Editor's Introduction: Contemporary Islamic Thought: One or Many?
Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi’
The progress of opinion is fluid and indefinite; it does not easily lend itself to any system of dates and clear-cut chronological divisions. D.C. Somervell, English Thought in the Nineteenth Century (London: Methuen & Co., 1929), 1. Modernization has taken place throughout the world through a series of social, political, and cultural movements that, unlike movements of change and rebellion in many other historical situations, have tended to combine orientations of protest and those of center-formation and institution-building. It has fostered the establishment of a universal civilization in which different societies have served one another as mutual reference points…The continuous spread of these assumptions throughout the world in a variety of guises – liberal, national, or socialist movements and ideologies – has greatly undermined the basis of legitimation found in historical or “traditional” societies. S.N. Eisenstadt, “Post-Traditional Societies and the Continuity and Reconstruction of Tradition,” Daedalus: Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences , Winter 1973, 6. The Renaissance breaks with medieval thought. Modern thought distinguishes itself from that of the medieval period by renouncing the dominant metaphysical preoccupation. The importance of partial truths is systematically valorized, while the pursuit of absolute knowledge is left to amateurs. Samir ... log in or subscribe to read full text
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