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Sceptics of Islam: Revisionist Religion, Agnosticism and Disbelief in the Modern Arab World

Editat de Ralph M. Coury
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en Limba Engleză Paperback – 22 Aug 2019
Arab debates about the critical relationship between religion and modernity began in the early nineteenth century and are now integral to the struggle for influence and power between a variety of political groups and their opponents. This unique anthology introduces the writings of several key Arab Muslim and Christian religious revisionists or radical "free thinkers" (believers, agnostics, and atheists) who have sought to define this relationship. Although they differ in significant ways, all have been united in disputing the notion that life should conform exclusively to a system of laws and values based upon the Qur'an or the Bible, or, less radically, upon these as they were widely understood before the modern period.Authors from the nineteenth century to the present are represented, including the internationally recognized playwright and novelist Nawal El Saadawi, as well as lesser known writers such as the Iraqi poet Jamil Sidqi al-Zahawi and the Syrian religious thinker Muhammad Shahrur. Many of the writings have hitherto been scattered, difficult to locate, or inaccessible, and most have been here translated into English for the first time. The editor's thoughtful overview and introductions to each author help to make the volume relevant to general readers as well as scholars of the Middle East, of Islamic and comparative literary studies, and of politics and modern history.
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ISBN-13: 9781838602055
ISBN-10: 1838602054
Pagini: 272
Dimensiuni: 156 x 234 x 19 mm
Greutate: 0.39 kg
Editura: Bloomsbury Publishing
Colecția I.B.Tauris
Locul publicării: London, United Kingdom

Notă biografică

Ralph M. Coury is Emeritus Professor of History at Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA.


`This is an immensely timely anthology. Its carefully selected texts constitute a valuable contribution to our understanding of the rich varieties of modern Arab culture. Muslim and Christian authors alike are granted the opportunity to state their secular and humanistic points of view within an informative framework provided by the editor, Ralph M Coury. The book can be highly recommended to students of politics, Middle East studies and comparative literature.'
`Originally spread by racist orientalism and recently fuelled by Islamophobia, the common Western view of the modern Arab world is that it has been immune to radical critiques of religion. This splendid anthology gives unambiguously the lie to this view as it illustrates, through judiciously selected original passages and in eminently readable translations, that Arab critical thinkers - whether believing radical revisionists (Muslim and Christian alike), agnostics or atheists - have followed similar paths to those of their counterparts outside the Arab world, responding to many of the same socio-economic, political and especially cultural forces in their aspiration for freedom, social justice and human rights.'
`A spirit of critical, reasoned uncertainty informs this excellent anthology of Arab writers which reflects their chiefly twentieth-century views of religion, culture and society. Each contribution, ably introduced by the editor, is complemented by an overview which makes the volume accessible to the informed general reader as well as helpful to the Middle East specialist.'