence John Gray's diagnosis: "The ideologues of political Islam are western voices. Basit Koshul has implied this with his list of convergences between Qur'anic religion and some major Enlightenment concerns. could write like this: Muhammad was immediate. but nowhere do those social modules remain part of a functioning civilization. and that our role. It is true that the rapid spread of Islamism is not always considered by outside observers to be proof of a Muslim willingness to adapt to modernity. and. Its trenchant anticlericalism chimes readily enough with the Qur'an. But a broader perspective will readily reject this. which claims to be the Third World's great revolt against the imposition of the West's monoculture. particularly since its reforming urges veered toward the most radical dissent. we may as well support his contention by proposing the following additional resemblances. Whether we adopt liberal readings of our scriptures. broadly understood. before examining an alternative perspective. If the Enlightenment was made possible by Protestant demolitions of hierarchy and cumulative tradition.
we have got no further. often reckoned themselves fortunate to be protected from the violence of neighboring rulers. Thus they practice the minds of youth. in particular. set twice to music by Schubert. rivals in its enthusiasm for the Prophet the most ecstatic productions of Muslim poets. and in this alone can man find thorough satisfaction. generally speaking. concluded that in all the world there is not "a more plausible system than his. Acknowledging this. Thomas Jefferson certainly rejected the Trinity. exalts Saladin as the very model of a reasonable prince. Islam could seem "a sociable and tolerant religion. in view of its centrality. You see that nothing is wanting in this doctrine. was a far safer place for minorities than most Christian countries." the Count turns out simply to be a "pure" monotheist hostile to the subtleties of Trinitarian doctrine."12 It was the desert. The values and beliefs of its immediate community. where the citizenry rises to wash and pray toward the East at dawn. say." Accused of "deism. Certainly. The same themes appear in the utopian City of the Sun of Tommaso Campanella (1568-1639). Gotthold Lessing's Nathan the Wise (1780)." Of the latter there seem to have been very few. while his West-ostlicher Divan is perhaps the greatest work of Western literature written in conscious emulation of an Islamic model.9 For Voltaire. from which. and a Vindication of him and his Religion from the Calumnies of the Christians could hardly be pub- lished during his lifetime. with the Life of Mahomet. and his rules on circumcision. although a ramshackle and corrupt entity during the Enlightenment period.revelation. it incites the mind to closer enquiry and experiment. is surely not far away. too. scarcely needful after all the foregoing. Goethe is one important symbol of this tendency: his own Mahomets Gesang. based on an outline understanding of classical kalam dialectics: Something of that faith is held in us all [. "and preserved among them the natural notion of the true God. by giving them the task of detecting and expressing the opposite of every proposition.14 but used the Prophet's religion as a foil against which to compare the complexities of the established doctrines of England over which so much blood was being spilt. which historically saw itself as the restoration of simple Semitic monotheism against the Nicene God. no one can get further.? 'Better the turban of the Sultan than the tiara of the Pope' was a regularly heard protest against the prospect of Latin rule. I? Islamic scholasticism. Enlightenment admiration for the Prophet. that he praised the Ottoman educational method."l0 A third point. who governs impartially and refuses religious fanaticism. that saved the Arabs from superstition and priestcraft. certainty proceeds. although erratic thanks to a continuing and even intensifYing European xenophobia. with the doctrine that nothing exists of which the contrary may not be affirmed. a classic fable of the Enlightenment. or inherited aristocratic privilege. the Arabs. Conservatives often berated the Enlightenment's leaders as "deists" or "atheists.. in favor of the monotheism (but not the detailed religions) of their neighbors. the Ottoman Empire.15 therefore seems to have been linked to a desire for simplicity and reasonableness. Here are his thoughts. So one early Enlightenment author of an admiring biography of the Prophet. The Prophet is the perfect homme raisonnable. where the example of the Ottomans inspires a City of God devoid of gambling. are condemned.16 It was as a child of the Enlightenment. surprisingly perhaps. inactive ghost of "deism. and the "deism" in most cases'turns out to be a derogatory term for some version of Unitarianism. Islam was certainly privileged. determined that one of the four concurrently valid senses of the hadith which prohibits Qur'anic . as befitted the highest repository of truth. after the contrary of any proposition has been maintained. alcohol. de Boulainvilliers held.8 With the exception of those Enlightenment theorists who viewed legal equality as a necessary entailment of justice. but differently."l1 Islam. which. more agreeable to the light of reason. was itself rooted in a principle of scriptural hermeneutic which. swine-flesh. the Comte de Boulainvilliers (1658-1722). if rightly managed. but it coexisted with Jewish and Christian minorities as well as with internal sectarian communities. whose book An Account of the Rise and Progress of Mahometanism.. since the Qur'an is characterized by a radical xenocentrism. ] Then the Mahometans begin their instruction in philosophy. Perhaps as a partial consequence of this. following a natural religion presumably linked to Campanella's known doubts about the Trinity and the sacraments. the philosophes should have been delighted with. but his God was more than the vague. doubt arises as to which is really true. in particular.13 Much of the same admiration appears also in the English Civil War thinker Henry Stubbe (1632-1676). and regular ritual ablution are emblematic of a sensible hygienic outlook which also sweeps away the accumulated theological dust of centuries. which supposedly allowed all propositions to be entertained. Jews.6 and some Christian sectarian communities found the indifference of the sultans more congenial than the persecution which they feared in many Christian kingdoms. may be added to Koshul's case. and that. from which great adroitness in thinking and speaking is sure to arise. Muslim cultures could often be religiously diverse. But there is no permanence in doubt. that with all our systems.
