Hermeneutic as a method in Religious Studies

We invite you all to join CRCS&ICRS forum discussion. The topic of discussion will be ?Hermeneutic as a method in Religious Studies?. The discussion will be held on:

Date : Friday, 8 August 2008

Time : 1 ? 3 pm (started with a lunch together)

Venue : Room 306, Third Floor, UGM Graduate School Jln. Teknika Utara Pogung Yogyakarta

Topic : ?Hermeneutics as a Method in Religious Studies?

Speakers : Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd and Ali Mabrook

The discussion is free of charge, please invite your friend or colleagues to join the discussion.

A Glance at Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd

Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd was born in Qufaha near Tanta, Egypt on July 10, 1943. At the age of 12, he was imprisoned for allegedly sympathising with Muslim Brotherhood. After receiving a technical formation he worked for the National Communications Organization in Cairo. At the same time, he started studying at Cairo University, where he obtained his BA in Arabic Studies (1972), and later his MA (1977) and PhD (1981) in Islamic Studies, with works concerning the interpretation of the Qur’an. In 1982, he joined the faculty of the Department of Arabic Language and Literature at Cairo University as an assistant professor. He became an associate professor in 1987. Zayd suffered major religious persecution for his views on the Qur’an as a religious, mythical, literary work. In 1995, he was promoted to the rank of full professor, but Islamic controversies about his academic work led to a court decision of apostasy and the denial of the appointment. A hisbah trial started against him by fundamentalist Islamic scholars, he was declared a heretic (Murtadd) by an Egyptian court, was consequently declared divorced from his wife, Cairo University French Literature professor Dr. Ibthal Younis (since, according to Sharia law, it is not permissible for her to be married to a non-Muslim) and, in effect, forced out of his homeland. The Nasr Abu Zayd case began when he was refused a promotion for the post of full professor. In May 1992, Dr. Abu Zayd presented his academic publications to the Standing Committee of Academic Tenure and Promotion for advancement. Among the thirteen works in Arabic and other languages were Imam Shafei and the Founding of Medieval Ideology and The Critique of Religious Discourse. The committee presented three reports, two were in favor of the promotion of Dr. Abu Zayd. But the third one, written by Abdel-Sabour Shahin, a professor of Arabic linguistics and a committee member, accused Abu Zayd of “clear affronts to the Islamic faith” and rejected the promotion. Despite the two positive reports, the Tenure and Promotion Committee voted against the promotion (seven votes to six), arguing that his works did not justify a promotion. The Council of the Arabic Department stated against the committee’s decision, and The Council of the Faculty of Arts criticized the committee report. Despite all that, the Council of Cairo University confirmed the decision of the committee report in 18 March 1993.

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