Toward an Islamic model of culture & values development : a study of Sadr's theory
Author(s)Shameli, Abbas Ali.
Contributor(s)Lin, Jing (advisor)
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AbstractDissatisfied with Western models of development, Muslim thinkers have attempted to build an Islamic model which expresses Islamic values and aspirations. In this thesis I explore and design a model based on the writings of Ayatullah Sayyid Muh&dotbelow;ammad Baqir al-S&dotbelow;adr, whose thought seems particularly comprehensive and relevant to the modern world. My discussion begins with a synthesis and critique of a variety of Western models, both modern and post-modern, from an Islamic point of view. I then investigate and discuss Sadr's theory of culture and values development, focusing on the challenge of human inner conflict and his typology of human values formation.
The project also evaluates different models in the light of the one proposed by Sadr, and discusses numerous challenges and dilemmas facing Islamic societies in the global environment and in the post-modern questioning of permanent values. Next, I will examine gender and development, an important issue not explicitly addressed by Sadr. In this chapter, I have indicated that sexual values development is of critical importance to the success of any development program, which in turn depends upon a sexuality education that teaches God-centered self-control.
Sadr's key concern is to shift the focus of development from a macro-social to the micro-individual level. An Islamic model of development, as Sadr sets out, is first and foremost one for human values development. For Sadr, culture and values development must precede any other kind of development for a Muslim society, where the practice of Islamic values is a way of life and a journey towards God. Values education then should be prophetic education which focuses on teaching people how to develop themselves and accordingly to reach God. Sadr also argues that economic development cannot be obtained without the establishment of social justice. The establishment of the latter should be based on culture and values development, which profoundly relates to the resolution of human inner values conflicts.
Development and social change have been the common challenge of both developed and developing nations. Various models are proposed by investigators of development and social change to meet these challenges. However, such models are inevitably associated with particular patterns of culture and values. It must therefore be recognized that development cannot be value-free and measured only in economic terms or based on European standards; rather development must be value-laden and correspond with a nation's history, culture and aspirations. At the same time, few development models have dealt with the dimension of culture and values.
I will close this dissertation with a chapter examining some of the educational challenges posed by culture and values development in Post-Revolutionary Iran.
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation