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THE WORLD BEFORE ISLAM. THE BEGINNING OF THE NEW SUBCULTURE. ISLAM, ISLAMIC, ISLAMICATE. DEFINING THE USAGE: ISLAMIC = ASSOCIATED RELATIVELY CLOSELY WITH THE ACT OF islam AND ITS SPIRITUAL IMPLICATIONS

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the world before islam

THE WORLD BEFORE ISLAM

THE BEGINNING OF THE NEW SUBCULTURE

islam islamic islamicate
ISLAM, ISLAMIC, ISLAMICATE
  • DEFINING THE USAGE:
  • ISLAMIC = ASSOCIATED RELATIVELY CLOSELY WITH THE ACT OF islam AND ITS SPIRITUAL IMPLICATIONS
  • ISLAMICATE = ASSOCIATED WITH ISLAM MORE INDIRECTLY, THROUGH FORMING A PART OF THE OVERALL CIVILIZATION IN WHICH MUSLIMS WERE LEADERS
islamicate civilization
ISLAMICATE CIVILIZATION
  • Shares largely the same roots as those of Western (Occidental) civilization:
  • Urban commercial tradition
  • Hebrew religious challenge
  • Classical Greek philosophical and scientific culture
the agrarian based culture
THE AGRARIAN-BASED CULTURE
  • The revenue of the lands created the dilemma between social privilege and equal justice
  • Cultural life dependent upon revenues
  • Arts dependent upon patronage and appreciation of a limited number of rich
  • The art of legally enshrined justice – giver of just laws
the focus of high culture
THE FOCUS OF HIGH CULTURE
  • Temples: under the learned priests
  • The Royal Courts: under kings and their dependents
  • The market: under independent merchants
  • ALL THREE FOCI OF HIGH CULTURE DEPENDED ON AGRICULTURE FOR THEIR WEALTH, AND ON CITIED SOCIETY
traits of agrarianate citied societies
TRAITS OF AGRARIANATE CITIED SOCIETIES
  • Presence of Writing or Recording
  • Possibilities of specialization
  • Large-scale intermingling of differing groups
  • Lively development of rich culture
  • Accelerated pace of historical change
  • Development of social conscience
oikuomene inhabited part of the world
“OIKUOMENE” = INHABITED PART OF THE WORLD
  • History of all the peoples interrelated
  • People came to have wider perspective on matters taken for granted in local societies
  • “Cosmopolitanism” of the future Irano-Semitic cultural tradition
  • Administrative efficiency marked the age
  • Growing sense of personal individuality
the prophets of axial age
THE PROPHETS OF AXIAL AGE
  • ZARATHUSTRA (Zoroaster) in Iran and BIBLICAL PROPHETS concerned with the private individual
  • Spoke to human beings in the name of a Supreme and Unique God
  • Demanded unconditional allegiance to divinely inspired vision
  • Cosmic struggle between good and evil
irano semitic prophets
IRANO-SEMITIC PROPHETS
  • Market not the Temple provided the cultural setting
  • Aroused individual conscience and rational possibilities
  • Indic thinkers: explored resources of the self; Hellenic thinkers explored external nature; Irano-Semitic prophets, HISTORY
history in irano semitic religious thought
HISTORY IN IRANO-SEMITIC RELIGIOUS THOUGHT
  • Moral Progression in History
  • Summon to personal conscience to confront a cosmic moral order
  • Struggle for justice a matter of historical action
  • Interpersonal, egalitarian justice supreme value in civilized life, even at the expense of arts and other forms of luxury
universal confessional religions
UNIVERSAL/CONFESSIONAL RELIGIONS
  • Founded upon personal demands
  • “Individual” personal “confession” of moral and cosmological belief, adherence to lay community
  • Sacred Scriptures, claiming universal validity
  • World beyond death
life orientational traditions
LIFE-ORIENTATIONAL TRADITIONS

Jewish-Christian

Zoroastrianism

Abrahamic

Magian-

Mazdean

Islam

populism in monotheism
POPULISM IN MONOTHEISM
  • “POPULISM” = concern for the ordinary moral needs and capabilities of the common people
  • Looking to justice in history through community – when worshippers formed one community
  • Centered on problems of interpersonal justice – Last Judgment
  • One responsible life time, community
  • Egalitarian justice, every person equal before Law
populistic temper
POPULISTIC TEMPER
  • Full-scale personal moralism – justice and equality on interpersonal relations
  • To do what is useful rather than what is decorative
  • Perfection in the common duties, respect for law and order
  • Ascetic virtuosity, personal self-discipline
  • Exclusivity – one true faith, all else false