Saturday, March 20, 2010

Islam After Sloterdijk

A reader in England sends the following brief synopsis of what the German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk has to say about Islam.

Islam after Sloterdijk

God’s Zeal: The Battle of the Three Monotheisms

The book is available at Amazon. From the product description:

Following the polytheism of the ancient civilizations of the Egyptians, Hittites and Babylonians, Jewish monotheism was born as a theology of protest, as a religion of triumph within defeat. While the religion of the Jews remained limited to their own people, Christianity unfolded its message with proclamations of universal truth. Islam raised this universalism to a new level through a military and political mode of expansion.

Sloterdijk examines the forms of conflict that arise between the three monotheisms by analyzing the basic possibilities stemming from anti-Paganism, anti-Judaism, anti-Islamism and anti-Christianism. These possibilities were augmented by internal rifts: a defining influence within Judaism was a separatism with defensive aspects, in Christianity the project of expansion through mission, and in Islam the Holy War.

The German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk on Islam:

Islam: complete devotion to God’s instructions: declared a standard expectation of people. Prophet’s zealotry transferred normatively to his followers’ way of life.

Maghazi literature: Normative inflation of sacred militantism. Plus compulsory prayer.
- - - - - - - - -
Prayer: formative effect of frequent ritual actions. Prayer a form of jihad. Absorbed zealotry into daily life.

Islam: a thymotic culture: pride in the past accompanied by scarcely concealable shame at current state of affairs.

Islam: a spectacular misreading of its predecessors: made a virtue out of necessity by converting the deficit of non-originality into the advantage of a later clarification.

From p. 79:

Its main motor is the growing radicalisation of its own rampant excess of young men. […] To summarize, one cannot reach any definite judgement on the campaign of Islam in its fifteenth century. The chances of a further expansion of its external mission can only be viewed with reserve — even if Europe’s current vulnerability dictates certain fear scenarios.


Anonymous said...

Thanks to Reader from England. That went right into my Amazon wish list (which I use as a personal reminder, and is not available to others ; thanks for asking, though...).

Unknown said...
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Anonymous said...

"A Christian Minister's Conversion to Islam"

That's 1,300,000,001 then.

Baron Bodissey said...

Please don't paste long URLs into the comments; they make the post page too wide and mess up the appearance of the permalink page.

Use link tags; the instructions are at the top of the full post's comment section.

Anonymous said...

WOW! I have to read a mandatory book from Sloterdijk to college!!

He's the first non Jew we have to read, if we except the ancient Greeks and Romans.

The few I've read, I've liked it. However, it annoys me a lot that he believes that everything East of Poland, the Baltic States and Hungary is not Europe. He's mad about this.
I also would like to know where Europe's borders are in the Southeast in his mind. (I will not even mention the Southern American Cone...)

I also don't like how he believes Washington to be the centre of the "European" Universe.

And I don't think our teacher's way of presenting him are the best either...

And I am always surprised by his refferences to Portugal, and to a lesser extent Spain, during the Rennasciance up to the XIX century.

The last paragraph is interested and he says what he sees and is the truth, in his peculiar style.

However, I dislike his main way to see Europe. I prefer the old fashion view of an Europe or Nations or an Europe of Kingdoms...

Interesting coincidence...

Anonymous said...

Super Turma is Afonso. Sorry about it, but I won't change it. Too lazy to do it:

Afonso Henriques