Thinking the Mediterranean Arena Today

Diogenes 52 (2):99-121 (2005)


This paper proposes a historical and anthropological re-reading of the Mediterranean arena over and above all the lines of thought and action that have directed its history, in particular since Islam’s emergence as a conquering force. The political theologies of Islam and Christianity have operated as ideologies legitimating Islam’s conquests between 632 and 1258, then 1453-1830 or thereabouts. Rivalry continues today, with the two great symbolic figures of the struggle between Good and Evil: JIHÂD versus McWORLD. Few archeological analyses of religions, then modernity, as legitimating ideologies have been offered. This essay takes its place in this perspective, which has been made indispensable by 9/11 and the vengeful reactions of the Holy Alliance against terrorist barbarity. Its aim is to strengthen intellectually the quest for a horizon of meaning, hope and action in order finally to enter an era of history where there is solidarity with peoples beyond the powerful wealthy states, which show little understanding for societies, whether rich or underdeveloped, that are historically out of phase with modernity

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