He is the perfect icon of man's bienfaisant independence from original sin. It has been made with particular elegance by Roger Garaudy. (Lucian Freud's Leigh Bowery shows how far we have come from David. represent the only version of Enlightenment which has survived the twentieth century.19 while for the humanities. a city which witnessed a combination of revealed and rational wisdom so sophisticated that it was a "first Renaissance. The polarities on which the novel is conventionally predicated (East/West. straight/gay. Perhaps the only "Western" trope which survives in the contemporary novel is the undying Isaac/Ishmael dichotomy (Rushdie. vaunts his musculature as a splendid alternative to his prophetic robes. including. unlike the Moors of Cordova. with more disfigurement. rooted in what he calls the Third Heritage (the first two being the Classics and the Bible). and it is no coincidence that Mu'tazilism was known for its simplistic and dichotomizing prioritization of reason over scripture. for that would be to raise one's view to the rank. has nothing obvious in common with the vision of the philosophes. Yet David's legacy has in the past century taken unforeseen turns. has been attacked by the successors of Balchtin as an enemy of heteroglossia. "faith. for whom its highest expression unfolded in medieval Cordova. Houellebecq. and therefore flourishing. is predicated on an undesirable Augustinian or even Jansenist pessimism. religious/ secular. Koshul's case for classicalIslam as an enlightenment that succeeded in retaining the sovereignty of God thus seems a credible one. still to come. George Makdisi traces European humanism to Islamic antecedents. archaic realism and fixity ofIslam's perception of the world and human nature. will the West save itself from its "deadly hegemonic adventure. which. bourgeois/proletarian). and today one looks entirely in vain for an analogous exaltation of Man in the art of the liberal democracies. apart from Islamism and Chinese communism. "21 THE ENLIGHTENMENT'S DECLINE AND FALL'? On this view. and by feminists (Cixous and others) as a foolish attempt to create linear and "phallocentric" meaning by illicidy claiming a natural link between linguistic signifiers and what they signify. which has become the sole uncontroversial icon for the batde between humanism (however ironic). The only significant medieval school that discounted and persecuted all others was Mu'tazilism. serene in his Promethean autonomy from heaven. Piers Paul Reid). That backlash continues to advocate a form of life which strives to reduce or abolish the public role of religion. It is in the spirit of this kind of humanism that Michelangelo's David. political religion is better at challenging human freedom.exegesis on the basis of personal opinion (ray) was that "it is forbidden to consider that one's own interpretation alone is correct. an even prouder vehicle of Enlightenment ideals of freedom through intensified subjectivity. It would also have spared us the late twentieth-century's reprise of the Enlightenment backlash against tradition and authenticity which followed the essentialism and ideologized nostalgia of extreme nationalism. Secularity must be the public certainty. most notably. probably. all other certainties must be contemplated in private. Garaudy thus concludes that only by radically challenging its own version of Enlightenment and accepting a Muslim version. such as Communism and Fascism. the four Sunni schools of law. A significant novel in this late-Enlightenment genre is Michel Houellebecq's Platform.) The novel. For many heirs of the Enlightenment. of revelation. The only realist idiom of representation turns out to exist in order to define the Western Self against the persistent. "18This was the principle which allowed classicalIslam to exist as concurrendy valid but extremely diverse schools. now lie strewn amidst the literary wreckage. and the Maturldi and Ash'ari theologies. and tradition. a prejudice that was augmented further by an escalating positivism that finally dethroned God." on the contrary. in attempting to articulate his horror at the absolute demands of this suffocating . than at supporting it.22 In this abrasive account of a Parisian jldneurs movement toward self-discovery. and the new novel. the medieval world might have endured forever. The narrator. However Westerners.20 the implication being that without Islam. proved less able to tolerate diversity or fecundation by the Other. and their own Renaissance and Enlightenment only added to the European's absolute sense of superiority over other cultures." and "its suicidal model of growth and civilization. the City of Light becomes a 1990s urban Alphaville where an entrepreneurial culture has thrown up a new set of bourgeois sensibilities. although broadly humanistic and even forensic in its introspective obsessions. His most obvious genetic descendents are probably to be sought in Socialist Realism or among the Aryan nudes of Nazi art. An idealism about Reason's ability to purvey Virtue exalts the human consciousness in a way which is thought to be artistically and humanly indispensable. the Islamic tanwir-a missed opportunity for Europe which Garaudy has spent much of his life documenting and lamenting-would have precluded some of the most lethal versions or perversions of Enlightenment culture." Saint-Simon and others had claimed that the Middle Ages ended once Arab science was transmitted to the West.
alone and still far from himself. the obsessive media concern with la mentalite arabe. for having no self. and as in Proust. but we acquire them so that they are truly ours. all else is a treasonable submission to the formal logic of the monoculture. against the collapse into scientific determinism which seems implied by materialistic models of consciousness. In both novels. which becomes the site of an alliance between local prostitutes and Westerners seeking to "be themselves. The Islam which began as a dark and menacing Other on the Paris subway ends by destroying his hopes for fidelity to himself." so that instead of learning what it is to be human. but the Jabrite and certainly inhuman implications ofscientism. A consciousness which is the . minimized by subsequent memories (conservative and secular alike). not by content or quality. Houellebecq's narrator is only able to reflect upon his own growth to self-becoming in connection with the body. whose adoption. that of the Ishmaelite. may be strong enough to haul Europe off the rock of the crisis of human subjectivity. and then in a series of extreme erotic adventures which.24The resentment between zonards and arabes. and his partner Valerie is killed. seems like a premonition of much current post. Houellebecq's extension of the Proustian meditation on modern selfhood has hence adopted a new theme. ally against the recent deflation of the Enlightenment dream. He is aware that the Ishmaelite Other represents an alternative mode of protest against the Thatcherite culture of the new Europe and the absolutist snobbisms of a consumerism for which.26 Such a brave claim will. but sexuality. are impossible in an Ash'arite context. Hence. say. help to centre him in his body. will be helpful here. and therefore. which enables him to explore the rupture between his present and past identity. and only the market is real.culture. Islam's Puritanism. seeks refuge first in apathy. as Robert Pippin has noted. the idealistic-hedonist. represented most intolerably in public spaces by the foulard. He yearns to liberate Arab women from the foulard. accompanied by an infinity of proximate causes. as with Proust. the Romantic trope of love as an antidote to bourgeois claustrophobia has been set aside as just another form of mauvais foi. self-becoming. This has been made possible by the fact that the doctrine of Acquisition (kasb) continues to hold the allegiance of most Muslim thinkers. What distinguishes Houellebecq's voyage into himself is the introduction of the Ishmaelite Other." is attacked by Islamic fundamentalists. let us say. as documented in Naomi Klein's book No Logo. but between rival modalities of knowledge. in a sense. then Islam again becomes a possible. become. like Proust's Marcel. just as celebrities are famous only for being famous. the narrator is a leading protagonist in the story.Enlightenment thought that nonetheless continues some of the Enlightenment's key themes. God has foreordained all. however. Recall Maine de Biran. and indeed Islam was clearer about this aspect of the divine power than was. at least in this respect. and relationality's summit is not romantic love. have to contend with the enormous distinction evident between Islamic and Enlightenment conceptions of human subjectivity. and he dies in absolute hopelessness.25Iflate modernity tends to strip us of true agency. once the experiment with isolation has failed. he finds. prestige is determined by prestige." that ironic modern quest which. albeit partial and conditional. is an alternative journey toward the self. of purely lai"que Enlightenment claims about the sufficiency of consciousness and sense-perception in favor of the idea that knowledge and virtue come from God and human company. The theme is one of "becoming oneself. Yet at the close of the novel Ishmael defeats him. or as identity-politics. God creates our actions. Only Islam and the radical pleasure culture which thrives at the fringes of contemporary urban anomie are paths to self-becoming. inhibited only by the slowness of progress in neuroscience. as the symbol of a constraint upon the senses and the body which represents a residual conventionality's obstruction of his right to find himself. for Houellebecq. If this last survivor of the Enlightenment enterprise.23 "Self-becoming" takes place through relationality. His narrator reacts fiercely against the sight of Arabs in Paris. then must we conclude that the core Enlightenment ideal can only be found in religion? Again. which is itself all that remains of the more solid Enlightenment hope that self-knowledge might be so possible that all the travails of humanity will naturally come to an end. has only two contemporary modalities: the Ishmaelite and. it is true. whether as real faith. signs that the new polarity is certainly not between civilizations (for the sales bicots have none). the only locus of a residual sense of self in a world where the disconnection with the past is absolute. has replaced the ancient and Enlightenment dream of "knowing oneself. There are unmistakable parallels with Proust. The paradisial sex-tourism resort he has established in Thailand. Thomism. However Ash'arism. the novelist avoids any generalization from his own selfawareness to the nature of humanity as such or the quality ofreality. to remember the religious content of much Enlightenment thought. The problem of freedom which Proust and Houellebecq are attempting to unravel has substantially died with the demise of Kantian and Hegelian accounts of moral agency. and the rise of the National Front and the Muslim Brotherhood. and then rejection.
