A reader in England sends the following brief synopsis of what the German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk has to say about Islam.
Islam after Sloterdijk
God’s Zeal: The Battle of the Three Monotheisms
The book is available at Amazon. From the product description:
Following the polytheism of the ancient civilizations of the Egyptians, Hittites and Babylonians, Jewish monotheism was born as a theology of protest, as a religion of triumph within defeat. While the religion of the Jews remained limited to their own people, Christianity unfolded its message with proclamations of universal truth. Islam raised this universalism to a new level through a military and political mode of expansion.
Sloterdijk examines the forms of conflict that arise between the three monotheisms by analyzing the basic possibilities stemming from anti-Paganism, anti-Judaism, anti-Islamism and anti-Christianism. These possibilities were augmented by internal rifts: a defining influence within Judaism was a separatism with defensive aspects, in Christianity the project of expansion through mission, and in Islam the Holy War.
The German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk on Islam:
Islam: complete devotion to God’s instructions: declared a standard expectation of people. Prophet’s zealotry transferred normatively to his followers’ way of life.
Maghazi literature: Normative inflation of sacred militantism. Plus compulsory prayer.
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Prayer: formative effect of frequent ritual actions. Prayer a form of jihad. Absorbed zealotry into daily life.
Islam: a thymotic culture: pride in the past accompanied by scarcely concealable shame at current state of affairs.
Islam: a spectacular misreading of its predecessors: made a virtue out of necessity by converting the deficit of non-originality into the advantage of a later clarification.
From p. 79:
Its main motor is the growing radicalisation of its own rampant excess of young men. […] To summarize, one cannot reach any definite judgement on the campaign of Islam in its fifteenth century. The chances of a further expansion of its external mission can only be viewed with reserve — even if Europe’s current vulnerability dictates certain fear scenarios.