Thus began an intellectual trajectory nourished, in adolescence, by the classics of both Arabic and French and European literatures. He has lived there ever since, traveling the world as a poet, writer, translator, cultural critic, invited lecturer, scholar-in-residence and visiting professor. In , he collaborated on the dictionary Petit Robert: Des Noms Propres , working on entries concerning Islam and art history. From he was a literary consultant at Sindbad publications, helping to introduce a French reading public to the classics of Arabic and Persian literatures as well as the great Sufi writers.
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Website 1 With The Malady of Islam Tunisian writer Abdelwahab Meddeb presents a journey through the Islamic history of thought and the relationship between Islam and the West in a manner that is highly informative as well as rather confusing.
A note in advance: this book is irritating as it is not clear whom it addresses and what its intention is. Nor does it follow through with the intentions that it indicates. The Present and Past of Islamic Fundamentalist Thought 3 The book is divided into four parts, this however not being a historical division.
Because of this, he does not live up to the aims just stated, but does provide a range of interesting traditions of thought.
In contrast to many contemporary, especially North African thinkers, Meddeb does not see the end of this liberal strand in the death of Ibn Rushd Averroes , but refers to the vitality of creative and rationalistic thinking in e. Persian philosophy. Again and again Meddeb reaches the limits of explanation, again and again a perplexity about the way things developed is reflected in his analyses.
It is the clarification process of a liberal-minded, Arabic thinker, attempting to reconcile himself with one strand of his intellectual development while simultaneously raising a number of questions: Why did that, which is dear and precious to him in this tradition, not become the common property of the entire group? Why did instead dogmatic thinking, full of contempt for humanity, prevail?
He identifies the main reasons for the strengthening of such a political Islam in the thinkers that have already been mentioned as well as in the specific political situation, i. Whether such a confrontational and over-simplifying diagnosis, as provided with this book, can start such a healing process, is however to be doubted highly. Translation from the German by Marlies Gabriele Prinzl.
Die Krankheit des Islam