Wednesday, December 01, 2010

T. J. Winter on Valentine de St.-Point

Thanks to Mohsin R of Lahore for drawing attention in a comment to this blog to a 2009 lecture by T. J. Winter on “The Prophet (PBUH) and his wives.” This 57-minute lecture is of interest partly because almost half of it deals with Valentine de St.-Point (see also later post), Guénon's friend and associate in Cairo, providing three answers to the question asked by a comment on this blog: why would a woman like her convert to Islam? It is also of interest because Winter is a leading non-Guénonian (small-t) traditionalist, and shows here what an excellent lecturer he is.

So, why did  St.-Point become Muslim? Winter suggests three answers. One is that she saw Islam as an “authenticity that industrial man has finally lost.” Another is that Islam provides an alternative to the “fragmentation of the human persona imposed by Christianity.” And the third answer is that St.-Point was far from being the only European artist who looked to the Muslim world and Islam for answers to questions raised by the problems of European civilization.

I think Winter is  probably right, though I am not sure that “the take on gender” follows as directly from views of sexuality as he seems to think.

The lecture is in six parts.


Omar said...

It seems T J Winter is moving closer into the Traditionalist fold. What do you think?

Mark Sedgwick said...

I really don't know him/his writings) well enough to say, but I suspect that he agrees with much of the Traditionalist analysis of modernity etc, without subscribing in any detail to the Traditionalist view of the proper response to modernity.

Omar said...

I have the same opinion. And he want's to be part of mainstream Islam as well.

William said...

"Islam provides an alternative to the “fragmentation of the human persona imposed by Christianity.”"

Could you perhaps clarify this? I understand where you're coming from, but I'm not sure I fully grasp this critique of Christianity.

Mark Sedgwick said...

That's T. J. Winter, not me! To understand the critique, listen to his lecture--the link is on the original post.

William said...

Ah! I know! My apologies for the unclear language. I just didn't know if you could perhaps summarize Winter's argument - along side your own knowledge of the topic which far surpasses mine - before I set aside some time to listen to this.

Anyway, thanks for the link/post!

Anonymous said...

Cher M. Sedgwick,

je ne sais pas où vous donner cette information, donc je le fais ici. Marie Huot, née Ménétrier, est morte en 1930. Elle a été incinérée au cimetière du Père-Lachaise.