Mapping the Secular Mind: Modernity’s Quest

for a Godless Utopia by Haggag Ali

Mapping the Secular Mind critically examines issues of reason, rationality, and secular materialism, to explore how these mental perceptions, or ways of mapping the world, have affected human interaction and sociological development. It does this by comparing and contrasting the ideas of Abdelwahab M. Elmessiri (1938–2008), a leading Arab intellectual, and Zygmunt Bauman (1925), one of the world’s foremost sociologists. In the last few decades, an emergent Western critique of modernity has inspired Muslim intellectuals to develop new ideas, images, terms and concepts that state their positions towards the tendencies of secular modernity, its transformations and consequences, and how it manipulates perceptions of reality.

The secular mind had a grand plan, to establish an earthly paradise, a utopia of the here and now, a modern civilization governed by human reason, rationality, and the triumph of progress. Whilst ideals are one thing, the means to realize them is something else. Away from the hype, emancipating humanity from the ‘shackles’ of God and religion has proved no easy matter.

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