Thus did I receive, through the singing of these various hymns and the moral education that accompanied them, not only a religious, but a political schooling of sorts. For though the intertwining of morality and politics does not necessarily make for a clear understanding of the cynicism that governs world affairs., it does engender impatience with and a rejection of this cynicism, and a real belief in a more perfect, less unjust world. And though I regret not having been taught more about the real world, I have never regretted being taught this kind of morality first.
Jean Said Makdisi
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I had been brought up to be something of an intellectual, but there seemed at the time no connection between my newly formed ideas and the world to which I had returned. Indeed, I did not even recognize my ideas as ideas at all: they seemed to be culled from somewhere else and did not belong to me. I did not know then what I am just beginning to know now: that my ideas were indeed mine, that I had reacted and changed and moved, that I had already analyzed and synthesized, rejecting some thoughts, adopting others, putting yet others away for a while to be thought on. I did not recognize how mentally active an individual I had become, already divorced from the world through my own thoughts, my own perceptions of right and wrong, of honour and justice, of what mattered and what did not. (2007: 117)
Jean Said Makdisi
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