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The Global History of “Modernity”

The Global History of “Modernity” 1) Chakrabarty 1992. THE GLOBAL HISTORY OF ÒMODERNITYÓ PETER VAN DER VEER (University of Amsterdam) This paper fi nds its origin in a certain uneasiness with the application of the notion of ÒmodernityÓ to a wide-ranging set of phenomena in world history and with the replacement of an idea of the singularity of modernity by a notion of a multiplicity of Òmodernities.Ó It offers a critical re fl ection on the arguments put forward in the contributions made to JESHO (volume 40, number 4, 1997) by suggesting that it might be preferable to speak of a single modernity and of a multiplicity of histories. This suggestion is made in order to retain a sense of the uniqueness and power of European modernity together with a sense of the complexity and variation of its clash with historical processes in many parts of the world. The paper adopts the view that modernity is a project and an ideology that originates in the Enlightenment. Modernity celebrates freedom from localized, hierarchical bonds, progress in terms of scienti fi c knowledge and economic welfare, and rejects the past in so far it does not fi t the story of progress. The paper also http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient Brill

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 1998 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0022-4995
eISSN
1568-5209
DOI
10.1163/1568520981436228
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

1) Chakrabarty 1992. THE GLOBAL HISTORY OF ÒMODERNITYÓ PETER VAN DER VEER (University of Amsterdam) This paper fi nds its origin in a certain uneasiness with the application of the notion of ÒmodernityÓ to a wide-ranging set of phenomena in world history and with the replacement of an idea of the singularity of modernity by a notion of a multiplicity of Òmodernities.Ó It offers a critical re fl ection on the arguments put forward in the contributions made to JESHO (volume 40, number 4, 1997) by suggesting that it might be preferable to speak of a single modernity and of a multiplicity of histories. This suggestion is made in order to retain a sense of the uniqueness and power of European modernity together with a sense of the complexity and variation of its clash with historical processes in many parts of the world. The paper adopts the view that modernity is a project and an ideology that originates in the Enlightenment. Modernity celebrates freedom from localized, hierarchical bonds, progress in terms of scienti fi c knowledge and economic welfare, and rejects the past in so far it does not fi t the story of progress. The paper also

Journal

Journal of the Economic and Social History of the OrientBrill

Published: Jan 1, 1998

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