Conscience in Arabic and the Semantic History of "Ḍamīr"

  • Oddbjørn Leirvik


With regard to research on the notion of ḍamīr in the religious and philosophical works of some modern Muslim writers in Egypt, this article investigates the semantic history of the word. Classical Islamic usages are examined as well as medieval and modern Bible Arabic. The author finds that in the coining of ḍamīr as the preferred word for conscience in modern Arabic, Islamic and Christian impulses have interacted – with developments in Christian Arabic in the nineteenth century as a major influence.