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Debates on Civilization in the Muslim WorldCritical Perspectives on Islam and Modernity$
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Lutfi Sunar

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199466887

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199466887.001.0001

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Interaction of Concepts of Progress and Civilization in Turkish Thought

Interaction of Concepts of Progress and Civilization in Turkish Thought

(p.171) 6 Interaction of Concepts of Progress and Civilization in Turkish Thought
Debates on Civilization in the Muslim World

Necmettin Doğan

Oxford University Press

The concept of progress holds a very special place within Western philosophy. This is because the backbone of Western-centrist thought has been formed around how the world historically perceived it. The concept of progress became extremely popular within the Muslim world during the nineteenth century, during which it was evaluated from many different angles, and this resulted in a general internalization by the Muslim world. In this chapter, the remnant traces of modern Islamists’ idea of civilization, particularly of those in Turkey, are discussed. The concept of civilization has political, economic, and cultural dimensions for Islamists. In the case of traditionalism that is more influential in recent times, it places utopia on a more apolitical ground by lightening the activist–political language of Islamists and represents a more intensive intellectual search. From this point of view, the rise of traditionalism can be interpreted as the decline of politically driven discourse as well.

Keywords:   Western philosophy, progress, Western-centrism, nineteenth century, Islamicism

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