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Tuesday, January 03, 2006 

Adab أدب Humanism & the Renaissance ~

from discussion on Wikipedia regarding 'humanism'

... If we trace Dante's inluences (in Wikipedia), we go back to the 'Sicillian school' and the court of 'Frederik II of Sicily'. If we look at influences, later adventures and the early life of Frederik II (for example thru Wikipedia) we will easily see the influence of arab culture. This is one line of capturing the interaction of the many local flavors with the 'inspired' (later 'enlightened') cultural influences of the muslim, jewish and christian arabs, already floating around the mediterranean for a while.

Responding to another point: I think the comparison of the renaissance with our times is incisively relevant because of the play between technological development and the human spirit. I think we would be cutting our roots off thinking what we have, happened out of the blue. We have everything to learn, especially from humanism, as we move in a post-human society like the modern industrial economies.

The Sicilian School
Frederick II of Sicily
Marsilio Ficino

I just wish I could convince my students that history did not begin with them.

One idea could be to look at films like Matrix, Bladerunner, Star Wars, Brazil and Kafka. Try to bring out issues of machine-human interaction. Try to state the struggle Neo or K. were having to deal with. Think about how Neo or K. dealt with the situations. Think about alternative ways of dealing with such future situations/problems. Such as thru writing and literature, solidarity, anarchy, community, politics and learning from history. God! that's hard, and i'm in awe of teachers.

Great work!
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Well done!
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