had his own argument against the reified self. both because Islam is radically unsecular. But whereas Marcel cannot be like Fran~oise."33Yet Gide in Biskra. who discovers himself in the arms of prostitutes from simple Thai villages. and even today. whose bacchanalia in Tunis led finallyto the life of a Sufi contemplative. to Houellebecq. and only two such separations are currendy available: Islam and idealistic hedonism. Islam stands like an everlasting island amid a sea of change. while developing an interesting doctrine of the human will on the basis of hadiths about self-denial.32 But Houellebecq's choice is open to challenge. If. and the Arabian Nights. whose pleasures are elemental. neither turns out to be a single thing. in Proust and Houellebecq. joining Europe's symbolic Other which now becomes a sign not of one monotheism in tension with another. But once more. is aware of the ambiguity of a selfhood which exists against the backdrop of a monist philosophy. Guenon entered Islam at the hands of an Egyptian Sufi. For medieval Europe. the reconstitution of the quest for the human subject. of course. While Isaac "laughs" in the midst of the entertainment culture which the West has created to fortify itself against the thought of mortality. though. where he finally found his home. "This Islamic civilization. esoteric and exoteric. To return. His option is for the latter. Ishmael still "hears God. the West which has betrayed Tradition has as its nearest neighbor the civilization which has been most successful in retaining it. married an Egyptian woman. And the katam doctrine of an immortal soul seemed to be in tension with some Sufi views. we have a "soul" (ru~). and with the religious form which the latter is clothed in. "30 Ishmael. "with its two aspects. is like Proust's character Fran~oise. a maid rooted in peasant certainties. then perhaps their quest is not entirely alien to Islam. he advocated Islam as the most appropriate religious choice for Westerners who seek freedom from the monoculture. is in their eyes a mark of manifest inferiority: he who has reached a state of equilibrium no longer feels this need. although he (like Umberto Eco). an enigma which is doubdess one reason for Buddhism's contemporary appeal." he wrote. the goal of whose self-knowledge is in fact annihilation (fanii~. is aware of it. . for instance.highest and most mysterious aspect of our being made "in God's image" (fi furatihi). has been a continuing irritant. are also part of Europe's consciousness. Another Frenchman. who opted for Islam after resigning as chairman of the Communist Party. who during the period portrayed by Proust had experimented with a range of alternative lifestyles. and which is expressed in the Qur'an's aporetic declaration that although we have been told little about it. The Enlightenment's idea of the self was. as Muslims would . and spent the remainder of his life writing and praying as a semirecluse in Cairo. "What Westerners call progress is for Moslems nothing but change and instability. and the need for change.34 The painter Etienne Dinet (1861-1929) began with the Orientalist theme of the Ouled-Nai1 dancer. and of the subject itself. and there have been others.27 At times. Houellebecq rejects this choice. Rene Guenon (1886-1951).) They are engaged. So too is Isabelle Eberhardt (1877-1904).31 The Islamic option has been famous or notorious in France: Garaudy. Islam's status as dark Other was indicated by its sensuality as much as by its theological outrages. whose fixed identity serves as the only constant in his novel. nonsubjective form of consciousness. despised by the smart and the ambitious. which is "from God. offering to shipwrecked Europeans a pattern of life still utterly fixed on God. but went on to portray the Ka'ba itself. exercised his own freedom in favor of the Islamic Other. but only because the former is alien to him.28 In his numerous books. The Islam/Enlightenment dichotomy here seems absolute." and therefore alone deserves to be heard. but following Schopenhauer the Christian ghost was progressively banished in favor of an increasingly explicit behaviorist model.35 Hence Houellebecq's narrator. from a family of priests. so that the great site of a promised healing is the beach (Phuket. which constitute an absolute apostasy from the modern doctrines of progress and humanism. his antinomy Islam/Eros appears as a curious modernism. radical Sufi considerations of the thinking subject can approach the great Buddhist paradox of Self/noSelf. But perhaps in that very alienness lies an authentic Otherness. Guenon can become an Ishmaelite. so that Ibn 'Arabi. self-becoming requires separation from bourgeois false consciousness. an option which would enhance our free separation from the monoculture. Flaubert in Cairo. Hans Kling can criticise Muslims for "sensuality.29 Thanks to an archetypal law of opposites.. is to take place primarily through the senses. and because it is spiritually proximate to the Christian genius which the Enlightenment had suppressed. is in fact pursuing a quest for knowledge which readily suggests Islamic parallels." (17:85) is not at all the same thing as the self-awareness of the lumieres. riding on centuries of Christian confidence. comes nearest to being like what a traditional Western civilization would be. the Balbec sequences in Proust). which he took to be an alienation from an earlier. Rousseau. but of a world for God which offers an infinitely welcome refuge from the thousand false gods of a machine age. For him. (Guenon. so characteristic of modern times. despite three sexual revolutions.
ar). Hence the fall from David to Leigh Bowery:Western art abandons representation because there is no longer any consensus on the use of the body or the telos of the genders. ends in deconstruction. The disconnection betrays sibling errors: that of Leibniz. which becomes a great interruptusofEurope's cultural history. After losing its iconography as part of the simultaneous consummation and collapse of the Enlightenment. in turn. which begins with elementary bodily functions. or (more usually) of what it is not.39Hegel. who have found it hard to sustain a mind-body dualism. and perception of external entities. although his relationship to religion was eccentric. are victims of what Guenonians would see as the great inherited tragedy of their culture: the original sin of failing to discern in the body's fulfillment a retrieval of the prelapsarian. every move against our enfleshed reality is a disincarnation. They intuit the epistemological power of our embodied selfhood. were also stymied by their simultaneous love of God and of women. We see others from our own "horizon. but to a prerational intuition (jttra). the locus amoenus of the Muslims denounced by Latin medievals as a "garden of nature. requires a proper acknowledgement of our own situatedness.37 The dualism carried into Enlightenment thought. the Enlightenment had not offered an adequate account of the manner by which we may negotiate the hiatus between perception of the self. This is a great theme in Western culture: Peter Abelard and John Donne. yet this was short-lived. and to be affirmed. as Nietzsche saw. a misprision of the kind of Christian soteriology which sees the messianic event as consummated in God's separation from a body. Mind. body. as they instinctively use a proleptic sign of God as a means of rebelling against him. and which perhaps accounts for the multiple aberrations of its erotic forms (de Sade). in a kind of quest for salvation." but radically homogenize them within a generic category of "others. because we know that it merits different forms of halakhic access and address). a term which sums up the major line of culture which was spun from the Enlightenment. This. and also to Judaism. who shared his strong sense of the defeat of scientific . which allows us to link the mind directly to objects. who was perhaps the first to introduce the beach as the symbol of a non-Christian Eden into Western culture. But Muslim theists." For Bakhtin. Here Bakhtin is far from Heidegger." What is required is a mode of perception which obliges us to ground our perception of others in an awareness of their mutual separation and distinctiveness. he was once arrested for membership of a political group that combined Christian and Marxist teachings. disconnected from body.36 Paradise. and that of Locke. and referential to a self which defines itself exclusively in terms of its project of finding itself in its own representations of itself. whereas Islam never had such a representation. is foreign to Islam. who opens the doors to abolishing the function of the exterior world.41 The Other is detected and valued through architectonic apprehension. is nothing if it is not a proleptic anticipation of the life of the blessed. who anticipates the more worrying neuroscientists by emphasizing the mind's passivity. This body-world relation which is the sunna or halakha is a sophisticated expression of what Michael Bakhtin calls "architectonics. but salvation too. Not only resurrection. It seems to require not only an affirmation of the integrity of the Other's act. na. the ultimate teleology of the body. The instrumentalizing of this link is the revealed Law. Their misfortune is that despite their conscientious sensual rebellion against bourgeois values and mere romantic love. and therefore the religion's theologians need to expound the virtues and propagate the modalities of sexuality. precisely because of its consensus. then.3s De Biran's rejection of Cartesianism in favor of a relation with God and with human others is given its necessary support in the Islamic idea of sexuality as simultaneously a connection with paradise. since sexuality. but also a political act by the Self to serve the Other. and must be actively defended. Hence their stories peter out in irresolution. Western art seemed to trace the path of Islam in experimenting with geometry. will seek to overcome it through reference not to rationality ((aql.40 Bakhtin's notion of architectonics appears to supply a helpful vocabulary for a positive Muslim critique of Enlightenment reason. and with the human Other. is bodily. and indeed massively exacerbated by Descartes. and was replaced finally by a conceptual art which is purely self-referential. Diderot. as he equated progress with dematerialization. and ramifies into every dimension of life. is challenging this directly.see it. becomes smeared and twisted by Lucian Freud's impasto. However for us. Neo-Kantians strove to overcome this gulf. Proust and Houellebecq. but also its heterogeneity (difference is real." is fully itself because it encompasses the perfect archetypes of which every benign aspect of our mortal humanity is a shadowy anticipation. but lack awareness of sexuality's significance as a sign pointing toward the final healing and consummation of humanity in heaven. Thus the reality of the world is affirmed (it is for us). they cannot sever their genetic ties with a patrimony which saw Eros as a rival to God. particularly of our characteristic enfleshment within human bodies. made matters still worse. to take only two instances. disconnected from mind.
