The ongoing rise of radical Islamism in the twenty-first century is a difficult and dire problem, for which cultural evolution is really the only viable permanent solution. But to overcome this growing threat to world peace and security, not only will Muslims themselves need to evolve, the developed world as a whole will need to grow and mature into a more moral form of civilization.
Recognizing how the challenges of militant Islamism can serve as a powerful stimulus for the further evolution of all the forms of culture that are contributing to the problem—pre-modernity, modernity, and postmodernity—is the focus of this paper by ICE President Steve McIntosh.
Building on the work of moderate Muslim intellectuals, McIntosh argues that the Islamic cultural reform needed to overcome radical Islamism depends on the underlying reform of the religion of Islam itself.
Yet in order to persuade moderate Muslims to reform their religion, the necessary vision of a reformed Islam must retain the deeply spiritual convictions upon which Islam is founded.
Muslims are arguably the most religiously devout people in the world. And their stalwart faith prevents them from settling for a secular, watered-down version of Islam as the future course of their religion’s development. In order for a reformed version of Islam to be sufficiently attractive to Muslims so as to persuade them to transfer their loyalties to a more modernist-friendly form of their faith, a post-secular cultural perspective will be necessary. In response to this challenge, the evolutionary worldview advocated by ICE can provide just the kind of post-secular understanding of the evolution of human faith that is needed to foster the reform of this venerable religion.
Below is a 35 minute audio interview on the paper. Please leave comments at the bottom of this page.
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From Developmental Politics: “The higher purposes which we recognize as *transcendent* have a kind of magnetic power that draws us forward. As Oxford philosopher Iris Murdoch wrote, ‘we are spiritual creatures, attracted by excellence and made for the Good.’”
Emerson’s insight, that “every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual fact,” reveals the connection between exterior physical energy and interior ‘value energy.’ In fact, ‘the good’ in itself can be most accurately conceived of as an upward current of perfecting energy.
Although every infant begins life with the same basic form of biological “human nature,” the extent to which their consciousness develops is largely determined by the culture in which they are raised. Human nature itself thus evolves through the evolution of human culture.
Managing the polarity of liberal and conservative values is not simply a matter of meeting in the middle or compromising. Working to both challenge and *support* our political opponents is a new approach to politics that is pragmatic and transformational at the same time.
On the new Growing Down Podcast, Jeremy Johnson, Ryan Nakade, Matt Hudkins, and I discuss the intersection of progressive politics and developmental politics. We focus on how progressive politics can benefit from an integral perspective. https://anchor.fm/growing-down/episodes/3--Developmental-Politics-ft--Steve-McIntosh-Interview-Series-ec5914/a-a1qcs3g