Civilizing Role of the “Religious Idea” in Malek Bennabi’s Thought
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This study examines the perspective of Malek Bennabi regarding the role of religion (religious idea) in building civilization. Bennabi’s writings are analyzed to comprehend his understanding of religion and its multiple dimensions. Specifically, the paper focuses on three dimensions of religion, namely religion as a part of universal laws, as a historical force, and as a governing principle of thought. Bennabi’s view about the civilizing function of religion is also highlighted, including its objectives as outlined in the Quran, its historical significance, and its social dimensions. The study concludes that his perception of religion encompasses various dimensions, including existential, metaphysical, teleological, and practical dimensions. Furthermore, religion serves a crucial role as a compound of civilizational values, providing a medium for individual and group formation, organizing human thought towards spiritual goals, embodying the relationship between God and man, and establishing a moral law that gives meaning to human life and actions. Bennabi’s work on religion and civilization is of utmost significance in contemporary discussions about the role of religion in the society. Hence, this study contributes to the ongoing discourse by providing an in-depth analysis of his perspective, which emphasizes the positive and constructive impact of religion on human society. By recognizing the civilizational function of religion, Bennabi’s work promotes a more nuanced and inclusive understanding of religion in the contemporary society.
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