the death of God. In essence. there is a split between civilization and faith. as Karl Jaspers described Heidegger's position. as a principle which is fundamental to mind. The "spiritual" is real. is a sovereign but moral agent of perception." will be almost impossible to initiate in such a context. the body-subject is a single entity. the cosmos is "the large man". in a well-known chapter of Gulliver)s Travels. but are endlessly preoccupied with politics and news of great events far away. is affirmed in a productive way. prerational cognition of self. others. or the most remote phenomena.44 The central practice of the monotheist will therefore be physical "as well as" interior. the physically coterminous site of a "soul" possessed of spatial extension. for instance. however. which generally rejected the public cult of the body. each of which was integrated into the human subject through intention (niyya) and comprehensive halakhic practice. we do not exist. All Christian culture and civilization are the result of the compromise.48 The Semitisms. at the very heart of Christianity. between man and the city of God.45 Shari/a and halakha.47 Although in rejecting peccatism and eremeticism. the faliit worship being the highest sign. the philosophes ended up not knowing what to do with the body other than heal it or make it stronger. No less concerned for social and political activism grounded in a rejection of dualism is Maurice Merleau-Ponty. they narcissistically contemplate the self. Gender. on our apprehension of the rights of the natural environment. while the other. Swift. of both body and mind. The insights of Bakhtin and Merleau-Ponty cry out for a practical response. framed against a certain image of Christianity. a partial surrender of the originally sacred to the inescapably secular. The Prophet's prayer for a light. in fact.49 The body-subject is fully part of the world. of how the two are to act as a single entity." that is at once bodily and spiritual is a consequence of this. he appreciates the contemporary concern with self-awareness.optimism during the Great War. but whose system seemed to valorize an affirmation of selfhood through the mere fact of decision making. this did not take place through a ressourcement in the despised Semitisms." as something which "surrounds" us. for whom body is a source only of perceptions and pleasures transmitted to an incarnate mind. between culture and redemption. His concept of the body-subject seeks to defeat Enlightenment dualism without conceding any ground to behaviorism. "incarnated" within it. but through a return to pagan conceptions. a sign of his/her sanctity is that like the Prophet he/she is a refuge for the animal kingdom. too. For Ibn 'ArabI. The process of secularization. and this is supplied by the inheritance of a Law which affirms the architectonics of the body-world relation.46 The Semitic body-mind integration is thus the polar opposite of Enlightenment valorizations. For the Semitisms. and in consequence. Islam will have no real term for "environment.. and is not reducible simply to the physical. and wishes to affirm its bodily quality. as modes of integrated knowing. and predicts that each part of the human body will be judged. . must have distinctively gendered variants. it is an aspect of it.51 The body-subject knows that there is a due response to everything. At the opposite pole of the Semitic integration of body and soul stands the type dreaded by Merleau-Ponty. or "intellect. one of which is simply a part of a material network of causality. the lumieres revalorized the body. which is the primary subject of moral accountability (taklif). and objects. beginning with ablutions. beginning with the sunrise. started with the delayed Parousia.43 This interrogation of Enlightenment accounts of human subjectivity appears congenial to the Ash'arite manner of perception which roots it in the body. nonetheless.42Bakhtin offers a system that makes this kind of idolatry of the will more difficult. is precisely the one who realizes the teleology of the body-subject by using the plenitude of "body and spirit" in harmonious conformity to God's commands. Hence they see no reasonable objection to their wives' infidelity. who is God's "vicegerent" (khallfa) on the earth.52 . had always been attuned to its functions. Instead. 50The saint. but cannot link the two or deal with the intermediate region. in an Islamic context. the bond with the original corporeal context of our humanity has so atrophied that the Laputans live with one eye turned perpetually inwards. the secularization which seemed to flow from the identification of the body with "the fallen world. As ideal Cartesians. Like Bakhtin. seems to anticipate this deformed modern condition in his account of Laputa. the detached modern. Without the body. Such an anthropology will have immediate ethical repercussions. while the other stares toward the sky. "the manner of thinking [was] more important than the content of political judgements. Body and mind are not a composite of two principles. so that. and the source of our intuitive. for our own "body-spirit" relation is a microcosm of a larger way of viewing things in which the divine is the reality of the world. Unlike the Semites. On this flying island governed by scientists. with the "self" existing as the highest modality of the fully integrated phenomenon that is the body-subject.
Modern Islamism typically reveres technology. and even after the Christ-event. coupled with twentieth-century genocide. toward the conversion of the world. optimistic vision was in time appropriated and overtaken by the mechanism of Descartes and Malebranche. then no other selvescan be imagined or apprehended. The humanism of the moderns is practically a utilitarianism aimed at fragmentary man. as it were.55Perhaps such ambiguities. and imagines it to be grounds for optimism.The ancient trope of moral and spiritual entropy. humanity was finally ready for the fullness of truth. If such a key Enlightenment topos has a Christian pedigree. was more a deliberate provocation of the church than a philosophicallydisciplined theory of decay. Progress became central to Western conceptions of history.. and were providentially protected from further "progress. generally more upbeat than traditionalists and Sufis. it is the will to make oneself as useful as possible to a humanity as useless as possible. then simple ideas of progress will appear difficult. at first glance. toward the pessimistic end of his life.64 For him. in their wisdom."53 Yet this theme.for if there is no consistent Self. The environment. progress would continue. 58 Ishmael has been no less divided.57 George Steiner's dismal prophecies about human language and the "core-tiredness" of the West are in roughly the same genre. and hence of the quality of intentionality prized by Muslim ethics."65 The conclusion must be that modern Islam is hence deeply ambivalent. Hesiod and the Prometheus myth."63 Abdul Wadod Shalabi speaks of "spiritual entropy. abhors superstition. and struggles to explain why an "irrational" Christianity should have overtaken Islam after eight centuries of eclipse and irrelevance. in older European tradition. which begins for the West with Genesis. and hence the underlying hope of Jewry. by enhancing our appreciation of human autonomy. for if nature is simply a set of our perceptions it is of even less significance than the objectified external nature that.59and there are quasi-secular minds who lament the demise of an alleged Averroist "rationalism. and of a Golden Age when "the state of Nature was the reign of God. "Equipped with a Faustian knowledge. Walter Benjamin is a well-known example. are largely absent from modern Islamist discourse. and opened the way to the idea that progress might be inherent in the nature of the profane world. Qadianism). and nature was progressively disenchanted as human beings mastered the world rather than themselves.61 By contrast. such entropy is "the backbone of history. finds scientific truths in the Qur'an. both are imaginable. Perhaps an Israel as nation-state will. for there was now no limit set by any spiritual laws upon his rights of domination. Horkheimer. took the view that the "going up" to Zion had abolished the dream of the Messiah. . This counter-entropic. but it is unclear whether the return before the Messiah will end in joy or in a new calamity." For Frithjof Schuon. who sees the process from beneath. "60 Shabbir Akhtar insists that the Enlightenment. with Islamists. a dialectic far more profound than that of the Marxist. despite certain short-lived Platonizing appropriations. developed science and technology only to a point where divine agency and human frailty were still undeniable. as befits their Enlightenment roots.54After countless millennia. Bahii'ism. Judaism and Islam appear to converge with the Enlightenment trope of the bon sauvage. perhaps. It is significant that messianic expectations. since its science demanded applications which could only be valuable if human life were in need of improvement." a top os rooted in a genre of pessimistic hadiths. soon mobilized itself as a positivism impatient with Rousseau's ideal agrarian age. has no future. allowed human beings a jus utendi et abutendi.Here. Muslims.. explain why much Jewish reflection on modernity. despite Auschwitz. and if the alleged Messiah accepted by Christianity and Islam turned out to inaugurate an age of unequalled suffering for his own people. who banished Providence. are Judaism and Islam excluded from such a joyful vision? If Israel is "in waiting" still.56and in the same category we can probably include Freud's insistence that progress entails a loss of happiness by reason of a steady intensification of guilt. "humanism in the conventional sense of the term de facto exalts fallen man and not man as such. "62 Like Garaudy. he predicts that the disintegration of modern selfhood will be accompanied by a collapse in human conviviality. must be considered an advance by theologians. make a Jewish theology of progress more feasible. has been ambivalent or pessimistic. even among decided moderns. secular in character and based on power over the natural order. through the notion of a divine education that was to mould man and enable him to receive the message of Christ. despite its deployment against the church. which began with such potential sympathy for Semitism. was turned on its head. the traditionalist thinker Seyyed Hossein Nasr presents modernity as a rebellion against God. as Simone Weil fanatically asserted. common in the Islamic past and conspicuous in nineteenthcentury responses to Western encroachment (Mahdism. the new man began to create unprecedented havoc over the globe. The mainstream Enlightenment. too. because "Christianity fabricated the poisonous idea of progress.
