Knowledge Forms: Muslim Scientists as Fundamentalists

in Varieties of Muslim Experience

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780226726168
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226726182 | DOI:
Knowledge Forms: Muslim Scientists as Fundamentalists

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This chapter reviews some aspects of the history of Arab science and the reasons why a number of contemporary Muslims trained in the sciences may be attracted to Islamic fundamentalism. In doing so it explores in the domain of science one of the themes, namely that the meaning of science in the context of Arab cultural history has to be understood, at least in part, in terms of its effect on human relationships. It suggests that where the focus on the relational cannot be maintained, the meaning of many cultural products—portraiture, ownership, science—cannot be readily sustained. The chapter challenges the idea that the Arabs' pursuit of scientific inquiry was an exception to other aspects of culture in Islam and argues that one component of the attraction and rejection of science by Muslims at different times is connected to the way they have seen science as supporting or undermining the relationships among people.

Keywords: Arabs; science; Muslims; fundamentalism; human relationships; portraiture; ownership; culture

Chapter.  8022 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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