Nasr Abu Zaid

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Date/Time: 08/11/2007 12:00 am

Thursday 11.08.07 — Nasr Abu Zaid — Contemporary Islamic Thought and the Current Situation in the Arab World
1. About This Thursday 11.08.07
2. More about the talk
3. About Nasr Abu Zaid
1. About This Thursday 11.08.07
What: Discussion with Nasr Abu Zaid
When: 7pm
Where: 16beaver Street, 4th Floor
Who: Free and Open to all
We have not had much of an opportunity to organize any specific talks related to Islam in the contemporary Arab World. So when our neighbors Alwan organized this event, we thought it would be important to distribute information about it and to hopefully mix our two publics for what we hope will be an interesting discussion. We include some information about the event below.
2. More about the talk
Nasr Abu Zaid on Contemporary Islamic Thought and the Current Situation in the Arab World.
Nasr Abu Zaid’s talk will highlight some of the common misunderstandings concerning the issue of reformation in the Muslim world. Based on the fact that the fundamentalist and exclusivist trend of Islamic thought prevails in most presentations of Islam and dominates in the western media, particularly after September 11, the main focus of this address is, by contrast, on the positive, liberal, and inclusive trends embedded in the writings of thinkers who sought to reread and revisit the Islamic tradition.
Secondly: to uncover the possible negative impact of the present state of political affairs, namely, the ideology of the new colonial power as pursued under the war against terrorism and reformation agenda implicit in the United States wider Middle East project, which echoes similar policies of previous colonial powers in decades and centuries past.
Unfortunately, the present state of world affairs gives traditionalists, not to mention the radicals and fundamentalists, a more powerful position than they might ever have dreamt of. In thisrespect the analysis presents a warning against irresponsible political actions. The central questions to be addressed are: to what extent are these liberal, reformist thinkers engaged in genuine renewal of Islamic thought? Do they succeed in escaping the negative image of the West presented by the traditionalists? What is the impact of the present context, and its many unfolding crises, has on reformist and progressive thought?
3. About Nasr Abu Zaid
Nasr Abu Zaid is the Ibn Rushd Chair for Islam and Humanism at the University of Ultrecht as well as professor of Islamic Studies at Leiden University. Graduate of Cairo University, with a PhD in Qur’anic Studies, he is one of the pioneers of Islamic thought and author of more than a dozen books. For an example of his writing, see:


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