70 For Davutoglu. apparently vindicated by science. are abolished by globalizing processes. "we do not have such an alternative because in contrast to the historical civilizations. since the option of borrowing and syncretism open at earlier times of civilizational crisis has now been confiscated. Islamists. however. Under the caliphs. Yet this is no proof of Islam's compatibility with mainstream Enlightenment notions. a synagogue or mosque in Toledo differed from a synagogue or a mosque in Ephesus. which insists that: Unto everyone of you haveWe appointed a [different]lawand way oflife. al-BirgivI (1523-1573). Here. In the first instance.72 The diversity of Islamic civilizations was invoked at the beginning of this chapter. Much of the energy of internal critics of the Enlightenment came from a deep knowledge of other civilizations (for Rousseau and Nietzsche it was classical antiquity. The Enlightenment. even one of the most rigorous of Ottoman jurists. For instance. but they a Koshul notes Islam's historic tolerance and even sponsorship of cultural diversity. and a source of quasi-religious amazement to Bakhtin. to the extent that they value it. not reason. enabled a kind of military expansion whose narcissism was unlike any that had preceded it. Again. an accelerating secular messianism. and was mirrored. again. this is a sign of distance from classical assumptions: Prophetic predictions of entropy came coupled with the idea that God will require less from his servants as time goes on. who lived in the "Age of Felicity" ((a!r al-sa(ada): "You are living in a time when someone who renounces a tenth of what is enjoined upon him will be destroyed. regarded as a sign of God in the Qur'an (30:22). authentic culture cannot co-exist and survive under the hegemonic character of modern Western civilization. The consequences of this even for the West may prove severe.but their most terrible offenceis their proselytisingfury: in them the spirit of conquest goes . yet in practice it subjects difference to rapid atrophy. then. for it is scripture.71 is eroded by the extinction of small language groups and the progressive intrusion of English into larger ones. but a time will come when someone who performs a tenth of what is enjoined upon him will be saved. "66 Traditional Sunnism took this to mean that the law should be applied more gently as time went on. for many German romantics it was India69).He could surelyhavemadeyou allone singlecommunity:but [He willedit otherwise] in order to test you by means of what He has vouchsafed unto you. even though the forum. the Enlightenment's liquidation of non-Western cultures traps us forever in the monoculture. Today. In an intensification of ancient disdain for the barbarai. the Semitisms have shown themselves capable of an internal cultural differentiation which. As Guenon complained.however. Medieval Islam and Judaism imported freely from Athens. the theatre and the insula had been remarkably consistent throughout the Roman Mediterranean..which instead stresses "planning" and "unity" as the keys to establishing the "Islamic State. And if God has so willed." Islamism's implicit repudiation of classical Muslim messianism is demonstrated further in its rigorism. which was itself a kind of early monoculture. in fact challenges one of the most visible consequences of the Enlightenment: the annihilation of cultural specificity at the hands of universal Reason.Europeans. by the capacity of]udaism to maintain its identity in a huge range of cultural settings. and the Enlightenment in many ways took this further. One hadith tells the Prophet's companions. and it is in the name of "liberty" that they would force the world to imitate them.67 Under modern conditions. in a demographically minor key. Renaissance humanism had generally been reluctant to contemplate the humanity of non. which it found ways of selectively but substantially integrating. Even the multiplicity oflanguages.68 This new militancy in the name of Freedom typically affirms the possibility of diversity in the context of Enlightenment rights discourse. with one another in doing good works. Perhaps because of their sympathy with the "body-subject" principle. Vie. but the body-subject is going to be radically disparate across the globe. The "peoples and tribes" which are created "to know each other" (Qur'an 49:13). the Semitic will resist: Western reason is a single thing. in effect universalizes Rome.. the illusionwould only do hMmto themselves. under the disguise of "moralist" pretexts. during the heyday of empire: If they merelytook pleasurein affirmingtheir imaginedsuperiority. however. have repudiated this by typically insisting on interpretations more rigorous even than the mainstream Shari of early Islamic times. thought that his age was so distant from the Prophet's time that it was forbidden for the jurist to apply any but the most easy and gentle interpretations of the Sharfa. heirs to Enlightenment beliefs about instrumental reason and the Utopian perfectibility of the world.
