Our last book club for the year was Mohammed Hamdouni Alami's The Origins of Visual Culture in the Islamic World. And much like most of the books in this year's book club, the question of epistemology was in the foreground.
I was intrigued by Alami's idea of epistemic and semiotic shift every hundred years or so. And I began to wonder what had been the key epistemic shift of our own generation, or indeed if we are in the throes of one now.
How do we understand ourselves and the world around us? How (and why) do we create art? How do we solve problems? How do we conceive organisational principles? How will our cognitive dissonance resolve? What are the stories we tell about ourselves, to ourselves?
What we do know, and what I've learned over the course of the book club this year is that the Islamic tradition's dynamism has within it continuity, yet a latitude for disruption; unity, yet a regard for difference.
There may yet be many more points of enquiry that one needs to explore and to revisit, but for the moment, I am thankful for this golden year of systematic reading and for sharing this reading with the wonderful people of the book club. What more could a bookseller ask for? Alhamdulillah.
So, reader, keep on reading and read well.
P/S: There is a little feedback form that we would like participants of the book club to fill. Your answers would prove invaluable to how we proceed with next year's book club.