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Maat, The Moral Ideal in Ancient Egypt (African Studies: History, Politics, Economics and Culture) Hardcover – December 1, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0415947534 ISBN-10: 0415947537 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (December 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415947537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415947534
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,206,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Maulana Karenga is professor and chair of the Department of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach. He is also chair of the President's Task Force on Multicultural Education and Campus Diversity at California State University, Long Beach. Dr. Karenga holds two Ph.D.'s; his first in political science with focus on the theory and practice of nationalism (United States International University) and his second in social ethics with a focus on the classical African ethics of ancient Egypt (University of Southern California).

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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If you want to truly study Maat--this is the book to get.
F. J. Cooper
I get quivers when I think about the pain staking scholarship that went into this book.
Hyper Thalmus
It is the first book to truly unravel the spiritual philosophy of Ancient Kemet.
The Sesh

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By R. B. Abbott on August 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
First, this book is well worth reading as a fascinating and serious attempt to get to grips with the ancient Egyptian concept and practice of Ma'at - not just as a historical exercise but with a view to showing its relevance to modern life. Maulana Karenga firmly believes that the practice of Ma'at offers credible social and personal advantages in the 21st century, and is very persuasive without trying to over-simplify the issues or overlook the enormous changes in human society since then. It is an openly African-centred approach to Egyptian studies, and as such draws in fresh and compelling insights and analogies.

There are some disappointing aspects to the treatment, though. In numerous places the author seems so keen to promote Ma'atian principles over others that the arguments are overstated or simplified, or straw-man positions set up to represent secular or religious positions. One feels that from time to time the wrong things are being compared! For example, simplistically-stated positions of Christian theology are set up against specific Egyptian texts and found wanting: however, Christian theology has to cope with difficult texts in the Biblical tradition as well, and is a more complex and flexible system of thought than he gives it credit. On a similar vein, Egyptian texts are almost entirely drawn from the Wisdom tradition rather than the whole gamut of Egyptian thought: suitable comparisons would be with the Hebrew wisdom tradition which frequently has quite a similar focus. The differences seem to be exaggerated so as to make Ma'at come out on top more easily!

I would have like to see a greater attempt to tackle "difficult" texts and so present a more rounded picture of Egyptian ethics. For example, the Declarations of Innocence "I have not killed...
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Hyper Thalmus on July 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
I literally have hundreds of books many of which are great but this book honestly needs ten stars. I get quivers when I think about the pain staking scholarship that went into this book. This book travels into domains unventured. It inaugurates a new 4th phase of Egyptology. It left the authority of Egyptology saying we have alot to learn from traditional African cultures, signing the praises of Karenga. Ironically Karenga is like the teacher and Assmann the authority who is made to look like the student as his works are corrected. So many people need this book. Spirituality, Philosophy, History, Culture and revealing knowledge that has been locked away for millenniums. Diffinetly for all those who wish to be conscious.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert C. Bell on October 4, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the most important books I've read, filled with good scholarship: which articulates the breadth of understanding and valuation, the ancient Egyptians had for justice and truth. What impressed me most, in learning about the ancient Egyptian religious orientation towards Maat: is how large their understanding was towards Justice, as a way of being.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Travis on October 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Something for truth seekers and those who study all religion. Good information about morality. "Exposing the truth, we have been lied to."
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