(In English) The Experience of Access to Modernity in Judaism and Islam

Man’s Ultimate Mission - History, State and Liberty of Conscience in Muslim and Jewish Experiences of Modernity

(A conference in Leipzig; July 24 2008)



Mohamed Elmedlaoui

Institut Universitaire de la Recherche Scientifique - Rabat




-   En 2008, Simon-Dubnow-Institute für Judische und Kulture an der Universität Leipzig (Leipzig ; Allemagne) m’a invité comme conférencier dans le cadre du cycle de ses huit conférences pour cette année-là annoncées sous le thème de Das zivilisatorische Projekt jüdisch-islamischer Kulturhermeneutik ("Le projet civilisationnel de l'herméneutique culturelle en judéo-islamique").


-   Ma conférence fut donnée le 24 juillet 2008 (http://www.dubnow.de/1/events/colloquium/summer-semester-2008/).


La conférence a pour titre:

«Man’s Ultimate Mission - History, State and Liberty of Conscience in Muslim and Jewish Experiences of Modernity»


-  Voici un lien vers le texte intégral de ladite conférence:



-  Résumé de la conférence :

This paper depicts some of the features which characterize the comparative respective attitudes of Jewish and Moslem thoughts with respect to such concepts as Man's mission, Knowledge, History, State and Liberty of Conscience, in their relation to the respective Jewish and Arabian-Muslim experiences with modernity in its Universal dimension.

The main question would then be to question whether people’s attitude toward modernity is really a function of some specific settings of their overall religious thought, or if it is rather a matter of the level of experience, achievements and contributions a given community attains intellectually in the general field of universal knowledge, independently of the way God is worshiped or not by certain members or that community.

The conclusion arrived at is that, independently of the relevant specific provisions of the founding texts within the two religions, Judaism and Islam, with respect to the concepts that stand nowadays as parameters of modernity, the practical access to this last value is not a function of religion as a corpus of founding texts nor is it a function of any kind of religious reform, institutional of hermeneutic. Religion remains a particular mood of man’s spiritual effort to grasp Absolute, but ethical and practical access to modernity values, cannot come true through religious reforms for example. In addition to a collective awareness where free and willed effort of the society’s elite is engaged in ethics and politics in their broad meanings both as reflection and action, along with a particular engagement in the educational polity, access to modernity is rather a function of the general intellectual acquisitions of knowledge that operates as the driving force of such access.



Mohamed Elmedlaoui   (Institut Universitaire de la Recherche Scientifique - Rabat)


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