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Enviado por: karimcar 02 agosto 2011
Palabras: 3599 | Páginas: 15
Islam, Scientism, Modernity & Dialogue: Probing the Future
By M. Darrol Bryant
The topic probed here is too vast, the issues too vital and the matters too complex to be adequately addressed in a single essay. Yet they stand very near the nexus of the challenges facing the great traditions of Islam – and the avowed purpose of this journal. Thus my intention is to put forward three probes for consideration. I do so as a student of religion and culture, one who has long been interested in the interface of religion and culture, including science and technology. I have also long been interested in the interface of religions with one another, especially Islam and Christianity.
But now let me turn to my probes. They are three in number, with a corollary to the first.
First, why is modernity a challenge to the Abrahamic faiths – and particularly to Islam?
“Modernity” is a multifaceted and complex phenomenon. Here we look at two aspects of modernity understood as the modern Western outlook that emerged in the 1700s and has come to be dominant in modern Western societies. There will be two aspects or faces of modernity that will be central to these probes. The first is modernity as “scientism,’ the second is modernity as secular, human based societies. These theses about modernity are contentious and could be more fully explored, but here they are simply stated for purposes of these probes.
First, we turn to modernity as scientism. In 1996 I edited, together with Dr. Syed J. Naqvi, a special issue of the International Journal of Science and Technology on “Values and Attitudes in Science and Technology.” The contributions to the journal explored diverse aspects of the issue of “values and attitudes in science and technology” from a variety of perspectives, including Islamic ones. But running through those disparate perspectives was an agreement that modernity, understood as resting on the emergence of the new empirical sciences and
technologies did challenge the great religious traditions. Why so? There I argued that
In the long history of humankind, religion has been the matrix out of which culture has emerged and has provided the sacred canopy for its activities. This is true not only for archaic traditions where religion and culture were virtually synonymous, but also for the great classical cultures of China, India, the Middle East and the West. It was from the way that these varied cultures experienced and apprehended the Divine that the determining patterns of cultural life, including its tools and technologies, emerged and were legitimated… Of course, the classical cultures/civilizations were inspired and integrated by diverse religious traditions…
And then my crucial point: The sole exception to this religion/cultural interface is modern Western culture.
What made it exceptional? It was not founded on the Transcendent, but in the Secular.
This point has been made by many others incl ...
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