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History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Reformations, world history and Islam

January 14th, 2015 · No Comments

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/010515-733240-egypt-president-abdel-fattah-al-sisi-speech-calls-for-major-reforms.htm

This is a strange development. Let me say at once I don’t feel optimistic about a ‘reformation’ from a dictator in an Islamic culture. But, then again, the military dictatorship of Ataturk may be being invoked here. I will misanalyze this with an on the spot opinion so let me consider a larger issue.

I have myself spoken of an ‘Islamic’ Reformation. But I should also refer the discussion to my larger model of world history where the Reformation has to be seen in terms of a unique occurrence in the ‘macro’ mainline based a specific analysis of the sourcing of modernity in a Euro-centered transient zone, rapidly spreading globalization effect.

The moral is that you can’t replicate the ‘Reformation’ as a mechanical set of ‘menu options’ called ‘how to do it’. It is a unique event sequence frozen in time: the sixteenth century up to 1648. One catch is that the violence of the Reformation/CounterReformation was almost apocalyptic and went on and on for more than a century. Moslems would do well to find another way to go here! The Reformation was far more violent than anything in Islamic history.

The historical model of WHEE distinguishes ‘system action’ and ‘free action’: the Reformation shows system action, while the succession shows ‘free action’. The implication is that you can’t replicate the macro action behind the Reformation. Your efforts are ‘free action’, i.e. you apply a set of ideas eclectically to a future process in imitation of a past sequence. It won’t work. You
will be forced to make it up as you go along. Be my guest, but there are concealed elements in the Reformation that can’t be resolved.
You need to think in original terms of what is needed, and also consider that the modern transition left the Reformation behind to move toward a more radical debriefing of religion in terms of science, philosophy and much else: the issue of the Reformation is thus indeterminate, and not a good candidate for imitation.

But there is no reason why, as with Ataturk, a ‘reformation’ notion on the fly can’t more or less do the job. Best of luck. It is useful to invoke the Reformation, without naivete, because the current deterioration of ‘secularist’ thinking, as with the ‘new atheists’ leaves the question of what is modernity up in the air, and subject to a misreading by modernists themselves.

The point here is: where is a Reformation headed? the sixteenth, seventeeth, …nineteenth century…?

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