Contemporary Arab Thought: Cultural Critique in Comparative Perspective

Contemporary Arab Thought: Cultural Critique in Comparative Perspective

By: Elizabeth Suzanne Kassab (author)Paperback

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During the second half of the twentieth century, the Arab intellectual and political scene polarized between a search for totalizing doctrines-nationalist, Marxist, and religious-and radical critique. Arab thinkers were reacting to the disenchanting experience of postindependence Arab states, as well as to authoritarianism, intolerance, and failed development. They were also responding to successive defeats by Israel, humiliation, and injustice. The first book to take stock of these critical responses, this volume illuminates the relationship between cultural and political critique in the work of major Arab thinkers, and it connects Arab debates on cultural malaise, identity, and authenticity to the postcolonial issues of Latin America and Africa, revealing the shared struggles of different regions and various Arab concerns.

About Author

Elizabeth Suzanne Kassab is a research fellow at the German Orient Institute in Beirut. She has studied in Beirut and Fribourg, Switzerland, and has taught in Lebanon at the American University of Beirut and at the University of Balamand, and in the United States at Columbia University and Yale University. She is the author of The Theory of Social Action in the Schutz-Parsons Debate.


Preface Introduction: Cultural Malaise and Cultural Identity in Twentieth-Century Western, Postcolonial, and Arab Debates 1. The First Modern Arab Cultural Renaissance, or Nahda: From the Mid-Nineteenth Century to the Mid-Twentieth Century 2. Critique After the 1967 Defeat The Existential Dramatization of Critique the Day After the Defeat: Saadallah Wannous's Theatrical Oeuvre Humanistic Nationalism and Critical Reason: Qustantin Zurayq The Critique of Religious-Metaphysical Thought: Sadeq Jalal al-Azm The Critique of Ideology and Historicization: Abdallah Laroui Gendering Critique: Nawal el-Saadawi and the Late-Twentieth-Century Arab Feminists The Radicalization of Critique and the Call for Democracy: Reclaiming the Individual's Critical Faculties 3. Marxist, Epistemological, and Psychological Readings of Major Conferences on Cultural Decline, Renewal, and Authenticity The Cairo Conference of 1971: "Authenticity and Renewal in Contemporary Arab Culture" The Kuwait Conference of 1974: "The Crisis of Civilizational Development in the Arab Homeland" The Cairo Conference of 1984: "Heritage and the Challenges of the Age in the Arab Homeland: Authenticity and Contemporaneity" Critique in These Conferences: The Fixation on Tradition and the Intellectualization of the Malaise 4. Critique in Islamic Theology From the Unthought and the Unthinkable to the Thinkable: Mohammed Arkoun The Historicity of Revelation and the Struggle for Thought in the Time of Anathema: Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd Feminist Historicization of Religious Traditions: Nazira Zain al-Din, Fatima Mernissi, and Leila Ahmed An Islamic Theology of Liberation: The "Islamic Left" of Hassan Hanafi A Christian Arab Theology of Liberation: Naim Ateek and Mitri Raheb in Palestine-Israel On the Potential for Critique in Traditional Islam: Talal Asad's Analysis of the Public Criticism by Ulemas in Saudi Arabia Islamic Critique and the Cultural Malaise 5. Secular Critique Critique of the Exclusive Monopoly over "True" Islam: Farag Fouda The Importance of Keeping the Debate on the Human Level: Fouad Zakariyya Critique of the Essentialist and Romantic Conception of Identity: Aziz al-Azmeh Critique of the Islamicization of Knowledge and the Quest for an Indigenous Social Science: Bassam Tibi, Abdelkebir Khatibi, and Hisham Sharabi Critique of the Conciliatory Pattern of Thinking: Muhammad Jaber al-Ansari, Hisham Sharabi, and Nadeem Naimy Secularism, Democracy, and Cultural Critique Recentering the Historical, the Human, and the Partial: The Secular Call for Democracy and Human Rights 6. Breaking the Postcolonial Solitude: Arab Motifs in Comparative Perspective The Western Debates The Non-Western Postcolonial Debates Common Leitmotivs and Arab Specifi cities Shifting Priorities Conclusion: The New Nahda Impulses, Reclaiming the Right to Freedom and Life Notes Bibliography Index

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780231144896
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 512
  • ID: 9780231144896
  • ISBN10: 023114489X

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