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Download e-book for kindle: An illusion of harmony: science and religion in Islam by Taner Edis

By Taner Edis

ISBN-10: 1591024498

ISBN-13: 9781591024491

Present discussions within the West at the relation of technology and faith concentration customarily on science's uneasy courting with the conventional Judeo-Christian view of lifestyles. yet a parallel controversy exists within the Muslim international concerning how you can combine technological know-how with Islam. As physicist Taner Edis indicates during this attention-grabbing glimpse into modern Muslim tradition, a great deal of well known writing in Muslim societies makes an attempt to deal with such puzzling questions as: Is Islam a "scientific religion"? have been the discoveries of contemporary technology foreshadowed within the Quran? Are clever layout conjectures extra attractive to the Muslim viewpoint than Darwinian causes? Edis examines the variety of Muslim puzzling over technological know-how and Islam, from blatantly pseudoscientific fantasies to relatively subtle efforts to "Islamize science". From the world's most powerful creationist hobbies to weird and wonderful science-in-the-Quran apologetics, well known Muslim techniques advertise a view of traditional technology as an insignificant fact-collecting task that coexists in near-perfect concord with literal-minded religion. when you consider that Muslims are keenly acutely aware that technology and know-how were the keys to Western luck, they're desirous to harness expertise to accomplish a Muslim model of modernity. but even as, they're reluctant to permit technological know-how to develop into self reliant of faith and are suspicious of Western secularisation. Edis examines all of those conflicting traits, revealing the problems dealing with Muslim societies attempting to adapt to the fashionable technological international. His discussions of either the parallels and the diversities among Western and Muslim makes an attempt to harmonise technological know-how and faith make for a different and exciting contribution to this carrying on with debate.

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Sorting out the influence of such social factors is, unfortunately, extraordinarily difficult. After all, we must also ask how much religion contributes to social features that inhibit science. Devout Muslims are proud of the extent to which religion shapes their societies, expecting that God-consciousness should penetrate all aspects of life. Consider corruption. As anthropologist Lawrence Rosen notes, in the Middle East, corruption is conceived of as “the failure to share with those with whom one has forged ties of dependence any largesse that comes one’s way.

But this is an artifact of multinational corporations seeking cheap labor. Turkish workers assemble the parts, but the engineers who design the finished product are based in Europe. 9 Muslims are quite aware of the problem. For example, prominent Egyptian Islamists urge their compatriots to do more of the critical work needed for development, observing that compared to Arabs, on a per capita basis, Israel has ten times the number of scientists, thirty times the money to spend on research and development, and seventy times the number of scientific publications.

We were taught in school that practically all the famous Muslim philosophers of medieval times—described by a word that could mean scientist as well as philosopher—were ethnically Turkish. None of this was entirely true, but the authorities must have thought that an ideology of modernization had to include confidence-building myths. All this talk about the inherent rationality and scientific orientation of Islam or of the nation, however, runs up against the obvious reality that Muslim countries lag far behind in this regard.

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An illusion of harmony: science and religion in Islam by Taner Edis


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