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Nasr S.H. Science and Civilization in Islam

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Nasr S.H. Science and Civilization in Islam
Kazi Publications, 2001. — 386 p.
This is the first one-volume work in English to deal with every branch of Islamic science and to approach it not from the Western viewpoint but as it is understood by the Muslims themselves. Islamic science, known to the West principally for its influence on the development of European scientific thought, occupied a central position within the Muslim culture. Through historical and morphological analysis, as well as through excerpts from actual text, Dr. Nasr graphically conveys to Western readers the content and spirit of Islamic science. His introduction surveys the religious, metaphysical, and philosophical concepts of Islam. In succeeding Chapters, the author covers the entire scientific spectrum from cosmography, mathematics and medicine to alchemy and theology, as well as how these fields interact with related schools of thought. Although his primary objective is to examine Islamic science within the context of Islamic civilization, Dr. Nasr also emphasizs the far reaching historical significance of those discoveries and writing which most directly affected the West. On alchemy the author says: "Alchemy in its highest meaning was a spiritual technique for liberating the soul from its material bonds by making it realize that the world is not a series of images and dreams of the individual psyche, but the dream of the Universal or World Soul, in which the human soul must participate. Alchemy was thus a way of awakening man from that illusion which he calls the 'world' by means of the contemplation of the primordial beauty of nature and participation in the dream of the World Soul through the removal of the limitative barrirs of the individual psyche."
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