ISLAM IN MODERN HISTORY BY WILFRED CANTWELL SMITH PDF

Princeton University Press. Islam Inflamed. One of the main difficulties in assessing phenomena in the Islamic world derives from the circumstance that the Arabic language, indispensable for an understanding of the intellectual background of Moslem and more particularly Arab affairs, is extraordinarily difficult to learn. A lifelong study of Arabic, or of Islamic theology, does not necessarily imply qualities of insight, or for that matter anything beyond the fact, in itself sufficiently impressive, of having accumulated enough Arabic to be able to cope with texts.

Author:Gurn Kajitaxe
Country:Mexico
Language:English (Spanish)
Genre:Personal Growth
Published (Last):20 February 2005
Pages:28
PDF File Size:16.30 Mb
ePub File Size:15.62 Mb
ISBN:683-3-15580-936-4
Downloads:90529
Price:Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader:Gok



Princeton University Press. Islam Inflamed. One of the main difficulties in assessing phenomena in the Islamic world derives from the circumstance that the Arabic language, indispensable for an understanding of the intellectual background of Moslem and more particularly Arab affairs, is extraordinarily difficult to learn. A lifelong study of Arabic, or of Islamic theology, does not necessarily imply qualities of insight, or for that matter anything beyond the fact, in itself sufficiently impressive, of having accumulated enough Arabic to be able to cope with texts.

There are some notable exceptions, but the fact that the attainment of expertise is so cumbersome lays the scholar open to the charge of pedantry. This deficiency becomes more disquieting as the interplay of interests becomes more intense. We are progressively exposed to the disguised special pleading of propagandists, as well as to the lucubrations of the specialists.

This is regrettable since, after all, Islam encompasses a substantial segment of humanity, covering as it does a third of Africa and a vast area of Asia. An awareness of basic similarities between Islam and Christendom, long overlaid by the historic European self-preoccupation, is now gradually reaching the wider public, and a growing stream of material has been pouring off the presses since the end of the last war. Two recent books dealing with this subject are excellent examples of different approaches: the scholarly and the reportorial, in this case with literary overtones.

Wilfred Cantwell Smith, professor of Comparative Religion and director of the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University, has undertaken a comprehensive survey of a number of Moslem civilizations Arab, Turk, Pakistani plus a general essay on the development of Islam in the modern world.

On the whole he strikes a successful balance between professional scholarship and writing for the general public, but he lacks the penetration one has a right to expect from a leading scholar. This tone recurs in one form or another throughout the book, and where it does it blurs the perspective precisely when some crucial question of history or politics comes up for discussion, e. But by stating it in this oversimplified form, Professor Smith manages to by-pass the deeper antithesis between the two movements considered in terms of their spiritual implications which has led to so much misunderstanding in Moslem and especially in Arabic-speaking countries.

In fact there is no knowledge of any serious kind at all among contemporary Moslems about their past which is not due to these Western scholars. Folklore, legends, fables, etc. This nationalist ferment passed into Syria chiefly via the foreign missions stationed there. To the Arabic-speaking Christians in their quest for a way out of their ghetto, glorification of the Arabic language, which they shared with their Moslem neighbors, was as natural as common aversion to the Turks.

This circumstance may be displeasing to Moslems today, but for a scholar to disregard it seems puzzling. It seems perfectly reasonable to Professor Smith that Arab leaders representing fifty million of their fellow nationals—or for that matter, in their wilder moments, all million Moslems! Arab hatred of Israel is incontestably a factor in the Middle Eastern imbroglio; the problem is how much of a factor it is and what its objective sources are.

This question must be studied soberly, and not in terms of the conventional ax-grinding of politicians and journalists. Morris is a youthful British journalist who has made a considerable reputation for himself as a talented writer and observer; he makes no claim beyond this, but it is a great deal, and this book is a good example of his best qualities. This travelogue is amplified by random observations on French, Russian, British, etc. The title is thus a misnomer, but in justice to Mr.

Morris it should be noted that the British edition bore a different designation. Its present form must be due to an understandable desire to cash in on the post-Sinai situation without annoying anyone by mentioning Israel, at any rate in the body of the book.

Morris is supposed to have had with an Israeli colonel in the Sinai Peninsula, in November With these qualifications it can be said that Mr. His style has momentum, color, and elegance, and the Egyptian third of the book is exceedingly readable.

In addition he has managed to do something which scarcely any journalist has ever done in Egypt: he has actually poked his nose into the sights, sounds, and smells beneath the surface, and something of the pervasive reek comes through. But only on that level. Colorful reportage, however readable, does not convey insight, and Mr.

Morris, unprepared for his trip to the Middle East by anything but a general education and his native acumen, continually stumbles over matters which require more than elementary knowledge. On the more contemporary and purely political plane, he swallows the usual nonsense distributed by the Egyptian regime to the innocent. One of the chief problems of Egypt is the increasing pressure to which all minorities have been subjected during the recent nationalist fervor; this does not, to be sure, have much to do with the theoretical claims of Islam to racial tolerance which are justified—within Islam but it is nevertheless a fact of moment to the minorities who are feeling the squeeze.

This includes the most ancient minority of all, the Copts, whose history is as old as Egypt itself and who constitute over one-tenth of the population. Morris dismisses this human and political problem with an airy wave of the hand, after speaking sardonically enough of the polemical zeal of government propagandists; but his cynicism by-passes the point.

In the ordinary way such a book would simply be taken for the light reading it is. One of the characteristics of its style, however, is an urbane authoritativeness, and against this the unwary reader should be warned.

FUYUMI ONO TWELVE KINGDOMS PDF

Islam in modern history

Please help improve it by rewriting it in an encyclopedic style. December Learn how and when to remove this template message In his best known and most controversial work,[ citation needed ] The Meaning and End of Religion: A New Approach to the Religious Traditions of Mankind , [15] Smith examines the concept of "religion" in the sense of "a systematic religious entity, conceptually identifiable and characterizing a distinct community". Moreover, the term is unique to the Western civilization; there are no terms in the languages of other civilizations that correspond to it. Smith also notes that it "begets bigotry" and can "kill piety". He regards the term as having outlived its purpose. Religion, he argues, is a static concept that does not adequately address the complexity and flux of religious lives.

SEAMANSHIP NOTES BY ANGUS FERGUSON PDF

Wilfred Cantwell Smith

.

BT151-800R PDF

Islam in Modern History

.

Related Articles