Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Muslim Modernism and the Problem of Modern Science

Feb. 9th, 2009 | 11:31 pm

Muslim Modernism and the Problem of Modern Science/M. Maroof Shah. New Delhi, Indian Pub., 2007, xiv, 318 p., ISBN 81-7341-427-0. Contents: Preface. 1. Modern science and varieties of Muslim modernism. 2. Muslim modernism, reconstructionist thesis and the problem of appropriating modern science in Islam. 3. Frithjof Schuon's traditionalist critique of modern science. 4. Conceptual confusions in modernist thesis of compatibility between the Quran and modern science. 5. Thesis of compatibility between modern science and Islam from Iqbalian perspective. 6. Legitimating the modern project: Iqbal's interpretation of the idea of finality in Islam. 7. Modernist appropriation of evolution and Iqbal. 8. Muslim modernism and demythologization : Sir Syed, Abduhu and Iqbal perspective. 9. Modernist psychologism and the question of reconstruction of religion: an appraisal of Iqbal's approach. 10. Perennialist critique of modern science and reconstructionist thesis and Iqbal. 11. Modernist critique of the concept of Islamization of knowledge: a case study of Iqbal's reconstruction. 12. Iqbal and Harun Yaha on the theory of relativity. 13. A critique of modern concept of religious experience : a case study of Iqbal.
 "The present work is a critical appraisal of Muslim modernist appropriation of modern science, largely from perennialist traditionalist perspective. It argues against the current usual thesis amongst most Muslims that modern science is compatible with Islam, and that the latter provided inspiration for it and that one could graft modern scientific enterprise to traditional Islam. Certain postmodernist insights are juxtaposed with perennialist approach in our critique of modernist thesis which is basically the thesis that Islam and modern science are compatible and that modern science could be relevant and must be appropriated in reinterpretation and reconstruction of traditional religious thought in Islam. Foregrounding the perennialist critique of modern science for its commitment to reductionist, naturalist, demythologizing, evolutionist, empiricist, rationalist methodology and world-view it critiques most forms of modernist appropriations of Islam and the pleas for reinterpretation / reconstruction of traditional religious thought in Islam in the light of modern scientific developments. Rejecting the metanarrative of modern science and its epistemic chauvinism on postmodern and perennialist grounds, it argues for return to traditional metaphysical perspective as it highlights the divergence between epistemic and cognitive universes of traditional Islam and modern science. Iqbal is discussed as representative modernist voice and in the context of other modernist voices. His credentials as representative of consistent modernist approach to problem of modern science are fore grounded. Conceptual confusions and operational anomalies of modernist approach are highlighted. The present work is also a contribution to the debate on Islamization of knowledge also. It is primarily a contribution to perennialist approach to modernism and modern science. Certain popular modern works on Islam and science also come under critical scrutiny. Works of Harun Yaha, Zakir Naik, Fatehullah Khan, Wahidudin Khan, Abdul Bari Nadvi, Ziaudin Sardar, Maurice Boccaile, I.R. Faruqi and others provide a context to present work and have been discussed vis-a-vis Iqbal. Present work opens new vistas on Iqbal studies and more specifically on Reconstruction studies." (jacket)

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