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Adib-Moghaddam, Arshin (2010) A metahistory of the Clash of Civilisations: Us and them beyond Orientalism. London: Hurst; New York: Columbia University Press.

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The book presents a history of the idea of the “Clash of Civilisations” with particular reference to the myth of an inevitable confrontation between Islam and the West. It delves into history all the way back to the wars between Persia and Greece, the Crusades, Colonialism and the Enlightenment and brings this analysis forward to the contemporary “war on terror”. The book dismisses the idea that there has ever existed a clash of civilisations and critically engages with the political thoughts of eastern and western thinkers to that end. The study demonstrates a) the discontinuities between “Islamism” and the canon of classical Islamic philosophy distinguishing between “Avicennian” and “Qutbian” discourses of Islam, and b) how the violence inscribed in the idea of the “West”, especially during the period of the Enlightenment, continues to cast a shadow on world politics today. The latter point is elaborated through a critical analysis of Edward Said's study on Orientalism, the former through a reinterpretation of Michel Foucault's ideas on power and knowledge.

Item Type: Authored Books
Keywords: Islam, Enlightenment, Orientalism, Clash of Civilisations, critical theory
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Politics & International Studies
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Politics and International Studies
ISBN: 9781849040976
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2010 14:34

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