Kenan Malik’s Quest for a Moral Compass

Roughly half-way through, about as far as the reformation and the renaissance, Malik’s potted history of moral philosophy, majoring on the theological. As such it’s pretty good. Many sources I’ve already read, so my prejudice against his presumed (narrow) take on rationality in the humanist atheism vs religion wars got in the way of enjoying the read initially. His presumed agenda preceded him.

So, in fact, I need to record that it’s a good read. Whatever his ultimate agenda and conclusions, his readings are broad and sensitive to the human motivations of their times. Recognises the multi-civilisations “Axial Age” of humanity’s quest for understanding life in the cosmos. The real origins of humanism, in the quest to research “human writings” lost by the later domination of church and scripture – put me in mind of Eco’s Name of the Rose, and an excellent reading of Dante’s Divine Comedy in the context of Aquinas writings, and the breadths and depths of thinking that prefaced the renaissance itself – on the shoulders of giants. Good stuff.

[Post Note : Final review on completion here.]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.