We are standing in a crucial moment.
Cornerstone of Reform in the Arab Societies I. Islam has played an important role in the making of history and culture of the Arabic speaking peoples.
Since the interaction of the peoples of this region with the West from the first day of the French Campaign in Egypt inthe problematic has materialized in two trends: The holders of the second trend believe that it is inevitable to follow the mechanisms of the Religious reform in the middle ages civilization in order to accomplish progress in their societies.
It may be said with some generalization that the political, cultural, intellectual, and educational atmosphere of the Arabic speaking societies is witnessing a conflict between these two tendencies: I suggest that the preachers of the return to the sources and origins have little to offer besides big promises to the masses, while the intellectuals know that Islamic history is a purely human history which has known an era of relative prosperity the reality and extent of which are often exaggeratedwhich has then diminished and fallen after adopting a mentality of copying, opposed to reason and innovation, and when it set a low ceiling to the work of the human mind.
I have proven in many of my books that the progress which Europe has witnessed occurred due to human factors and not European or Western factors. The first of these factors is the strict limitation imposed on the authority and power of clergymen, followed by raising the ceiling on freedom of thought, and the encouragement of the critical mind.
One of the most obvious proofs that the values and characteristics of human progress are human and universal is what has taken place on a big scale in the Asian continent, when non-European societies employed the mechanisms and values of progress to accomplish development, and were able to achieve the required progress.
This is what the world has witnessed in Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan, and then in other societies such as the Malaysian society which one may consider as the biggest proof that the values and mechanisms of progress are universal and human.
Coming back to Arabic speaking societies, analyzing their present political, economic, social, cultural, educational and media phenomena shows that their environments are devoid of the values of progress which are, as previously stated, clearly human and universal.
The biggest challenge this approach will have to face will always come from religious institutions, not for a purely religious motive or even any religious motive as suchbut to defend the unlimited authority and power to rule and direct life in their societies.
The reform of general education and with equal importance, of religious education is the cornerstone of the project of progress and development, which no one in our Arabic speaking societies can achieve before the educational reform, and particularly the reform of religious education, inculcates in the minds and consciences the values of progress as values that are first and foremost human and universal.
The Values of Progress: An overview of the advanced societies, with a parallel knowledge of their history and march, shows that the progress of the societies which have advanced in their course towards development and progress is the result of a set of values which have been made fundamental to the society, by making them fundamental to the religious question.
This first value of progress will always be the most attacked by theocracy and those theocrats who know the implications of making this value fundamental to the educational institution of any society.
Otherness is a natural consequence of the implantation of plurality. This value has a strong dialectical link with the three values previously mentioned. The link between progress and the status of women is a double dialectical link: On the other hand, women raise the other half of the society; if they are not free people, they will bring up the other half with a mixture of the defects and disadvantages resulting from being brought up at the hands of an inferior person.
The sociology of the tribe which has widely governed the Arab culture favors subjectivity, and is far from the notion of objectivity. The course of the human mind during these last three centuries has led it far from the culture of absolute governance, and driven it closer to the culture of relative governance.
Participation is a value which strongly opposes the importance of following and the scantiness of participating which the Arab cultures have secreted. What is to be done? During the last two centuries, the partisans of science, reason, and modernity slightly advanced in our societies.
Then, they fell back to second place, far behind the school of returning to the roots and origins. In my opinion, there are several reasons for this, the major one being that the debate remains at a global macro level, without focusing on the radical change of the mentality through learning.
Dialogue on a global level is generally based on slogans which are more attractive to the public. The majority of the supporters of the return to origins hold slogans that attract masses, even if they are half educated or half cultured which is the case of most of them.
I think that despite the rise of the wave of the return to origins and roots, the world situation and the flow of history favor political authorities, authorities of the civil society, a selection of intellectuals, and authorities of education and media who believe in progress.
These will be able, in the shadow of the general conditions, to sow the seed of reform in the land of education in general, and religious teaching in particular. Reforming religious institutions, not ignoring them: Having observed the cultural conditions of Arabic speaking societies for almost forty years, I am almost certain that ignoring religion let alone wound it with pens and tongues of people motivated by anger rather than knowledge is a fact which will yield no positive fruit.
Religion is an essential element of the air which the peoples of our Arabic speaking region breathe. It is better to work on the reformation of religious institutions, religious culture, religious education and education in general, than to wage a Don Quixotic style duel which will only result in losing of the peoples and distancing them.
Here lies the danger of some groups of Arab intellectuals who have set as their primary mission the insolent attack on religion, instead of working on the way people understand religion. Edited by Sharon Bussell.The Middle Ages form the middle period in a traditional division of European history into three "epochs": the classical civilization of antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the modern era.
The period of the Middle Ages is usually dated from the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century to the. There are exceptional cases in Church history, such as the civilizing effects of Benedictine monasticism in the Dark Ages or the more limited reform of medieval society effected by Saint Francis and the whole peace movement of the friars and tertiaries.
The Middle Ages was a period from the 5th to 16th centuries. Both eras were remarkably different when compared.
Both eras were remarkably different when compared. The Renaissance was a cultural movement involving a renewal of learning, development of infrastructure, and a gradual reform .
He is the author of Monastic Reform as Process: Realities and Representations in Medieval Flanders, – and Imagining Religious Leadership in the Middle Ages: Richard of Saint-Vanne and the Politics of Reform. This is the end of the preview.
Sign up to access the rest of the document. Unformatted text preview: Later Middle Ages, 1/18 Aftermath of Canossa – Church Reform • RECAP of last lecture: o Secular = lay, temporal, not religious § Involved in the ‘century’ – involved in the here and now.
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH OF THE MIDDLE AGES Reformation Men and Theology, Lesson 1 of 11 by Dr. Jack L.
Arnold. INTRODUCTION. From .
Imagining Religious Leadership in the Middle Ages Book Description: Around the turn of the first millennium AD, there emerged in the former Carolingian Empire a generation of abbots that came to be remembered as one of the most influential in the history of Western monasticism. If the early Middle Ages were a time of preservation and the high Middle Ages a period of selfdiscovery and definition, the later Middle Ages (–) must be seen as a period of unprecedented challenge. Dec 29, · Religious Reform: Cornerstone of Reform in the Arab Societies While the “Muslim mind” has known periods of prosperity (according to the norms of the Middle-Ages) until the twelfth century A.D., it has also known, since that time, a course of decline, stagnation, and isolation, of which one cannot hide the features.