East and West: Allama Jafari on Bertrand Russell by Seyed Javad Miri

By Seyed Javad Miri

This booklet is an research of an Iranian philosopher’s engagement with a British thinker. the writer compares the guidelines of those philosophers in the context of eu and Iranian highbrow traditions. this is often the 1st publication of its type, as nobody has but checked out Allama Jafari’s concept with regards to Sir Bertrand Russell’s. East and West may be an invaluable paintings for a person who's attracted to comparative philosophical and sociological stories.

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This approach, however, is overly deterministic because it links oil wealth with authoritarian governments and ignores sociocultural and historical contexts. For example, while the rentier state model may help to explain political liberalization in Iran, Jordan, and Kuwait to a certain extent, it does not explain why people invoke an Islamic identity rather than national or class-based identities when the social welfare safety net of the government no longer is deemed adequate. This approach also overlooks other features of state and society, such as the problem of well-oV and upwardly mobile segments of society whose economic and social success translates not into complacency but rather into increased political frustration.

The expansion of public spaces plays a critical role in the formation and articulation of the competing Islamic identity movements. These identity movements entail a yearning quest for public ethics and justice in Muslim societies. In short, these movements are sites of articulating and bringing a diVerent conception of the “good life” through negotiating with modernity. The constructivist approach to Islamic political identity has three advantages over those just outlined. First, it does not confer agency to a reiWed Islam but rather to living Muslims whose actions are embedded in particular loyalties and networks.

10 This approach maintains that all contemporary Islamic social and political movements are motivated and guided by an Islamic worldview. One aim of this book is to show that the diversity of Muslim beliefs and practices is not compatible with an analysis that regards a monolithic, consistent, and unchanging “Islam” as the foundation of all social and political movements that call themselves Islamic. Furthermore, by employing an ethnocentric and teleological deWnition of modernity, such scholars essentially are claiming that Muslim societies are inherently traditional and unable to modernize.

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