Europe and the Eastern Other: Comparative Perspectives on Politics, Religion and Culture before the Enlightenment (Hardback)Hassan Bashir (author)
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Publisher: Lexington Books
Number of pages: 166
Weight: 358 g
Dimensions: 239 x 160 x 17 mm
In the present monograph, Hassan Bashir seeks to make a contribution to Comparative Political Theory (CPT). Departing from what he characterises as the common practice in this sub-field of constructing dialogues between Western thinkers and `cultural others', Bashir examines four historic cases of cross-cultural contact from the pre-Enlightenment period: William of Rubruck's reports of his journey to the Mongol lands (1253-5); the Jesuits' reflection on their Mission to Akbar `s Court in India (1580-3); the Jesuit scientist Matteo Ricci's experiences while seeking to Christianise China (1582-1610); and the Dominican Barthome de La Casas' (1484-1566) advocacy role for the indigenous peoples of the New World. With a focus on their political theory dimensions, these examples are employed to lend weight to Bashir's claims concerning some erroneous foundational assumptions common in CPT. . . .[R]eflective readers are left with several cogent points of consideration regarding comparative political theorising on interrelated methodological and contextual levels. * Political Studies Review *
Hassan Bashir's Europe and the Eastern Other is dazzling in both the breadth of its conception and the depth of its analysis, offering innovative and startling insights into intercultural and cross-cultural contact and dialogue between pre-modern Europe and non-Western societies and polities. Bashir's study constitutes an indispensable contribution to an exciting emergent area of scholarly investigation. -- Cary J. Nederman, Texas A&M University
Europe and the Eastern Other reminds us what comparative political theory-and political theory in general-stands to gain by examining cross-cultural exchanges between West and non-West before the European Enlightenment. Bashir provides an important contribution to the study of comparative political theory, deepening our understanding of why precisely we should be engaging in such study: namely, because the foundations of one's own cultural self-understanding are developed in contrast to knowledge about cultural others. -- Farah Godrej, University of California, Riverside
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