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Man and Nature: The Spiritual Crisis in Modern Man

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  146 ratings  ·  16 reviews
This is a spiritual tour de force which explores the relationship between Man and Nature as found in Taoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam, particularly its Sufi dimension.
Paperback, 151 pages
Published April 1st 2003 by Kazi Publications (first published 1976)
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Murtaza
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a short set of essays by Nasr offering a critique of modern science and the project of destruction that it has wrought against the natural world. Nasr's critique essentially revolves around the divorce between science and metaphysics, which has unmoored otherwise legitimate scientific endeavor from its base in a meaningful higher knowledge. As a result it has actually become dangerous and illegitimate, waging a ceaseless war against a disenchanted natural world. The external world has th ...more
Shaimaa Ali
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
الإنسان والطبيعة

يأخذنا المؤلف بروفيسور (سيد حسين نصر) في رحلة بين الطاوية ، الهندوسية،البوذية والأديان الإبراهيمية الثلاث لعرض العلاقة بين الإنسان والطبيعة … وهو أحد أهم معالم الفلسفة الخالدة: Perennials Philosophy
بينما لم أفهم كثيراً ما قالته الأديان الشرقية من بحوث وأفكار ، كانت الأديان الإبراهيمية الأقرب إلى فهمي وأوضح. فالإسلام تعرض لهذه العلاقة كثيراً لرؤيته أن غاية وجود الإنسان على الأرض هي السعي إلى المعرفة الكلية للأشياء والوصول إلى وضع (الإنسان الكامل) كتجلي لصورة الإنسان الحقة الساعي
...more
Bob Nichols
May 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
Nasr attributes the modern environmental “crisis” to the desacralization of nature, that began early in the West with the rise of science. Before then, nature was seen as the manifestation of the Universal Intellect, an Absolute presence that provided certainty, predictability and ordered harmony. Science, he says, “emptied the cosmos of its sacred character.” In doing so, man saw nature not as a reflection of Intelligent Mind or of God’s reality but as a thing for man to use, resulting in the i ...more
Soroush
Sep 19, 2013 rated it liked it
This book by Seyyed Hossein Nasr consists of four chapters based on his lectures delivered at the University of Chicago in 1966. Although it has been written decades ago, most of its content can be applied to today's environmental crisis. In other words, when you read this book, you wouldn't think, for the most part, that it is based on lectures given decades ago. His overall objective in this book is to show that to solve our environmental problems, we need to revive our metaphysical and spirit ...more
Farhad
Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Some of my favourite passages:

"Man sees in nature what he is himself and penetrates into the inner meaning of nature only on the condition of being able to delve into the inner depths of his own being and to cease to lie merely on the periphery of his being. Men who live only on the surface of their being can study nature as something to be manipulated and dominated. But only he who has turned toward the inner dimension of his being can see nature as a symbol, as a transparent reality and come t
...more
Matt
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This series of four essays by Seyyed Hossein Nasr, first published in 1967, gives a remarkably far-sighted and astute account of the spiritual roots of the manmade oecological crisis. In this series, he sees at the root of the modern hard sciences a fundamental urge to grasp nature, to master, conquer and control it. On the other hand, Dr Nasr worries that the religious tradition of Western Christianity is not putting up enough of a fight against the exploitation and destruction of the natural w ...more
Tara
Mar 28, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ecology
The author made many points I agreed with. He was insightful, he drew together some arguments which I found provocative and inspiring. Nonetheless, the book was tinged with a sexism I found repugnant, and it repeated itself in a dead sort of way. Considering that he was defending life and nature, he was terribly dry. I love John Scotus Erigena and many of the other people he talked about, but his analysis was too shallow and a result of his own biases. Still, there is definitely something to be ...more
 Ahmet Sbaai
يدافع الفيلسوف الإيراني سيد حسين نصر عن التصور الروحي للطبيعة مقدما نقدا قويا للحداثة وما بعدها وتأثيرهما على الإنسان المعاصر في علاقته بالوعي والطبيعة والسعادة، موضحا كيفية انتقاله من مرحلة التعايش والانسجام والتقديس إلى طور التسخير والهيمنة والتدمير.
الترجمة سيئة كنت مضطرا لمطالعة فقرات كاملة من النص الاصلي حتى استوعب النص المترجم في طبعة فخمة.
Sharaiz
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very important book that looks to provide a deeper metaphysical understanding for how the spiritual crisis in modern man has created the climate crisis and destruction of nature/humanity we see today. Even though it was first written in the 1980s, this book continues to hold relevance today.

