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Secularism in the Arab WorldContexts, Ideas and Consequences$
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Aziz al-Azmeh

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474447461

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474447461.001.0001

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Intellectual Transformations and Elusive Reconciliation

Intellectual Transformations and Elusive Reconciliation

(p.181) 3 Intellectual Transformations and Elusive Reconciliation
Secularism in the Arab World

Aziz al-Azmeh

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter sketches the course and ambiguities of modern intellectual transformations related to issue of religion and secularism. It takes up perceptions of historical backwardness, and various apologetic strategies in which Muslim Reform attempted to navigate the relations between scripture, tradition and the cognitive and political realities and desiderata of the day, and the relation between Muslim jurisprudence and the requirements of positive law. It discusses the adoption and adaptation of positivism and Darwinism, and the conflicts between secular and religious intellectuals over issues at once cognitive and political. It offers an analysis about the relationship between various currents of thought, and the changing realities of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The chapter analyses the impasses of apologetic modernism.

Keywords:   Muslim Reform, The problem of backwardness, Positivism, Darwinism, Utilitarian Islam, Ambiguities of translation, Natural law and Muslim jurisprudence, Scripture, history and science, Apologetics, Religious scepticism, Secularism and historical transformations

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