By Theodora Kroeber
Frontis. + xi + 292 pp. with various illus., octavo.
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Extra resources for Alfred Kroeber: A Personal Configuration
Differences of opinion arose as to the value of Egypt's exposure to European technology and its underlying values. Did these encounters offer the opportunity to encourage needed change, or were they a threat to Egypt's very existence as a Muslim society? The notion that Western ideas might be isolated from Muslim thought and considered to be valid in themselves appeared only in the last decade of the nineteenth century and the first decade of the twentieth, the transitional period in which Muhammad Husayn Haykal was reared.
He then remarked that education and true love, presumably as opposed to arranged marriages and the veil, created real modesty. 11 What does seem clear, on the basis of recent research, is that al-Tahtawi relied much more on Muslim philosophical tradition than has been previously recognized. 13 He did so to support his call for a more rationalistic approach to religious matters, suggesting that the use of one's reason was a necessary means of attaining spiritual perfection. Although argued indirectly, al-Tahtawi was calling for acceptance of the material products of European rationalist culture and implied that Muslim receptivity to Europe fulfilled religious obligations.
He revealed his attitudes with particular clarity in his fictional and political treatment of women. 16 Just as Haykal believed it disastrous to appeal to the people for political support, so also did he portray the gap between intellectuals and Egyptian women as able to be bridged safely only if the latter were educated properly according to Western precepts. He transposed this conception of women and society into public life. He originally called for feminine equality with men, thus challenging general opinion.
Alfred Kroeber: A Personal Configuration by Theodora Kroeber