Northrop, who made these remarks more than four decades ago, did not have to wait too long to see his predictions come true. The changes brought about by modern science in the minds and lives of people in the Muslim world have been no less profound and deep seated than they are for people living in the western hemisphere. The crisis of legitimacy and the dissolution of traditional certainties, closely related to the scientistic worldview of modern natural sciences, have a deep impact on how people in the Islamic world relate to the question of science on the one hand, and their intellectual and scientific tradition on the other. The wide spectrum of views on the issue range from Muslim scientists and professionals who take science to be a pure and disengaged study of natural phenomena with no hidden or explicit ideological assumptions, to those who consider modern science essentially materialistic, reductionist, and thus in conflict with a religious view of the universe. Regardless of what particular position one takes in this debate, the urgency of addressing the question of (modern) science is as fresh and challenging today as it was more than a century ago for Jamal al-Din

Afghani, the father of Islamic modernism in the nineteenth century, and his generation.