and where international laws and customs are increasingly restrictive of cultural difference." and is apprehended only through cognition and science. since the one who is doing the reJectmg has ended up creating a world without God? Grounded in our stubbornly immobile liturgy and doctrine. 2. drama. 2002. Abdal Hakim Murad. Islamism may be an Enlightenment project. The theoretical willingness of Enlightenment humanity to seek wisdom. Muhammad in Europe (Reading: Garnet. Maimonidean and Ghazalian theology contained strong rationalizing and universalizing teachings. Are we to conclude that modern Islam. . The History of Jewish Christianity (London: Duckworth. Cited in Minou Reeves. 132). quoted in Abdal Hakim Murad " I' after the Enlightenment: some reflections on a polemic. Popularly.74 If the ideal of freedom is now based less on ideas of inalienable natural rights than on the notion that all truth is relative. however. underpins a vast global process of homogenization. then Islam is likely to remain the world's great heresy. or purity laws. p. and this could be reflected in yeshiva and in madrasa. is to recognize that Islam genuinely converges with Enlightenment concerns on some issues. but conservative Sufism (for instance) is probably not. and continues to produce a global monoculture where the past is forgotten.seem to have instinctively excluded those dimensions which obstructed diversity: poetics. La Cite Musulmane: vie socialeet politique (Paris:J." Encounters 10 (2004): 85-118. Kepnes' description ofIslam's historic status as the rejected Ishmaelite. in a sense. 1997). 275. p. Conversely. never though worship. p. Schonfield.75 The way forward. Ahmed Gunny.73 hardly remains as a practical option. may not prove so unhelpful as he suggests.p. What if Ish~ae~ actually wishes to be rejected. The Independent. 'Worship me and my mother?'" Islam is. "Bombing Without Moonlight: The Origins of Suicidal Terrorism. p. 2003). Vrin. Yet the relation Islam/Enlightenment seems predicated on simplistic definitions of both. pp. A. pp. that this is an enormous oversimplificationis evident from J. 269. fasting.. in the way indicated at the beginning of this chapter. we Ishmaelites should serve the invaluable. Islam and Its Discontents (London: Heinemann. Abdelwahab Meddeb. it is likely to demur radically. for instance Qur'an 5:116." ' Is am Islamic Studies 42/ii (Summer 2003): 245-258. Images of Islam in Eighteenth-century Writings [London: Grey Seal. by contrast. though deeply resented. Pocock's magisterial survey Barbarism and Religion (Cambridge: Cambridge UniversityPress. architecture. 1.. so often sympathetic to the Enlightenment's claims. then survivors will probably hail the religion's wisdom in not authoring something similar. 1997). 23. as the Prophet said.Gardet goes on to discussthe inferior legal status of non-Muslims. creating a global reach for what Walter Benjamin called the "automatic society" from which no escape is possible or even imagined. 32. the formalizing of Ebionite Christianity. 2000). which has God asking Jesus: '''Did you say unto the people. 1936). probably. Note that Locke's Reasonableness of Christianity was attacked for making early Christianity look like Islam (John Edwards. the phrase originateswith LouisMassignon. G. the Enlightenment heritage is associated exclusivelywith a rationalism that leads to egalitarianismand participatory government. 4. 164-165. In that case. If modernity ends in a technologically-induced holocaust. 1697]. 1999-). and in its Islamist version one of their most powerful instantiations. even without adopting a postmodern perspective we are not so willing today to assume a necessary antithesis between tradition and reason. Louis Gardet. The Socinian Creed: Or a Brief Account of the Professed Tenents [sic] and Doctrines of the Foreign and English Socinians [London: J. 1954). 5.76If. p. 227-228. July 28. but the primacy of scripture ensured that this took place in the context of a cultural world that was sustainably and radically diverse. notably the Enlightenment's individualism and its increasingly Promethean confidence in humanity'S autonomous capacities. while on other matters. 58. Robinson. Such a world does not constitute "signs. 2003). Cf. What matters about Islam is that it did not produce the modern world. James the Brother of Jesus I: The Cup of the Lord (London: Faber and Faber. Brother of Jesus (London: SCM. Al-Qaeda and What It Means to Be Modern (London: Faber and Faber. p. 1996]. 119-120. has been deeply mistaken? The totalitarian forms of Enlightenment reason which recurred throughout the twentieth century have discredited it in the eyes of many. James. then perhaps mainstream Islamist thinking will need to unhitch itself more explicitly from the broadly Western paradigms which it accepted for most of the twentieth century. and are now less dangerous only because postmodernism seems to have abolished so many of the Enlightenment's key beliefs. Modern "Westernisation" introduces a rationalism which. "even in China. see for instance Hugh J. even if that is no longer quite possible. it survives. ha-ger. 3. For more on Islamism as a modern Western version of Islam see John Gray. function of a culture which would like to be an Other. Robert Eisenman. Pierre-Antoine Bernheim.
1984). Minna von Barnhelm. cited in Reeves. Cecil Bethell (Ghent NY: Sophia Perennis. 1975). A History of Philosophy 9: Maine de Biran to Sartre (Tunbridge Wells: Burns and Oates. 1954. Brill. ASIN B000002ZFI. La Vie de Mahomet (1728). Shireen T. Religion and Society: Revisiting Ottoman Culture. p. 22. Much of eighteenth century "deism" was a reaction against the vulnerability which Hume imagined to inhere in the Christian idea of a "personal" God. for the majoritarian hanafi school. "City of the Sun. Pierre Prevost. Mahomet)sgesang. trans.Radical Protestantismand the Early Enlightenment (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. For Stubbe see James R. p. ed. scholasticism and humanism. 8. Pippin. . Frank Wynne (London: Heinemann. trans. 325-327. p. 1992).-Muslim Dialogue. 1984). The Sufi Path of Knowledge: Ibn Arabi)s Metaphysics of Imagination (Albany NY: State University of New York Press. Malcolm. For the theology of "minority rights" in Shari'a law see Recep $entiirk. n. 23. 32-35. Peter Demetz (London: Continuum. 2001). and other Plays and Writings. fUr gemischten chor mit orchester(op. For the Mahometsgesang see Johann Gottfried Bellerman. I. Conversations of Goethe with Eckermann and Soret. Henry Stubbe. 1850). GeorgesBataille et Rene Guenon: tJexperiencesouveraine (Paris: Jean Michel Place. 2002). Robert B. Leuckart. pp. 11. Paul Chacornac. As $entiirk shows. 2000). For Guenon see. Munmqin. 2002). 9. ed. 24." Proceedings of the British Academy 125 (2005): 41-67. 1981). Platform. 40. includes the Arabs towards the lower end of the moral and intellectual spectrum of the white races. Naomi Klein. The "deist" God. see Recep $entiirk. for instance. Susan Ritchie. "The Islamic Ottoman Influence on the Development of Religious Toleration in Reformation Transylvania. Poems of the West and East: West-eastern Divan = West-Dstlicher Divan. Nathan the Wise. Virey. 67-99. yet where his attributes have names analogous to the virtues we recognize among humans. George Makdisi. ltyn al-A'yiin Tafsir al-Fiiti~a (Dar-i Sa'adet: Rifat Bey Matbiasl. Rene Guenon and the future of the West(Wellingborough: Crucible. trans. 24) (Leipzig: F." in Islam and Human Rights: Advancing a U. He pointed out that no Christian state allowed the presence of a mosque. Frederick Copleston." in Islam Ara»tirmalari Dergisi 6 (2001): 93-129. 54/211 (1990): 1073-1149. I. J. 20. 27. Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. 1325). xx: "the evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of the reception of both movements. p. 7. II. ed." in Thomas Jefferson and the Politics of Nature. Thomas S. The Persistence of Subjectivity: On the Kantian Aftermath (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. but that the Ottoman Empire was filled with churches (Gunny. The simple life of Rene Guenon. Michel Valsw. p. Hafiz Mahmud Khan Shairani. No Logo (New York: Flamingo. "Towards an Open Science and Society: Multiplex Relations in Language." 21. 1992). Roger Garaudy. Histoire naturelle dugenre humain (Revised edition. Ed. "Minority Rights in Islam: from dhimmi to citizen. 147. 60.p). For the West-ostlicherDivan see Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.d. J. 1998). 2001). like the God of Ash'arism. E. human beings are born with certain inalienable rights irrespective of religious affiliation. Islam az na2far-e Voltir (Tehran. A God who can be so like us as to be incarnated. 1991). 2005). Theodicy in Islamic Thought (Princeton: Princeton University Press. 439.J. Cf. Stanford Shaw. Pocock. 1355solar). ed. 19. Ethical Theoriesin Islam (Leiden: E.97. reprint Lahore: Orientalia. A History of Philosophy9. from classical Islam by the Christian Latin West. 17. "Eclectic Synthesis: Jesus. Jacob. 10. thanks to a radical idea of divine transcendence (what Muslims call tanzih).. 53-55. there is also a more ambitious setting by Robert Kahn. Houellebecq. 109. "Christian Anti-Semitism in the Ottoman Empire. 18. Engeman (Notre Dame: Notre Dame University Press. p.. For the doctrine of Acquisition see Majid Fakhry. Paris: Crochard. Promessesde fIslam (Paris: Seuil. 19. 13. For the hadith see Muslim. Franz Schubert: Neue Ausgabe siimtlicher Werke: Lieder. also the recording titled "A Goethe Schubertiad" (Hyperion). Barbarism and Religion. see Javad Hadidi. C. Robin Waterfield. he can still be the object of prayer." Seasons: Journal of the Zaytuna Institute. pp. Eric Ormsby. trans. "The Crescent and the City of the Sun: Islam and the Renaissance Utopia of Tommaso Campanella.S. must be answerable to our human charges that he has authored a world full of suffering. 15. 28. The Rise of Humanism: Classical Islam and the Christian West: With Special Reference to Scholasticism (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. band 13 (Kassel: BarenreiterVerlag. For one (overstated) Muslim attempt to present the later Voltaire as a thoroughgoing ally of Islam. Mu1?-ammadibn !:Iamza Fenati. 16. William Chittick. 307. pp." 14." Belleten (Tiirk Tarih Kurumu). Le Comte de Boulainvilliers.6. 26. VIslam et la fonction de Rene Guenon: Recueil posthume (Paris: L'Oeuvre. 9. Mahomets gesang von Goethe (n. 1896). is certainly not "human" in this sense. 1989). For de Biran's critique of a purely secular Enlightenment see Copleston. pp. 1990). 1824). 2/1 (Spring/Summer 2004): 59-70. 391. 149). 1992). Aristotle and Locke.. Elder and Co. 201-212. p. Garrett Ward Sheldon. Noel Malcolm. 25. John Oxenford (London: Smith. pp. 1989). 81-98. 2005). for Schubert's Muhammadan lieder (D549 and D721) see Walther Diirr. p. Hunter and Huma Malik (Washington DC: Center for International and Strategic Studies. 12. John Whaley (Bern and New York: Peter Lang.
