Thesis ID: CBB001562361

Darwin's Legacy in the Arab East: Science, Religion and Politics, 1870--1914 (2003)


Elshakry, Marwa S. (Author)

Princeton University
Geison, Gerald

Publication Date: 2003
Edition Details: Advisor: Geison, Gerald
Physical Details: 359 pp.
Language: English

This thesis charts the changing terms upon which Arab thinkers approached Western science after the coming of Darwinian evolutionary thought. Throughout the Arab provinces of the late Ottoman Empire---from Christian missionary schools and journals of Greater Syria to the madrasa-mosque at al- azhar in Egypt---Darwinian ideas emerged as a popular yet controversial subject of discussion. Ideas of evolution helped shape debates over the relation of science and religion and served as a catalyst for emerging views on social development, cultural advancement and political struggle. Chapter One traces the introduction of Darwin's ideas into the Arab East through the Beirut-based popular science journal al-muqtataf. It explores the ways in which Darwin's ideas and the journal itself became embroiled in a series of controversies over the relationship of science and religion. The editors of the journal, Ya'qub Sarruf and Farris Nimr, soon found themselves involved in conflicts with their own American Protestant patrons as well as various Catholic and Orthodox critics. By the time they left for Egypt in 1885, they took with them the view that discussions of science should be kept separate from issues of faith. Chapter Two discusses al-muqtataf in Egypt, its growing concern with social Darwinian ideas and Herbert Spencer in particular, and its involvement in a series of increasingly political conflicts in the Egyptian press. Chapter Three explores the thought of Shibli Shumayyil, the best-known radical materialist, as well as the anti-materialist critiques that emerged in response to this philosophy. Few championed materialism; far more looked to a tradition of natural theology to accommodate Darwin's ideas. Chapter Four explores ideas of natural theology in Greater Syria in the works of both Christian and Muslim thinkers such as Fransis Marrash and Husayn al-Jisr, both before and after Darwin. It suggests that this tradition was little changed by the new evolutionary biology. Chapter Five analyses the thought of Muhammad `Abuh, his response to ideas of evolution and the importance of modern science to his theology. Finally, Chapter Six traces the fate of `Abduh's reformist theology through the battle over science and curricular change at al-azhar.


Description Cited in Diss. Abstr. Int. A 64 (2003): 265. UMI order no. 3078622.

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Article Kyriakou, Kyriakos; Skordoulis, Constantine; (2010)
The Reception of Ernest Haeckel's Ideas in Greece (/isis/citation/CBB001220617/)

Article Silverbark, Thord Heinonen; (2012)
Den naturliga skapelsen. Tidig svensk darwinism och religiös liberalism (/isis/citation/CBB001320376/)

Article Chipman, Leigh; (2008)
Islamic Pharmacy in the Mamlūk and Mongol Realms: Theory and Practice (/isis/citation/CBB000850176/)

Chapter Gissis, Snait B.; (2011)
Lamarckian Problematics in Historical Perspective (/isis/citation/CBB001500082/)

Article Xiaoxing Jin; (2020)
The Evolution of Evolutionism in China, 1870–1930 (/isis/citation/CBB453375389/)

Article Juste, D.; (2011)
Non-Transferable Knowledge: Arabic and Hebrew Onomancy into Latin (/isis/citation/CBB001230485/)

Article Rachel S. A. Pear; (2015)
Differences over Darwinism: American Orthodox Jewish Responses to Evolution in the 1920s (/isis/citation/CBB025128400/)

Book Engels, Eve-Marie; Glick, Thomas F.; (2008)
The Reception of Charles Darwin in Europe (/isis/citation/CBB001022466/)

Book Irzik, Gürol; Güzeldere, Güven; (2005)
Turkish Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science (/isis/citation/CBB000610332/)

Book Gange, David; (2013)
Dialogues with the Dead: Egyptology in British Culture and Religion, 1822--1922 (/isis/citation/CBB001450668/)

Article Hjermitslev, Hans Henrik; (2011)
Protestant Responses to Darwinism in Denmark, 1859--1914 (/isis/citation/CBB001230823/)

Article Kleeberg, Bernhard; (2007)
God-Nature Progressing: Natural Theology in German Monism (/isis/citation/CBB000850279/)

Book V. Tikhonov; (2010)
Social Darwinism and Nationalism in Korea: the Beginnings (1880s-1910s) (/isis/citation/CBB388569044/)

Article Keas, Michael N.; (2010)
Darwinism, Fundamentalism, and R. A. Torrey (/isis/citation/CBB001200003/)

Book Elshakry, Marwa; (2014)
Reading Darwin in Arabic, 1860--1950 (/isis/citation/CBB001451838/)

Authors & Contributors
Irzik, Gürol
Güzeldere, Güven
Charette, François
Grünberg, Teo
Yilmaz, Hüseyin
Koç, Yalçin
Osiris: A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity
Science in Context
Intellectual History Review
Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith
Oxford University Press
University of Chicago Press
Science and religion
Transmission of ideas
Arab/Islamic world, civilization and culture
Cross-cultural interaction; cultural influence
Darwin, Charles Robert
Haeckel, Ernst
Misrī, Muhammad ibn Muhammad
Torrey, Reuben Archer
Gulick, John Thomas
Junwu, Ma
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
13th century
14th century
Ottoman Empire
Middle and Near East
Central Asia
Panepistēmio Athēnōn

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment