Autochtone islamische Aufklärung im 18. Jahrhundert

Theoretische und filologische Bemerkungen
Fortführung einer Debatte

Bernd Radtke


A violent debate, mainly conducted in German, is carried on in Islamic studies in Europe since the late nineteeneighties. The debate, which was initiated by Reinhard Schulze (now University of Bern), concerns the presence or absence of autochthonous tendencies towards enlightenment in the world of Islam before the advent of nineteenth-century European penetration and influence. Questions asked and answers advanced involve interpretations of modern Islamic history. However, the fundamental issues at stake imply that the relevance of the debate supersedes Islamic history proper and extends to world history.
The study summarizes the debate and concentrates on critical exploration and evaluation of the philological methods applied by Schulze to construct the evidence in support of his thesis that an autochthonous enlightenment occured in the word of Islam before the nineteenth century. Some thirty key texts used by him are reconsidered, in particular works by Meḥmed Birgiwī and cAbd al-Ghani al-Nābulusī. The study concludes that the methodological and philological deficiencies exposed in Schulze's work devalue all the evidence advanced by him, whence his thesis should be rejected.


Autochtone islamische Aufklärung im 18. Jahrhundert, Theoretische und filologische Bemerkungen, Fortführung einer Debatte, Bernd Radtke, Utrecht 2000, 106 pages
(ISBN 90-801040-5-1)
Price € 14.00


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