from a "Books of the Times" review by Dwight Garner:
"[Paul Berman is] self-congratulatory about his coups of reading and synthesis, his turning up of important details in other people’s footnotes. Yet his own book has no foot- or endnotes at all."!
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Dr. Umar F. Abd-Allah's Georgetown, Guyana sermon on the Islamic perspective of the Christian doctrine of the Crucifixion of Christ
via Nader Khan
via Nader Khan
via Mohamed Kahiye :)
via Mohamed Kahiye :)
Friday, May 14, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Religious institutions "have failed to unequivocally denounce unfettered capitalism, globalization and pre-emptive war. The obsession with personal piety and “How-is-it-with-me?” spirituality that permeates most congregations is narcissism. [...] But I cannot rejoice in the collapse of these institutions. We are not going to be saved by faith in reason, science and technology, which the dead zone of oil forming in the Gulf of Mexico and our production of costly and redundant weapons systems illustrate. Frederick Nietzsche’s Übermensch, or “Superman”—our secular religion—is as fantasy-driven as religious magical thinking."
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
The figure of the lonely metaphysical terrorist who blew himself up with his bomb appeared in Russia at the end of the nineteenth century ... The real genesis of al-Qaeda violence has more to do with a Western tradition of individual and pessimistic revolt for an elusive ideal world than with the Koranic conception of martyrdom. Oliver Roy 
Nazism and communism are products of the modern West. So too - though the fact is denied by its followers and by western opinion - is radical Islam. The intellectual founder of radical Islam is Sayyid Qutb, an Egyptian intellectual executed by Nasser in 1966. Qutb's writings showed the influence of many European thinkers, particularly Nietzsche, and they are full of ideas lifted from the Bolshevik tradition. Qutb's conception of a revolutionary vanguard dedicated to the overthrow of corrupt Islamic regimes and the establishment of a society without formal power structures owes nothing to Islamic theology and a great deal to Lenin. His view of revolutionary violence as a purifying force has more in common with the Jacobins than it does with the twelfth-century Assassins. [....]
Islamist movements think of violence as a means of creating a new world, and in this they belong not in the medieval past but the modern West. Talk of 'Islamo-fascism' obscures the larger debts of Islamism to western thought. It is not only fascists who have believed that violence can give birth to a new society. So did Lenin and Bakunin, and radical Islam could with equal accuracy be called Islamo-Leninism or Islamo-anarchism. However the closest affinity is with the illiberal theory of popular sovereignty expounded by Rousseau and applied by Robespierre in the French Terror, and radical Islam may be best described as Islamo-Jacobinism.-Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia by John Gray, pg. 69-70
I don't know anything about his politics, but this is interesting
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
of lost values and a shift in ethical standards. We find ourselves tempted to call for a return to old values and ways. It seems that in the past we were more religious as a people and that traditional values had more influence throughout the society. But whether or not that is a blurry, nostalgic view of the past, we want to keep in mind Jung's warning about dealing with present difficulties by wishing for a return to former conditions. He calls this maneuver a "regressive restoration of the persona." Societies can fall into this defensive strategy, attempting to restore what is imagined to be a better condition from the past. The trouble is, memory is always part imagination, and tough times of another era are later unconsciously gilded into the "good old days." [...]
In the late 1400's, Ficino wrote in his Book of Life that spirit and body, religion and world, spirituality and materialism can all be trapped in a polarizing split/; the more compulsively materialist we are, the more neurotic our spirituality in its tendencies toward an abstract and intellectualized approach to life. Ficino's recommendation for healing such a split is to establish soul in the middle, between spirit and body, as a way to prevent the two from becoming extreme caricatures of themselves. The cure for materialism, then, would be to find concrete ways of getting soul back into our spiritual practices, our intellectual life, and our emotional and physical engagements with the world. [...]
There are serious drawbacks to the soul in the abstraction of experience. The intellectual attempt to live in a "known" world deprives ordinary life of its unconscious elements, those things we encounter every day but know little about. Jung equates the unconscious with the soul, and so when we try to live fully consciously in an intellectually predictable world, protected from all mysteries and comfortable with conformity, we lose our everyday opportunities for the soulful life. The intellect wants to know; the soul likes to be surprised. Intellect, looking outward, wants enlightenment and the pleasure of a burning enthusiasm. The soul, always drawn inward, seeks contemplation and the more shadowy, mysterious experience of the underworld.-Care of the Soul : A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life by Thomas Moore, pg. 231-4
6 page article in the NYT...