• Travelling away from the “artsy post-modern lefty-pinko university”. Noor's transcultural experience and the duties of the intellectual

    Ewa Lukaszyk (see profile)
    CLCS 20th- and 21st-Century
    Asia, History
    Item Type:
    Malaysian writing, transcultural writing, Asian history
    Permanent URL:
    Travelling away from the “artsy post-modern lefty-pinko university”. Noor's transcultural experience and the duties of the intellectual. The volume Qur'an and cricket consists of several travelogues produced by a Malay intellectual, Farish A. Noor, during his trips to the most problematic places of the world, marked by the contemporary “battles of God”. This book is interpreted in terms of a quest for transcultural condition understood as a dimension of experience transcending the multiplicity of cultural orders in dissent. Noor sketches his own definition of the intellectual, contrasted in this article with the visions given by Gramsci, Adorno and Said. The subject of the transcultural condition is defined as “itinerant scholar” transgressing the limitations of the academia by his nomadic immersion in the world. The attitude of the traveller is marked by openness and readiness to listen, even if he is confronted to irrational mumbling. Precisely the mumbling of anger and hate becomes the most difficult challenge to the intellectual unable to deal with it rationally. The only remaining answer is a sheer presence and love, emotional attachment to the world, as the scholar rejects the temptation of the ivory tower that would isolate him from the otherness. The modality of speech that opposes the hateful mumbling isn't based on clear, persuasive argumentation, but on ironic ambivalence conjugated with directness and the rejection of euphemism. Most importantly, the “itinerant scholar” is not a preacher. In opposition to the leftist tradition of defining the intellectual as a secular figure, the “itinerant scholar” remains deeply immersed in religion. The challenge of building up the transcultural dimension is connected to the necessity of finding a place for the authentic religious experience in times of “battles of God”. Key words: Farish Noor – transcultural – intellectual – religious conflicts – travel
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    Journal article    


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