New PDF release: Weber and Islam

By Bryan S. Turner

ISBN-10: 0415174589

ISBN-13: 9780415174589

A quantity in a collection of monographs which current a extensive and accomplished attention of ecu perspectives on Weber's relevance to 20th century sociology.

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Sample text

From Allah to Gabriel who appears to Muhammad, commanding him to recite. In tum, the Prophet is charged with the task of memorizing these verses so that they may become available to men. e central speaker who communicates to men from a great SOCIal distance which is traversed only by angels and prophets. As man's ultimate status superior, Allah demands obedience and total submission. the Qur'an, this religious inequality in the god-man relationship is expressed in a language which is derived from the status inequalities of man-man relations, namely in terms of lord and servant.

Ften have recourse to mtermedlanes who are regarded as having speCIal knowledge of and access to such 'Spiritual Beings'. There are two broad categories of such intermediaries. They can themselves be superhuman beings although of a lesser order than high gods. In traditional Christian theology, the angels were messengers who could traverse the gulf which separated men and God. In Islam, as we shall see, the archangel Gabriel transmitted the Qur'an to Muhammad. Alternatively, intermediaries can be human actors who, either because of their s~e~ial ~aining or because of their charismatic gifts, can translate dIvme SIgnS, symbols and communications to other human actor~.

Among the many sociologists and philosophers who have directed attention towards both the significance and problems of Weber's 'interpretative sociology', Alfred Schutz occupies a p~o~nent position. 12 Schutz was concerned to demonstrate the ambIgUIty of Weber's basic methodological concepts-such as 'meaning', 'action' and 'social relationship'-in order to provide a firmer philosophical foundation for the development of sociological theories. In so doing Schutz dealt with issues which are pertinent to my line of argument.

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Weber and Islam by Bryan S. Turner

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