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Aristotle and Islam

posted by Laura Duane

Eric Heinze writes in the Guardian about a question posed to him by two Muslim students, on the compatibility of Aristotle’s philosophy and Islam:

Over centuries, through empires and crusades, through the rise and fall of whole civilisations, the body of wisdom weaving steadily through Islam, Christianity and Judaism was Greek philosophy, the great example being Spain in its golden age.

Yet some insist that secular philosophy is anti-Islamic. And the students who approached me found themselves in the situation of many young Muslims in the west today. Even the choice to attend a class on law and ethics can provoke dilemmas of identity and allegiance.

[…]

My two students had no intention of shutting down their minds. Both decided that their Islamic faith in no way bars them from free and critical inquiry into ethics, history and society. They embrace Islam to bring a wider world in, not to shut it out. They have no fear of Aristotle. They are, like Aristotle, the arbiters of their own minds. They see in the Greek canon not crusty dogma, but living dialogue. Aristotle poses no more of a threat to them than would an interfaith educational or cultural forum.

Read the full article here.

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