- Hardcover: 480 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (December 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0415947537
- ISBN-13: 978-0415947534
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,346,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Maat, The Moral Ideal in Ancient Egypt (African Studies: History, Politics, Economics and Culture) 1st Edition
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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).
Top customer reviews
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Karenga is a very good writer who examines Maat from multiple angles. The text is written clearly, but this is a somewhat heavy work of scholarship and philosophy. Don't expect to be able to read this book in a week and get all you can from it. There's just so much to read and think about!
system of Maat. By reading this work and understanding the research, you will begin to
understand how man has step away from his ethical responsibilities to Nature,God,and
his Fellow Man. It all started in Africa Not Europe or Asia.
Karenga does none of that nonsense. His exploration of Kemetian spiritual philosophy is unparallel as he focuses primarily on the actual ancient texts, meanwhile correcting the current Egyptologists' bias views. Karenga exposes the primary force behind Kemetian spiritual philosophy as Maat, the feminine deification of truth, goodness, and balance. In addition, he shows the familial relationship between Kemetian ontology and that of other Afrikan spiritual systems, though this could have been more thoroughly explored.
This text is without doubt academic in nature, yet it has the making of a philosophically spiritual manual as well. Unlike most other texts that take a spiritual stance on Kemet, Karenga at no point forces the reader to rely on his word, but relentlessly points the reader to the text, even when he is agreeing or disagreeing with another scholar.
One thing that Karenga could have done better (though we have to acknowledge that he could not do everything, considering the monumentality of this work of single-handedly resurrecting the TRUE legacy of Kemetian philosophy)is include the medunetcher/hieroglyph form of more texts that he references in English and transliteration, simply so that the reader can become familiar with the concepts using the same symbolic imagery that the Ancient Afrikans of Kemet used for written communication. There is an underated power in imagery. That is also why I'm curious to know why the cover of the book did not depict an actual photograph of original Kemetian art. The copy used was not 100% accurate to the actual relief of Seti presenting Maat and would have been more effective had Dr. Karenga used an original ancient depiction that had the typical stylized mahogany-brown or dark brown color the Kemetians most often used to depict themselves. This would visually emphasize the Afrikan nature of Kemet for all those who wish to attribute Kemet to the sand colored Asiatics who presently control the nation.
Though this book is arguably the best book on Kemet available, it remains only a foundation to build on. We need African-centered scholars to scientifically renew the spiritual system of the Nile Valley by specifically exploring other netcheru such as Amen-Ra, Het-Heru, Ausar; the Nubian spiritual system; and the relationship other Afrikans have with Nile spirituality. We also need African-centered scholars knowledgeable of Medunetcher to spread its use in the global Black community, if only if in key words. We all know how much Diasporic Afrikans love to add our own words and/or redefine the words of the language of the oppressor--imagine if we actually used medunetcher in this creolization process on a conscious level! It could be as simple as salutations, religous terminology, etc. It is a beginning.
All this being said, I cannot thank Dr. Karenga enough for what he has achieved not just for himself, but for the Afrikan race and humanity as a whole by DOING MAAT and bringing forth the truth about the wisdom of the Ancient Afrikans of the Nile that laid the foundation for world civilization. How blessed am I, as a relatively young man, to have elders like Dr. Karenga. Black people, our elders have finally returned to lead us and not hand us over to other people to lead us and wonder why we can't function correctly.
Dr. Karenga, if you are reading this, know that we are building an eternal pyramid for you in our hearts; that you have restored Maat in a way that Ahmose the Great had and that Piankhi himself, and other great egungun, are weeping with pride for our people because of your restoration. You are like Hatshepsut who does magnificence not out of boasting but out of love for Amen-Ra!
For the restoration of MAAT: Manifesting Advanced Afrikan Truth!
No, the two sides are not going to necessarily agree on every point. However, the problem with much of Egyptology is their incessant failure to admit that the Ancient Kemetic people were not a bunch of superstitious primitives, but every aspect of this place that is the cradle of all civilization had very complex concepts of philosophy and spirituality as well as an astute understanding of the larger world and their place within it. Ma'at is just as relevant as a philosophy and life approach as it was in antiquity. This is what Karenga and many African-centered scholars and writers are getting right. This attention to detail and getting it right is what will make the culture live again and regain respect for African traditional thought, religion and philosophy in the world. We need that now more than ever.