Wednesday, January 16, 2013
In the concluding chapter of his book The Impossible State, Wael B. Hallaq argues that the crisis of the Muslim world is not a uniquely Muslim crisis, but is the crisis faced by all of humanity in our present times. This crisis stems from modernity, from Enlightenment philosophy, from a humanism that says “man is the measure of all things”.
Hallaq presents two worldviews in fundamental contradiction to one another. On the one hand, we have a theology that says we live in a universe saturated with moral values, with reasons that make normative demands of us (165). These moral demands transcend human subjectivity: they are part of the created world in which we live, and they come from God, the only Sovereign. On the other hand, we have a humanism that says we live in a value-free universe, and that the only moral constraints on us have their origin in human Reason.