Sunday, December 6, 2009

More of Dr. J laying a foundation/framework

Quoting in a different style that I think is more readable (and encouraging to give more time to reflect upon before moving to the next sentence - especially when each one is so packed!):

These are all quotes from Dr. Sherman A. Jackson's 2005 book Islam and the Blackamerican: Looking Toward the Third Resurrection

"The Third Resurrection is not a romantic, iconoclastic, antimodernity impulse that seeks refuge in the material lifestyle of the medieval past." -pg. 6

"Its primary interest lies, rather, in certain structural features of classical Muslim ecumenicism whose function it was to reconcile the competing interests of interpretive integrity and intrareligious pluralism." -pg. 6-7

"Given the breadth of its geographical expansion and its conscious decision not to adjudicate doctrinal disputes through a centralized ecclesiastical authority, classical Sunnism was forced to develop alternative mechanisms for this purpose. These mechanisms provided the ability to adjust to changing circumstances as the religion moved through space and time." -pg. 7

"It is primarily these mechanisms, rather than any body of fixed medieval doctrines, that the Third Resurrection seeks to enlist into the cause of Blackamerican Islam." -pg. 7

“This system produced a stunningly massive body of legal, theological, and religious doctrine, some worthy of consideration in a modern context, others empatically not. In negotiating its way to a dignified American existence, the Third Resurrection will look to the classical legacy as the starting point rather than the end of its contemplation." -pg. 11

"More importantly, the structural features of classical Islam will confer upon Blackamerican Muslims both the right and the responsibility to develop their own body of concrete doctrine." -pg. 8

"This is not to convert the classical Tradition into an ideological flea-market or a license to abandon the value and/or concept of orthodoxy. Indeed, Blackamerican Muslims will be able to purchase the advantages of the classical system only by paying the cost of recognizing its constraint. Still, given their role as independent agents, as opposed to passive recipients, in the process of formulating doctrine, the classical Tradition will function as both a brake and as an accelerator.” – pg. 8

"By false universal, I am referring to the phenomenon of history internalized, normalized, and then forgotten as history. This invariably leads to the tendency to speak in universal terms but from a particularly cultural, ideological, or historical perspective. In this process, the cognitive mass [mask?] of the universal category eclipses the contribution of the particular perspective from which the speakers speaks. "Human," ''Islam,'' ''justice,'' and the like are all taken, thus, to represent not particular understandings but ontological realities that are equally esteemed and apprehended by everyone, save the stupid, the primitive, or the morally depraved." - pg. 9

"From this vantage point, only those who subscribe to specific concretions of these ostensibly universal categories are justified in laying any claim to them. In this capacity, and precisely because it is so imperceptible, the false universal turns out to function as a powerful tool of domination.” – pg. 9

"All of this is evocative, of course, of the postmodernist assault on Enlightenment universalism. While postmodernist discourse has deepened my appreciation for these matters, it is not the actual source and beginning of my critique." [footnote 10] -pg. 9

"This goes back, rather, to Sunni Tradition, specifically the writings of the Hanbali jurist and theologian, Taqi al-Din Ibn Taymiya (d.728/1328), who mounted a devastating critique of the early Greek and later Muslim doctrine of ontological universals. Over the course of this campaign, Ibn Taymiya defends the integrity of primordial, natural reason (fitra) against the aspersions cast upon it by the rationalist proponents of formal definitions and logical syllogisms.” – pg. 9

“This denial of ontological universals has direct and far-reaching implications for our understanding of both Islam and race."- pg. 11

"As for Islam, it implies that there is no “real,” “true,” or “authentic” Islam apart from the historical instantiations (read interpretations) of the religion in the world. Even if the Qur’an and the Sunna were to remain physically in the world, there would no doctrine of Unanimous Consensus or Five Pillars or jihad in the absence of Muslims, for these are products of human understanding rather than ontological givens." - pg. 11-12

"And while this does not imply that any particular doctrine or school is ipso false, it does mean that none is transcendent." - pg. 12

"Muslims, in other words, whenever and wherever they happen to be, are ensconced in historical situatedness, and this endows them with a perspective from which they speak." - pg. 12

"Where their uncoordinated efforts results in unanimous agreement, this may serve as the functional equivalent of a transcendent view, inasmuch as the agreement itself shows the view to be impervious to the dictates of any particular perspective. But where there is disagreement (assuming due dillegence) no particular perspective can be justified in projecting itself onto the world as a universal standard for all. It is here that my critique of what I have been referring to as “Immigrant Islam” begins.” –pg. 12

-to be continued?...

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