Academic journal article Military Review

Cultural Schizophrenia: Islamic Societies Confronting the West

Academic journal article Military Review

Cultural Schizophrenia: Islamic Societies Confronting the West

Article excerpt

CULTURAL SCHIZOPHRENIA: Islamic Societies Confronting the West by Darius Shayegan and John Howe. Translated by Daryush Shayegan. 200 pages. Syracuse University Press, Syracuse, NY. 1997. $10.95.

Darius Shayegan's and John Howe's work is an encompassing philosophical analysis of the current challenges facing the modem Islamic world. They draw on Shayegan's previous work, Quest-Qu'une Revolution Religieuse? (What is a Religious Revolution?), and his vast experience and background as a former philosophy professor to introduce and support their thesis.

The authors' primary argument is that the Islamic world is caught between two cultures and societies-- one rooted in tradition with conservative Islamic beliefs, the other promoting modemity. They attempt to demonstrate how Muslim efforts to adapt and integrate both paradigms promote the rise of reactionary forces, which are slowly tearing apart the current culture caught between the attraction of Western materialism and an unwillingness to let go of its firm basis of metaphysical belief.

They argue that Islamic nations are primarily at fault for their own dilemma. …

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