Seyyed Hossein Nasr and the Study of Religion in Contemporary Society

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Haifaa Jawad

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Abstract

Seyyed Houssein Nasr is one of the main proponents of the traditional religious perspective, including the traditional Islamic point of view. His work is notable for many reasons, among them the following: its in-depth analysis of contemporary society’s spiritual poverty; its profound treatment of Islamic matters, 1 particularly in the context of the debate between Islamic modernism vs. Islamic traditionalism; its solid understanding of western philosophical thought and culture; its ability to present a compelling, critical appraisal of the modern predicament, boldly stating that which is perceived to be the truth, irrespective of whether or not it is fashionable or palatable as regards current opinion; and, lastly, its view of religion’s role in contemporary society. Having said that, however, given that Nasr’s work has a “metaphysical” nature, his writings, with few exceptions, are said to be demanding in terms of language, style, and expression, as well as of knowledge of other religions and philosophies, that they assume on the part of the ordinary reader.

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