By Arshin Adib-Moghaddam
Starting with the wars of historical Persia and Greece, Arshin Adib-Moghaddam searches for the theoretical underpinnings of the "clash of civilizations" that has decided a lot of our political and cultural discourse.
He revisits the Crusades, colonialism, the Enlightenment, and our modern struggle on terror, and he engages with either jap and western thinkers, equivalent to Adorno, Derrida, Farabi, Foucault, Hegel, Khayyam, Marcuse, Marx, stated, Ibn Sina, and Weber.
Adib-Moghaddam's research explains the conceptual genesis of the conflict of civilizations and the impact of western and Islamic representations of the opposite. He highlights the discontinuities among Islamism and the canon of Islamic philosophy, which distinguishes among Avicennian and Qutbian discourses of Islam, and he unearths how violence turned inscribed in western principles, particularly through the Enlightenment. increasing severe idea to incorporate Islamic philosophy and poetry, this metahistory refuses to regard Muslims and Europeans, americans and Arabs, and the Orient and the Occident as separate entities.
'This passionate and chic paintings is a lively antidote to a constellation of discourses steeped within the Weltanschauung that the name of Samuel Huntington's notorious ebook encapsulates so good. Arshin Adib-Moghaddam's reflections are a stimulating contribution to Edward Said's legacy of radical critique of all essentialist structures of otherness.'
(Gilbert Achcar, writer (with Noam Chomsky) of Perilous strength: the center East and U.S. overseas coverage )
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Additional resources for A Metahistory of the Clash of Civilisations: Us and Them Beyond Orientalism
I am convinced with Said and Foucault that history comes after discourse, that theory precedes reality. Hence, you will find that my historical examples follow particular, thematically structured discourses about the meaning of the 'West', Islams, Orients and Occidents. This study is not chronologically ordered in strict terms because of that suspicion towards the tales and imagined historical 'realities' it faces. Let me quickly summarise the composition of what follows. In the next chapters, I will attempt to bring into focus some of the issues that have habituated us to think in a particularly divisive mode.
So I am aware that next to the reoccurring episteme of civilisational superiority and distinctiveness there were counter-discourses of an inclusive kind which accentuated integration and the oneness of the human species. 45 One only needs to consider Goethe's East-Western 44 45 See Sayyid, Eurocentrism, pp. 4 5 ff. With regard to this oppositional conception of the possibility of—and necessity for social change I am borrowing from Raymond Williams, especially his Marxism and Literature, Oxford: O x f o r d University Press, 1 9 7 7 , pp.
It is Europe that articulates the Orient; this articulation is the prerogative, not of a puppet master, but of a genuine creator, whose life-giving power represents, animates, constitutes the otherwise silent and dangerous space beyond familiar boundaries. 11 From the depictions of Xerxes as the leader of the 'barbarians' in Aeschylus's The Persians to Mohammed's location in the 'eighth of the nine circles of Hell, in the ninth of the ten Bolgias of Malebolge, a circle of gloomy ditches surrounding Satan's stronghold in Hell',12 what Dante called the seminator di scandalo e di scisma in Inferno, to modern, 'social-scientific' inquiries into the 'Muslim mindset', Said threads through the maze of often denigrating representations of the other 'Oriental' by European and (at a later stage) American scholars.