148-149. however. p. The Sufi Path of Knowledge. Unaware. Tahiti is like Eden. Art and Answerability. 65-88. where the spiritual. otherwise. G. A. Michael Holquist and Vadim Liapunov. Colin Smith (London and New York: Routledge." this is certainly not present in the Gospels. trans. "Cervantes' Parodic Rendering of a Traditional Topos: Locus Amoenus. . and their hands shall speak to us. the Fascist theorist Julius Evola's Rene Guenon: a teacher for modern times [Edmonds. Animals in Islam (Petersfield: Athene Trust. Eco is here. Holquist and Liapunov. "Christianity and World Religions: The Dialogue with Islam As One Model. 288. avec catalogue raisonne de Koudir Benchikou (Courbevoie: ACR. 195). Dykstra. "Umberto Eco. xxxix. Coleman Barks and J. 1908).p. nonetheless. The Green Man: The Archetype of Our Oneness with the Earth (London and San Francisco: Harper Collins. 11. Isabelle Eberhardt. this is absurd. p. Denise Brahimi. Moyne. p." 50. 1986). for some shortcomings in Rocca's account see Pietro Nutrizio. 1989). trans. Ali Lakhani. of course. Abu Hamid al-Ghazali. An analogous view is developed in Luce lrigarary's Spoculum of the Other Woman. nonetheless it emerges as a theme at a relatively early date. 1991). 48. T. Mon tour du siecleen solitaire: memoires (Beirut: AI Fihrist. Rene Guenon e foccidente (Milan: Luni Editrice. As for Christian "dualism. "Ur-Fascism. 84. xxvii-ix. which advances a case against Plato and the Enlightenment. p. Adorno and Horkheimer contrast the nazi metrical obsession with the body with the Jewish aversion to measuring it (the dead are measured for the coffin). East and West. given Guenon's insistence on orthodoxy and his rejection of the occult. 43." in Shadow of Spirit: Postmodernism and Religion. pp." in Encyclopediede fAmour en Islam (Paris: Payot. Bakhtin (Austin: University of Texas Press. see Oddbj0rn Leirvik. 33. trans. Gill (Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press. 1992). p. Rene Guenon. The Essential Rumi (Harmondsworth: Penguin. M." in Eco. Art and Answerability: Early PhilosophicalChapters by M. p. In his Supplement au Voyage de Bougainville (1772). Martin Heide!I!Jer and European Nihilism. 236: "The recovery of the religious view of nature must turn to the central issue of the body." (Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. 47. 16. pp. trans. La Vie et IJoeuvrede Etienne Dinet. B. trans. pp. the figure of the Green Man who stares from the stonework of medieval cathedrals as an apparent survival of pagan nature-worship may be a partial borrowing from the Qur'anic and Islamic Khi~r (the Green Man). Phenomenology of Perception. 36. "Theologiens de l'amour. For a symptomatic European attempt to dismiss the possibility of a sensual locusamoenus see Alfred Rodriguez and Joel F. 1962). 1995). God is the ground of the world's being (wujud). Dialectic of Enlightenment: PhilosophicalFragments. but it is a defiance of the church's eartWy and heavenly ideal. 31. trans. "That is what gives the body-manipulators their enjoyment. It is interesting to note that according to some. 44. 165. 51. "Woman and Space according to Kristeva and lrigarary. 41. 24.pp. DJune foi fautre: les conversions a nslam en Occident (Paris: Seuil. trans. "Today We seal their mouths." in Sacred Web. pp. see Philippe Berry. 42. Guenon. See Seyyed Hossein Nasr. Maurice Merleau-Ponty. 45. 46. p." Studies in Interreligious Dialogue 16 (2006): 29-40. 37. 1995). Ecrits pour La Gnose: comprenant la traduction de farabe du Traite sur funite (Milan: Arche. This is not a pantheism. 34." in Cervantes: Bulletin of the Cervantes Societyof America 17 (1997): 115-121. Jonathan Swift. chapter 2. 39. for a recent venture inspired by the example ofIslarnic worship. (New York: Columbia University Press. for some other irritants see Lisbeth Rocher and Fatima Cherkaoui. Chittick. the two "Semitisms" are rougWy equivalent here. pp." Muslim World 77 (1987): 80-95. 32. as en passant in FoucaultJsPendulum. part III. GulliverJs Travels. ed. passim. 49. for the debate see M. they measure the other with the eye of the coffin maker. 2001). the dualism is abolished even more thorougWy by the frequent denial of personal survival after death. 2002]. Dans fombre chaude de nslam (Paris: Charpentier and Fasquelle.23-29. 38. M. J. Gillian C. 30. Edmund Jephcott [Stanford: Stanford University Press. see for instance William Anderson. 1999). 605-609. Winter Cambridge: Islamic Texts Society. WA: Holmes. Fascism and Tradition. 1985). 36:65). 26. Melek Chebel. 2001). On Disciplining the Soul. 1993]). "Prostrate and Erect: Some Christian-Muslim Reflections on Religious Body Language. pp.250-264. In the latter case. Religion and the Order of Nature (Oxford: Oxford University Press. Gary Steiner. For Garaudy's life see Roger Garaudy. 1995). 75-76. Masri. Christian theologies of a body-mind integration are of course abundant. 35. Cf. Hans Kung. See Umberto Eco. 1988). As part of a broadly Jewish critique of some consequences of the Enlightenment. Alastair McEwan as Five Moral Pieces(London: Secker and Warburg. 1995). Cited by Karl LOwith. 1990). who began his juvenile reading career by simultaneously borrowing the Qur'an and a copy of Baudelaire from a public library. psychic and physical elements combine in a unity. accusing Guenon of providing ammunition for Fascism (cf. Lings (Hillsdale NY: Sophia Perennis. Rocca's introduction to Abdul Hadi (Ivan Agueli). Philippe Berry and Andrew Werninck (London: Routledge.29. 1999). East and West. 40. and their feet shall testifYto what they used to do" (Qur'an. 1996). 1990). Adorno. for the world is in a state of absolute ontological dependence on God. A similar case is that of the Swedish painter Ivan Agueli (1869-1917).
