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Within Or Without? Ameen Rihani And The Transcultural Space Between The “West” And The “East”

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Chapter Summary

This chapter likes to challenge the prevailing dichotomies between the ?East? and the ?West? by going back to the historical point when this dichotomy was not yet reified and politicized in the way that is the case today. Its theoretical starting point is the analytical notion of the ?transcultural space? that was shaped by the interaction between European and Middle Eastern societies. The chapter analyzes the life and thought of Ameen Rihani by using the notion of ?transcultural space.? Unlike most of his contemporaries, Rihani?s biography was shaped by constantly moving back and forth between the ?East? and the ?West.? This transcultural experience shaped his thought and left a distinct liberal imprint. The chapter also shows that Rihani appreciated national and civilizational particularities, but only within a wider framework of universalistic humanism.

Keywords: Ameen Rihani; European societies; humanism; Middle Eastern societies; transcultural space



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