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Language Between God and the Poets

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Book Series: Berkeley Series in Postclassical Islamic Scholarship ISBN: 9780520970144 9780520298019 Year: Pages: 322 DOI: 10.1525/luminos.54 Language: English
Publisher: University of California Press
Subject: Religion --- Philosophy --- History --- Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2018-09-11 11:01:03
License: University of California Press

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How does language work? How does language produce truth and beauty? Eleventh-century Arabic scholarship has detailed answers to these universal questions. Language Between God and the Poets reads the theory of four major scholars and asks how the conceptual vocabulary they shared enabled them to create theory in lexicography, theology, logic, and poetics. Their ideas engaged God and poetry at the nexus of language, mind, and reality. Their core conceptual vocabulary carved reality at the joints in a manner quite different from Anglophone and European thought in any period. This vocabulary centered around the words maʿnā (“mental content”) and ḥaqīqah (“accuracy”), two concepts for which Alexander Key develops a translation methodology with the help of Wittgenstein and Kuhn. Language Between God and the Poets helps us see how fundamental the lexicon and lexicography can be to all kinds of theory, how theology can be a science of naming, how logic interacts with language, and how poetic affect can be built on grammar and logic. The four scholars are ar-Rāġib al-Iṣfahānī, Ibn Fūrak, Ibn Sīnā (Avicenna), and ʿAbd al-Qāhir al-Ǧurǧānī.

The Clarion of Syria

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ISBN: 9780520971158 9780520299436 Year: Pages: 193 DOI: 10.1525/luminos.67 Language: English
Publisher: University of California Press
Subject: History
Added to DOAB on : 2019-05-14 11:21:04
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When “The Clarion of Syria” was penned, between September 1860 and April 1861, its anonymous author—identified only as “a patriot”—had just witnessed his homeland undergo unprecedented violence in what many today consider Lebanon’s first civil war. Butrus al-Bustani, the author, wrote a series of pamphlets to his fellow Syrians that became a key text of the nineteenth-century literary revival movement known as the Nahda. They addressed an array of universally resonant and locally relevant themes that render the pamphlets pertinent beyond their immediate context. With a style oscillating between Paulinian sermon and Socratic dialogue, the author ponders the meaning of civil war in relation to religion, politics, morality, society, and civilization. Above all, the text was an anti-sectarian clarion call to build a cohesive and “civilized” Syrian society in place of what the author considered a community gripped by the most pernicious of conflicts, violent fanaticism and factionalism. Rereading the pamphlets in the context of today’s political violence in war-torn Syria and elsewhere in the Arab world helps us gain a critical and historical perspective on (anti-)sectarianism, conflict resolution, Western interventionism, and national reconciliation. This translation thereby makes an important historical document accessible for the first time to an English audience.

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