The Political Language of Islam (Exxon Lecture Series) by Bernard Lewis

By Bernard Lewis

What does jihad rather suggest? what's the Muslim perception of legislations? what's Islam's stance towards unbelievers? Probing literary and historic assets, Bernard Lewis lines the improvement of Islamic political language from the time of the Prophet to the current. His research of files written in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish illuminates alterations among Muslim political pondering and Western political idea, and clarifies the conception, dialogue, and practices of politics within the Islamic world."Lewis's personal variety, combining erudition with an easy beauty and sophisticated humor, keeps to motivate. In an period of specialization and narrowing educational imaginative and prescient, he stands by myself as person who merits, with no qualification, the name of historian of Islam."—Martin Kramer, heart East Review"A impressive attempt at synthesis that offers the entire proper proof of heart jap historical past in an eminently lucid shape. . . . it's a ebook that are supposed to turn out either worthwhile and congenial to the Muslim reader."—S. Parvez Manzor, Muslim international booklet Review"By bringing his strategies jointly during this transparent, concise and readable account, [Lewis] has put in his debt students and all who search to appreciate the Muslim world."—Ann ok. S. Lambton, Bulletin of the varsity of Oriental and African Studies"[Lewis] constructs a desirable account of the ways that Muslims have conceived of the family among ruler and governed, rights and tasks, legitimacy and illegitimacy, obedience and uprising, justice and oppression. And he exhibits how adjustments in political attitudes and ideas might be traced via adjustments within the political vocabulary."—Shaul Bakhash, long island overview of Books

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The sentiment resonates with the neo-Platonic tradition within the classical rationalist Arabo-Islamic tradition, where knowing and consciousness are bound to ascending several cognitive levels. What is ideologically exclusive to Arab modernity is that the “unknowing subject” is not external to the knowing Arab self. Rather, as the allegory of the Alexandria Library communicated, the Arab Other is endemic to the Arab Self himself. Nomenclature and Signification This paradox of Arab otherness and selfhood can only be understood if the ideological language of al-Bustani is naturalized.

The crisis of loss is more serious than a vain desire to regain past achievement or glory. The author makes apparent how the crisis arises from a fissure that separates the ideal (past fullness) from current decadence (present lack). The fissure is ontological as much as cultural or temporal. Al-Bustani’s invocation of the trope of the golden age would be repeated by innumerable thinkers and literati, from al-Tahtawi and Khayr al-din alTunisi to Abduh, Muhammad Kurd Ali, Zaydan, and Shakib Arslan.

20 Instead, as demonstrated in the historical allegories in Khutbah and innumerable texts of Arabic fiction and nonfiction, the Arab subject becomes Other to his own sense of Self. For example, in focusing on qiyas, for example, al-Jabiri overlooks the very historical conditions that might make it appeal to Islamic modernists. That is, it is seen as an indigenous method for rational and humanist inquiry as allegedly championed by the Abbasids. It is an answer in the search for an “authentic” Islamic alternative to secular “Western” rationalism.

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