NMC103H1 - lecture 2 - What is the Islamic world?

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University of Toronto St. George
Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations
Maria Subtelny

NMC103H1 – LEC NOTES Familiar terms: Muslim—refers to adherent of Islam as religion/tradition Islamdom—neologism; on pattern of “Christendom” Another term on the rise: Islamicate—neologism; on pattern of “Italianate”; refers to entire cultural complex associated w/ Islam - will probably come across it in readings* Islamicist & Islamist – used to be used interchangeably - the former is a person who studies Islam professionally - latter: Muslim “fundamentalist” ideologue or activist (more common) - story of blind man and elephant told by Buddha (parable) to illustrate differences in theological perceptions – are contain aspect of truth, but not as a whole Talking about Islamic world as a civilization formation: Civilization = the larger background; what we take for granted - social, political organization; religious or ideological orientation; lingua franca (common language); historical record; collective memory; shared worldview (Weltanschauung – “the way each civilization views its world [in human history]) - part of that shared worldview is “exclusivity” – true of Ancient Greeks and Roman civilization (coining of term “barbaros”) o e.g. Arabic view – people who don’t speak Arabic = “mute” - How do we know about civilizations? o any surviving specimens of solidified codification (medium) = evidence o any kinds of inscribed monuments = themselves, historical records of civilizations, which transmit shared knowledge and create cultural continuity What is “Culture”? = what is consciously practi
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