Requiem for Modern Politics:The Tragedy of the Enlightenment and the Challenge of the New Millennium [Boulder and Oxford: Westview. ed. p. Harry Zohn (London: Jonathan Cape. p. 66. Its self-alienation has reached such a degree that it can experience its own destruction as an aesthetic pleasure of the first order. 179. pp. explanations which. George Steiner. 1996).html). 76. 55. this seems somewhat outdated.2005. Typical is the view expressed in Ahmad Y. Fitan. 10. and economic decline. For example. p. 79. Illuminations. 74. Joel Weinsheimer and Donald G. 1973). 1990). Vern W. 78. p. 25. viii. Arab-Islamic philosophy:A Contemporary Critique (Austin: University of Texas. Faith after the Holocaust (New York: Ktav. 70. but that its successor is worse" (Bukhari. 73. Islamic Technology: An Illustrated History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Clarke. Similar is the position ofJohn Ahmed Herlihy. 1990). however. MuJ:1arnmad I. p. p. 56. 67. ed. Nasr. "Mankind. Elite Reading. Islam Religion of Life (Dorton: Quilliam Press. 1994). Simone Weil. 1986). Averroes and the Enlightenment (Amherst. p. East and West. Order of Nature. ] a grotesquely magnified image of its own deep tendencies. Bibliotheque Nationale. see Metin Kunt. the political fragmentation of the Muslim world. Oriental Enlightenment: The Encounter between Asian and Western Thought (London: Routledge.ac. 68. Hans-Georg Gadamer. 235. 69. To Have a Centre (Bloomington: World Wisdom. For this hadith see MuJ:1ammad ibn 'Ali al-$aghdi. An Chapter on Man. the Ottoman ulema. whose days in Turkey had made him an admirer of Islam. an extremist offshoot of its own development" (William Ophuls. See Herbert Marcuse. Vaclav Havel could write that "the totalitarian systems warn of something far more serious than Western rationalism is willing to admit. trans. cf. 63. Mourad Wahba and Mona Abousenna. 281-283: Islam's science would have outstripped that of the West but for the development of a clerical faction. 71. London: Sheed and Ward. NY: Prometheus Books. 60-102. meant when he made Ishmael the only survivor of the Pequod? . the translation is Muhammad Asad's. Truth and Method. Abdul Wadod Shalabi. Frithjof Schuon. 6). Is this what Melville. Maynard Mack (London and New York: Routledge. trans. 1412/1992). Bakhtin. J. 1966). 107. 61. Civilizational Transformation and the Muslim World (Kuala Lumpur: Mahir. 56. J. the most formally hierarchalized scholars in Sunni history. 54. trans. 26-27." in SpeechGenresand other Late chapters. l1an Gur-Ze'ev. Ahmet DavutogIu." Walter Benjamin. 1989). al-Tariqa al-Mu~ammadiyya wa'l-sira al-a~madiya. MuJ:1ammad ibn Pir 'Ali al-Birgivi. Gravity and Grace (London: Routledge. Hill. 281. Alexander Pope. 1989). 53. 2002). Grammars of Creation (New Haven: Yale University Press. which in Homer's time was an object of contemplation for the Olympian Gods.419. were strongly in favor of the printing press. al-Hassan and Donald R. 75. Eros and Civilization (Boston: Beacon Press. 64. p. Qur'an 5:48. Tirmidhl. Modern Man at the Crossroads: The Encounter of Modern Science and Traditional Knowledge (Chicago: Kazi Publications. do not seem at all persuasive. 60. 258). p. 162. Marshall (second edition.46.52. Guenon.. 62. 1986). For instance: "Never does an age come.Haifa. al-Nawiiqi~ al-~tira fi'l-a~iidith al-mushtahira (Beirut: Mu'assasa al-Kitab al-Thaqatiyya. 1997]. Eliezer Berkovits. p. Fitan. Shabbir Akhtar. They are [. 2001). 1950). 58. now is one for itself. "Walter Benjamin and Max Horkheimer: From Utopia to Redemption" (http://construct.. "Reading Elite. 72. 57. Mohammed Abid al-Jabri. 1999). November 2. "The Problem of Speech Genres.il/-ilangz/Utopia4. pp. 1999). pp. 1970). McGee (Austin: University of Texas Press. 65. 59. For instance. Paris. The Light in the Enlightenment (London: Grey Seal.Iusni Mu~tafa (Aleppo: Dar alQalam al-'Arabi. 1423/2002)." unpublished paper given at the International Symposium on the History of Printing and Publishing in the Languages and Countries of the Middle East. 1998).p.
SCRIPTURE. REASON." THE "SELF" UNDERSTANDING Basit Bilal [(oshul and Steven [(epnes . AND THE CONTEMPORARY ISLAM-WEST ENCOUNTER STUDYING THE "OTHER.
Basit Bilal. England RGZ1 6XS Companies and representatives throughout the world.LLCand of Palgrave Macmillan Ltd. Hampshire. First published in Z007 by PALGRAVEMACMILLANTM 175 Fifth Avenue. Europe-RelationsIslamic countries. IslamRelations-Christianity.S38 Z007 Z97. 5.Z'8-<lcZZ Z007060017 A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. p. All rights reserved. Z.lslam-Z1st century. Basit Bilal Koshul and Steven Kepnes. New York. 195ZBP161. Chennai. Koshul. Includes bibliographical references and index. First edition: August Z007 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 Z 1 Printed in the United States of America. Islamic countries-Relations-Europe.. ISBN-13: 978. PALGRAVE MACMILLAN is the global academic imprint of the Palgrave Macmillan division of St. 1968-11. and the contemporary Islam-west encounter: studying the "other. Martin's Press. nature.3.Y.lslam-Essence. 4. 3. I. Macmillan@ is a registered trademark in the United States.cm. Christianity and other religions-Islam. India. N. . AND THE CONTEMPORARY ISLAM-WEST ENCOUNTER © Basit Bilal Koshul and Steven Kepnes. Kepnes.1-4039-7535-5 ISBN-10: 1-4039-7535-3 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data . No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. genius. United Kingdom and other countries. Design by Newgen Imaging Systems (P) Ltd." understanding the "self" / editors. Basingstoke. paper) 1. Steven. REASON. Palgrave is a registered trademark in the European Union and other countries.* Sf Ib\ /3 SCRIPTURE. ISBN 1-4039-7535-3 (alk. 6.)38 t-o 01 Scripture. 10010 and Houndmills.Z007. reason.
Finard Professor in Jewish Studies Colgate University Basit Bilal Koshul Assistant Professor. Bronfman Professor of Modern Judaic Studies University of Virginia Muhammad Suheyl Umar Director.Part III Reflections on Scripture. Islamic Studies Swarthmore College Peter Ochs Edgar M. School of Humanities and Social Sciences Lahore University of Management Sciences Yamine Mermer Assistant Professor. Lahore Pakistan Tim Winter (Abdal Hakim Murad) University Lecturer in Islamic Studies and Fellow of Wolfson College University of Cambridge Name Index Subject Index 221 225 . and the Contemporary Islam-West Encounter 8 Ishmael and the Enlightenment's Crise De Coeur Tim Winter 9 From Two tp Three: To Know Is Also to Know the Context of Knowing Peter Ocbs 10 Developing Scriptural Reasoning Further David F. Reason. Ford Nicholas Adams Lecturer. Iqbal Academy. and Mildred K. Christian Systematic Theology and Philosophical Theology University of Edinburgh Kelton Cobb Professor of Theology and Ethics Hartford Seminary David Ford Regius Professor of Divinity and Fellow of Selwyn College University of Cambridge Martin Kavka Assistant Professor of Religion Florida State University Steven Kepnes Murray W.