A Selection of Translated Work

Book translated + edited by Sen McGlinn + Asghar Seyyed-Ghoreb

2007:   The Essence of Modernity
Mirza Yusof Khan Musthashar ad-Dowla Tabrizi's Treatise on Codified Law (Yak Kaleme)

Translated from Persian by A.A. Seyed-Gohrab & S. McGlinn, (edition, translation and introduction), Amsterdam, Rozenberg Publishers, 2007. Hardcover reprint forthcoming.

This book is one of the earliest and most influential treatises on the relationship between western-style law and Islam. Yak Kaleme means literally ‘One Word,’ and the one word that is explained here is Qanun, codified law, which the author regards as the key to the regeneration and progress of Iran. ‘One Word’ was influential in the lead-up to the Iranian Constitutional Revolution of 1906, but the book’s significance is wider than that, and its message is relevant today. It was one of the first treatises to demonstrate that Islam is compatible with the introduction of modern western forms of government, and specifically that the principles of the sharia can be incorporated in a codified law comparable to that found in European countries. This was a daring argument in the late 19th century Middle East, when it was extremely difficult to convince the rulers and religious class that a civil code of law was needed: would it not diminish the status of the ruler, and would it not be an admission that the religious law, the sharia, was deficient?

The author argues that the principles underlying constitutional government can be found in Islamic sources, particularly in the Quran and traditions of the Prophet. A codified law is simply a way of making these Islamic principles available to the people in a form they can understand. The intelligent and informed participation of the people in society contributes to their welfare and good governance. Unlike some contemporary Oriental travellers to Europe, he observes that European dominance derives not from a few technological advances, but primarily from the organisation of society, on the basis of codified law.

There is a sample of the translation on the publisher's website: search on Kaleme or another word out of the title of the book.

Book translated by Sen McGlinn

2006:   Confusion of Confusions

Sen was asked to translate a medival account of the Dutch Stock Exchange from a Dutch translation. The original was written in Spanish (by an immigrant living there) and in the end he relied mostly working from the Spanish.

Book translated by Sen McGlinn

2002:   What was Mechanical about Mechanics
The Concept of Force between Metaphysics and Mechanics from Newton to Lagrange

by J. Christiaan Boudri, translated from Dutch by Sen McGlinn.
Boston Studies in The Philosophy of Science.
Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, Boston, London.
Hardback, 280 pages.