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The author’s Indian friends also contrast Indian spiritual culture and Western material civilization. Similar situations can been observed throughout the modern Arab world. Whether consciously recognized or not, dichotomies of this kind introduced Western science and technology while denying that they threatened identity or traditional value systems. In this respect, the Japanese were more successful than other non-Western nations in accepting modern science and its material correlates, perhaps because their ideology was less ethnocentric than that of the Chinese.

Not only is this historical experience not a simple expression of nations’ cultures, but it is itself the creator of a culture, that of the modernity just as it is going to be realized, in a specific form and under specific circumstances. This accounts for the fact that there cannot be a single model of modernization; there can only be innumerable different methods of dealing with modernity. It is also the reason why appropriation of modernity is not the same in all societies. It can happen in various ways: dynamic or unchanging, organized or chaotic, completed or hindered, creative or imitative.

Pp. 43-70. 8. Quoted by Roshdi Rashed, “Recherche scientifique et modernisation en Egypte : l’exemple de Ali Mustafa Musharafa (1898-1950). Etude d’un type idéal”, Entre réforme sociale et mouvement national. ), CEDEJ (Cairo, 1995), pp. 275-284 (more specifically pp. 282-283). 53 Sharing Modernity: Japan and the Arab World Abstract of presentation by Burhan Ghalioun Professor, University of Paris III, France Introduction: Rethinking the History of Modernity The abrupt arrival of modernity and its corollary, the modernization processes begun by all societies since the eighteenth century, has been a major preoccupation of institutional thought in the past few decades.

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