The Thoughts of Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Bassam Tibi and Tariq Ramadan
Chapter 1: Situating Islam among Modernisms
Chapter 1 Situating Islam among Modernisms Introduction The purpose of this chapter is to develop an analytical framework for the conceptualization of religion in relation to modernism. I shall seek, first, to delineate and differentiate the concepts of the Enlightenment, modernity and modernism, and then to study the position of religion in the modern world. I identify and characterize three main trends, namely, the radical, counter- and moderate trends of religion corresponding to modernism. The purpose of doing this is to justify a pluralistic view of religion as an analytical framework for examining the situation of Islam in the West and comparing the thinking of Nasr, Tibi and Ramadan studied in the following chapters. Enlightenment, Modernity and Modernism The terms ‘Enlightenment’, ‘modernity’ and ‘modernism’ are now often used quite interchangeably in many subject areas, but I want to define clearly how they are used in this book in order to compare and contrast them with the notions that Nasr, Tibi and Ramadan consider. The term ‘Enlightenment’ is defined by Immanuel Kant in his short essay An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment?: 12 Chapter 1 Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-incurred immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one’s own understanding without the guidance of another. This immaturity is self-incurred if its cause is not lack of understanding, but lack of reso- lution and courage to use it without the guidance of another. The motto of enlight- enment is therefore: Sapere aude! Have courage to use your own...
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