Lost in the Sacred: Why the Muslim World Stood Stiill — a look at a Muslim World in crisis

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THE MUSLIM WORLD IS IN CRISIS.
LOST IN THE SACRED explains why.

“A controversial but refreshingly un-Anglo-Saxon search for answers to some outsized questions.”—Michael Cook, Princeton University

In LOST IN THE SACRED: Why the Muslim World Stood Still (Cloth $29.95 ISBN: 978-0-691-12911-2 Pub date: February 25, 2009), Dan Diner takes readers on an unforgettable intellectual journey, from today’s global conflicts to the distant past in an attempt to answer one daring and all-important question: What is the reason for the Muslim world’s hampered development?

Drawing careful distinctions between the Muslim faith itself and the nature of the sacred that is infused into every aspect of life, Diner argues that the meaning and impact of the sacred is the main cause of the Muslim world’s slow growth. To reach this controversial conclusion, Diner first examines the Arab Human Development Report (2002)—”a meticulous, unsparing, and comprehensive account of the lamentable state of the Arab world”—before delving into the past.

In subsequent chapters, Diner discusses the creation of the Turkish Republic and the accompanying abolishment of Islamic institutions, the different trajectories taken by the West and the Muslim world in the early modern era, and how Islam’s classical era created institutions and legal ordinances that were imbued with the sacred. He also asks specific questions like—did the delay in the introduction of the printing press in the Muslim world impede the spread of knowledge and development? Does Islam’s understanding of time and history prevent the linear development we’ve seen in the West? Did the division of language into high Arabic and colloquial Arabic hinder the dissemination of knowledge?

LOST IN THE SACRED is written with deep sympathy for the Arab and Muslim world, while simultaneously illustrating the urgent need for secularization and modernization in Islam.

“Dan Diner’s breadth of knowledge, capacity for clear and broad interpretation, and stylistic sovereignty will no doubt make this a classic in the field.”—Anson Rabinbach, Princeton University

“Lost in the Sacred offers a broad synthesis on a key problem of the contemporary Middle East, hence of the world at large.”—Rémi Brague, author of The Law of God

About the Author:
Dan Diner is professor of modern history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and director of the Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture at the University of Leipzig. His books include Beyond the Conceivable: Studies on Germany, Nazism, and the Holocaust and Cataclysms: A History of the Twentieth Century from Europe’s Edge.

LOST IN THE SACRED
Why the Muslim World Stood Still
Dan Diner
Translated by Steven Rendall
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-691-12911-2 $29.95 / £17.95
226 pp. 6 x 9
Pub date: February 25, 2009

This post has already been read 39 times!

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.

Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania

Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com