In Search of the Sacred: A Conversation with Seyyed Hossein Nasr on His Life and Thought

In Search of the Sacred: A Conversation with Seyyed Hossein Nasr on His Life and Thought

In Search of the Sacred: A Conversation with Seyyed Hossein Nasr on His Life and Thought

In Search of the Sacred: A Conversation with Seyyed Hossein Nasr on His Life and Thought

Synopsis

In this book, a series of interviews offers an accessible, revealing, human and intellectual biography of leading Islamic scholar Seyyed Hossein Nasr.

• An explanatory foreword, "The Spiritual and Intellectual Journey of Seyyed Hossein Nasr" by Jamin Jahanbegloo

• An introduction by Terry Moore

• Organization by both chronology and concept to facilitate ease of use for students and scholars, as well as for more casual readers

Excerpt

G. K. Chesterton wrote: “There are two main moral necessities for the work of a great man: the first is that he should believe in the truth of his message; the second is that he should believe in the acceptability of his message.” Seyyed Hossein Nasr has both. An Islamic philosopher of rare exemplarity, he has also been all through his life a man of dialogue with different faiths and diverse cultures. Not only has Nasr heralded a renaissance of Islamic sciences, but he has also been the agent and mediator through whom, in our day, the perennial philosophy has found a second birth. An unrelenting opponent of religious fundamentalism in all its forms throughout his career, Nasr presents his critique of modernity as a vision rooted in a traditional Muslim understanding of the world that respects both nature and human dignity.

For Nasr, the traditional world was based on an overwhelming sense of the Sacred and the Absolute, whereas the invention of modernity involved precisely the dissolution of that awareness, resulting in what Max Weber would call the “disenchantment of the world.” Nasr’s critique of modernity, while being a severe condemnation of secularism, is not a call for regression. Like his inspirers of the Perennialist School—René Guénon, Amanda K. Coomaraswamy, and Frithjof Schuon—Seyyed Hossein Nasr provides his reader with a rigorous definition of what he understands by the term tradition. Nasr considers tradition as the principal milestone for spiritual authenticity and an infinite . . .

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