Only negative points are first that it is quite a difficult book to follow and assumes an understanding of a wide range of topics, from science to theology. Secondly, Nasr mentions Native Americans as havi
...more
Dina Kaidir
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
...the care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.
~Wendell Berry
Xinyuan Wong
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have had the privilege of reading in a long time.

May be a bit difficult for the average reader in the European and North American sphere,
but is helpful for East Asians that have had exposure to the fields of History of Science / the works of Joseph Needham / Daoist and Buddhist understandings of nature.

Notwithstanding the fact that apparently ISIS has decided to takfir Prof. Nasr, his books contributed a great deal to helping me understand how present-day Europe and Nor
...more
Ali Zarezade
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
طبیعت که در تمامی ادیان به عنوان یکی از آیات خداوند در نظر گرفته می‌شد، ‌در عصر جدید به یک پدیده فیزیکی فاقد روح و معنا تقلیل یافته است.
در گذشته همه پدیده‌های طبیعی با دلایل متافیزیکی توجیه می‌شدند اما با ظهور علم و سلطه همه جانبه آن بر تمامی عرصه‌‌های زندگی بشر و پیدا شدن توجیه‌های فیزیکی برای پدیده‌های طبیعی، گویی به یک باره طبیعت فارغ از روح شد. جالب اینجا است که روح انسان عصر جدید به راحتی با گفتن اینکه مثلا جاذبه باعث افتادن سیب می‌شود اقناع می‌گردد و دیگر سوالی از این نمی‌کند که چرا جاذبه
...more
Ammar
Sep 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"To be at peace with the Earth one must be at peace with Heaven"

Only a brilliant scholar and intellectual such as Nasr could have so eloquently brought together our relationship with God, nature, and humanity. This series of lectures is nearly 30 years old but a more critical read today than ever. Nasr's perennial philosophies went over my head (particularly the Taosim parts), but he shows us how the divine, nature, and humanity are not mutually exclusive, rather they are integral to one another
...more
Gary Burns
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
His key arguments weave the loose, loose because unrecognized, threads between the philosophic heritage of the West and the preservation of, especially Aristotelian ideas, in Islamic schools of thought throughout the Middle Ages. Very informative with a rich bibliography, Nasr keeps alive the fundamental relationship between metaphysical understanding and scientific investigation, a bridge so many in the West have burnt up.
Aziza Aouhassi
Jan 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
"Un the end what se can say with all certainty is that there is no peace possible among men unless there is peace and harmony with nature. And n order to have peace and harmony with nature one must be in harmony and equilibrium with Heaven, and ultimately with the Source and Origin of all things. He who is at peace with God is also at peace with His creation, both with nature and man."

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Aug 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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Seyyed Hossein Nasr was born on April 7, 1933 (19 Farvadin 1312 A.H. solar) in Tehran into a family of distinguished scholars and physicians. His father, Seyyed Valiallah, a man of great learning and piety, was a physician to the Iranian royal family, as was his father before him. The name "Nasr" which means "victory" was conferred on Professor Nasr's grandfather by the King of Persia. Nasr also c ...more

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In these strange days of quarantine and isolation, books can be a mode of transport. We may have to stay home and stay still, but through t...
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“Henceforth the Cartesian surgical operation in which spirit and matter become totally separated dominated scientific and philosophic thought The domain of science was matter which was a pure "it" divorced completely from any ontological aspect other than pure quantity. Although there were protests here and there especially among English and German thinkers, this view became the very factor that determined the relationship between man and nature, scientifically and philosophically. Thus seventeenth-century rationalism is the unconscious background of all later scientific thought up to the present day. Whatever discoveries are made in the sciences and whatever changes are brought about in conceptions of time, space, matter and motion, the background of seventeenth-century rationalism remains. For this very reason, other interpretations of nature, especially the symbolic, have never been seriously considered and accepted.” 3 likes
“Nineteenth-century inventors of the steam engine used a physical theory which today is considered as scientifically false . In fact most of the inventors up to very recent times have been, for the most part, ignorant of the science of their day and have applied theories that have proved to be false. Moreover, even today a physical or chemical theory can change while its application continues untouched. The success of applied science, therefore, is no reason for accepting the infallibility of the scientific theories involved. There should be an intelligent and conscious criticism of science and its implications, both for those involved in the sciences, and most of all for those who are the recipients of the popularized versions of scientific theories. The philosophy of science has in certain cases tried to point to the lack of logical consistency in some scientific definitions and methods. But having surrendered itself to the fruits of the experimental and analytical methods, it cannot itself be an independent judge of modern science.” 2 likes
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