Tag: society (Page 1 of 2)

East-West in Postnormal Times (Editorial)

Ziauddin Sardar

East West Affairs 1 (1) 1-12 January-March

OH, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,

Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat

When Rudyard Kipling wrote these lines in ‘The Ballad of East and West’, they were applauded and became a raging success because they expressed precisely how the world was viewed in the heyday of Empire. Unfortunately, mental structures long outlast the work of human hands. Ideas conquer more territory and maintain more authority than all the armies of the Queen Empress eulogized by Kipling, who was … Read More

The Future of Arab Spring in Postnormal Times

Ziauddin Sardar

American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences 30 (4) 125-136 Fall

To understand how the Arab Spring may evolve over the coming years, we have to understand its specific context. The ‘revolutions’ across the Middle East are not just a product of discontent and fury against dictatorships; after all, the Arabs have been raging against their rulers for well over half a century. The Arab Spring is also a creation of a particular period of time, a time where globalisation, interconnection and instant communication are the norm, and authority and political legitimacy are in flux. It is a period … Read More

Touched by Wonder: Art and Religion in the 21st Century

From Touched edited by Paul Domela, Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art, Liverpool, 2011

Ziauddin Sardar

The ability to experience and appreciate wonder is a distinctive human trait. Both art and religion are informed, shaped by and answer to this inherently human faculty. Both are touched by wonder and help us access this essential characteristic of our nature. Therefore, religion and art are entwined as necessary, indeed, vital elements that must be represented, celebrated and active in the public space if we are to be fully human.

Implicit in religion and art is the capacity to stimulate our sense and feeling … Read More

Transmodern journeys: Future studies and Higher Education

From A Curag et el, editors European Education at the Crossroads, Springer Science, Heidelberg, 2012, Chapter 48.

Ziauddin Sardar

Futures studies has had a lukewarm reception from the academia. Conventionally, a new discipline is said to have emerged with the publication of a couple of dedicated journals. Futures and foresight have a string of journals devoted to the field  – Futures, Foresight, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, World Futures and the Journal of Futures Studies – yet it is not seen as worthy of being taught at a university. There are a few courses devoted to … Read More

Muhammad: All That Matters

Hodder, London, 2012

‘Muhammad The Prophet’ has had a huge influence on the course of world history. Indeed, Muhammad is always seen, described and analysed as Prophet of Islam. Until now, he has never been looked at as a man – as an individual motivated by a sense of justice and equality and a passion to help the marginalised, engaged in a struggle to establish the good society against all odds.

Ziauddin Sardar’s important new book incorporates new research, particularly on pre-Islamic Mexxa, to form a new critical biography which uniquely includes analysis of early events in Muhammad’s life which … Read More

Welcome to postnormal times

Futures, 42, 5, June 2010

Ziauddin Sardar


All that was ‘normal’ has now evaporated; we have entered postnormal times, the in between period where old orthodoxies are dying, new ones have not yet emerged, and nothing really makes sense. To have any notion of a viable future, we must grasp the significance of this period of transition which is characterized by three c’s: complexity, chaos and contradictions. These forces propel and sustain postnormal times leading to uncertainty and different types of ignorance that make decision-making problematic and increase risks to individuals, society and the planet. Postnormal times demands, this … Read More

The Idea of Justice

Book Of The Week

The Idea of Justice, By Amartya Sen

Reviewed by Ziauddin Sardar

Take three kids and a flute. Anne says the flute should be given to her because she is the only one who knows how to play it. Bob says the flute should be handed to him as he is so poor he has no toys to play with. Carla says the flute is hers because it is the fruit of her own labour. How do we decide between these three legitimate claims?

There are no institutional arrangements that can help us resolve this dispute in … Read More

The Erasure of Islam

One cannot have a revolt on behalf of reason in Islam because reason is central to its worldview: reason is the other side of revelation and the Qur’an presents both as ‘signs of God’. A Muslim society cannot function without either.

Ziauddin Sardar on the shadow cast over Islamic culture by the Enlightenment.

What Enlightenment? It may have been good for Europe, but for the rest of the world in general, and Islam in particularly, the Enlightenment was a disaster. Despite their stand for freedom and liberty, reason and liberal thought, Enlightenment thinkers saw the non-West as irrational and inferior,

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Talking or Shouting? Religion and Public Space

31st Corbishley Memorial Lecture, London27th November 2008
(written text of the lecture prepared by Professor Sardar)

Ladies and gentlemen, I feel honoured to be invited to deliver this year’s Corbishley Lecture. I must begin by taking issue with my assigned subject. Far from talking or shouting, it seems to me organised religion is in retreat in Britain’s public space, reduced to a muffled whisper if not exactly a dying whimper. This may seem a strange judgement from a member of a faith most associated in the public mind with bangs! However, I am clear in my own mind

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The Reformist

Ziauddin Sardar, 57, is one of the leading contemporary Muslim intellectuals. He specialises in topics dealing with the future of Islam, as well as Islamic science and technology, and has published more than 40 books on related topics. What sets him apart from the rest is his command over the language, which he uses to such a good effect that he could be read as a fiction writer on the merit of his diction alone. For example, in his most widely-read book, entitled Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journeys of a Sceptical Muslim, he calls Islamabad “an architectural eyesore”.

Sardar has an … Read More

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