Earth, Empire and Sacred Text - Muslims and Christians as Trustees of Creation - David L. Johnston

Earth, Empire and Sacred Text - Muslims and Christians as Trustees of Creation - David L. Johnston

Chapter 3 BEYOND MODERNISM: FROM THEORY TO ACTIVISM

Earth, Empire and Sacred Text - Muslims and Christians as Trustees of Creation - David L. Johnston

David L. Johnston [+-]
Saint Joseph’s University
David L. Johnston is Visiting Scholar at the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania and an adjunct lecturer at the Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia. He lived for fifteen years in Algeria, Egypt and the West Bank, where he served as a pastor and teacher. He then completed his PhD work at Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, California) in theology and Islamic Studies; continued his research and taught part-time at the Religious Studies Department at Yale University. His published articles and essays have mostly focused on the intersection of theology and law in contemporary Islam (Islamochristiana, Islamic Law and Society, The Maghreb Review, Die Welt des Islams and Journal of the American Academy of Religion). His blogs can be found on his website, www.humantrustees.org

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I argued in the previous chapter that the modernist view of the autonomous self was progressively rejected by a flurry of movements from the late nineteenth century on, and that the human “I” can only understand itself in a movement of self-reflection over time— the subject as perceived through narrative in a community of “Thous.” But with its emphasis on narratives spun out by individuals and com- munities, postmodernism has, most famously in the words of Jean- François Lyotard, expressed its “incredulity towards metanarratives.”   This observation led Jane Flax to weigh the postmodernist claim of “the death of history.” I continue here Leyla Benhabib’s discussion of these  issues, first with the problem of history and then with the larger question of metaphysics—though, admittedly, they overlap at points. The reason for starting this chapter with Malcolm X and King, however, was also to highlight the issue of activism. Thus I later move from theory to the practice of a “postmodern” kind of activism, a kind of holistic perspective that is rooted in specific communities, but which breaks out onto the global scene, much like the Mexican Mayans accomplished with their Zapatista movement. 

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Citation

Johnston, David L.. Chapter 3 BEYOND MODERNISM: FROM THEORY TO ACTIVISM. Earth, Empire and Sacred Text - Muslims and Christians as Trustees of Creation. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 111 - 160 Apr 2010. ISBN 9781781790359. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=19278. Date accessed: 20 Sep 2017 doi: 10.1558/equinox.19278. Apr 2010

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