Debates on Civilization in the Muslim World: Critical Perspectives on Islam and Modernity
Edited by: Lutfi Sunar
  • ISBN : 9780199466887
  • year : 2017
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Since its birth as a concept, civilization has been defined by an encounter with the 'other'. Barbarism, the ever-ready counter concept, has provided civilization with its raison d'?tre-that of exerting violence upon other societies to 'civilize' them. Enlightenment thinkers defined civilization as an opponent of nature, while science and technology, tools with which nature was to be conquered, became one of the basic indicators of development. Thus was formed the unbroken tie between civilization and science. In the Muslim world, civilization became a synonym for modernization, a lifestyle imposed by the colonialists and their local counterparts. However, as this volume reveals, the resistance to and reception of Western modernity by non-Western societies is not homogenous, nor is the 'othering' unidirectional. If the Orientalist discourse portrayed the Islamic East as an exotic, seductive, and untamed 'other', a corresponding Occidentalism also stereotyped the West as the soulless, mechanistic 'other' to Islam. Challenging the embedded prejudices within social theory, Debates on Civilization in the Muslim World questions the Eurocentric understanding of civilization and also explores the themes of modernization, globalization, and the future of the civilization debate