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« Root Causes, Indeed | Main | Meaning and Constitutional Flim-Flam »

July 19, 2005

Comments

Jim

"I don't buy into the idea that a culture is worth preserving if none of its members want to preserve it,.."

Amen! Who is a better authority on the worth of a culture than its practitioners?

On the other hand if what you mean by preservation is not real preservation, with real live people living in a culture, but rather preservation in formaldehyde for further study, as in the case of some extinct language preserved in field notes, then that's different. That can have some value, and it doesn't involve using other people as hosts for the species you care to study.

Chuckles

[...Say what you will, but it isn't the armchair advocates of diversity or NGO babies who are working in any efective way to preserve real cultural diversity, but those damned priests willing to go to far off, forsaken places and actually learn the local speech and customs, if only because they realize that it's easier to sell people on your own brand of superstition if you're willing to do so in a language they understand...]

Which tends to say something about the Internal structure of two different religions: Islam and Xtianity.

How many languages have been translated by Islamist evangelizers? Indeed, it is the method of Islam to force Arabic upon the local populace as opposed to translating it.

It is worth noting of course that not much of the materials written in Yoruba with the Arabic script survived the Jihadist destruction of Mali - but since Ajayi Crowther completed his translation of the Bible into Yoruba (no mean feat for a Yoruba recaptive) there has been an enormous growth in Yoruba literature (Yoruba being only one example of course).

It is on this point that Liberals start looking more like members of the far right. Wanting to preserve the cultures in their native state so they can be oogled and stared at and caged in zoos (as in Augsburg).
When it comes down to brass tacks - there really isnt much of a difference in how members of the far right and certain liberals view non-white cultures. Which says a lot.

razib

Which tends to say something about the Internal structure of two different religions: Islam and Xtianity.

How many languages have been translated by Islamist evangelizers? Indeed, it is the method of Islam to force Arabic upon the local populace as opposed to translating it.

there is a stupid theological reason for this: the koran is the uncreated quasi-word-of-god (i say quasi, because it is coeternal with god, or something stupid like that). it has a magical power in its recitation. and its not like non-arabs have to learn arabic, they just have to pray in it.

christianity had the same tendency, you remember latin, right? this was an invention of the western roman church after the fall of the empire, the emergence of barbarian states, and the rise of the papacy as a civilizing force. the eastern churches had a variety of languages for thousands of years. but the bible is not the word of god, is word about god.

anyway, i hate islam as much as the next guy. but let's keep facts facts.

Jim

"there is a stupid theological reason for this: the koran is the uncreated quasi-word-of-god (i say quasi, because it is coeternal with god, or something stupid like that)."

Razib,
I have been meaning to ask someone this an now you have brought it up. Being uncreated is one of the attributes of God, at least in Christianity and Hinduism. If Islam considers the Koran uncreated, how does it protray this as anyhthing other than idolatry? I know it does; I just don't know the argument.

As for Latin, that had nothing todo with any sacred status of Latin, but just because it was the imperial language and the only one with enough speakers, even if non-native, to justify writing in it, rahter like modern colonial languages.

Chuckles

[...christianity had the same tendency, you remember latin, right? this was an invention of the western roman church after the fall of the empire, the emergence of barbarian states, and the rise of the papacy as a civilizing force...]

Razib -

I certainly dont deny that there are translations of the Koran in other langauges but they are usually adjudged to be of inferior status.
My emphasis is on the evangelical nature of both Islam and Xtianity.
So far as I know, from the start, Xtianity has had no qualms with employing diverse tongues. Jesus likely spoke Hebrew or Aramaic; but the Gospels were given to us in Koine and the writings of the Fathers in Latin.
Islam has nothing comparable to this.
Furthermore; the method of Xtian evangelism hardly parrallels that of Islam until Xtianity becomes welded to State and Imperial institutions. But from the onset, the tradition of Islam has made active use of violence.
To say Xtianity had the same tendencies as Islam is somewhat disingenuous.
The very fact that Xtianity was susceptible to the forces of Rationality and the Englightenment - forces which to some extent were birthed out of the Church and Xtian culture - whereas Islam has proved stubbornly resistant to anything of the sort on the same scale says a lot.

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