Naqd al-Khitāb al-Dīnī by Nasr Hāmid Abū Zayd

BOOK REVIEW

Abdullah ÖZKAN, Dr. Öğt. Üye.
Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University
E-Mail: ozkanabdullah@gmail.com,
ORCID: 0000-0001-5928-8078

Citation/©: Özkan, A. (2021). Naqd al-Khitāb al-Dīnī by Nasr Hāmid Abū Zayd . Theosophia, 2, 101-104.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.5021239

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In recent decades, while the Arabs are trying to free themselves from the dictators and tyrants, one of the most important questions around these struggles is what should be the essence of authority for a legitimate political order in these countries. It is possible to say that the general indecision among public surrounding this question contributes to the prolonged nature of political instability that impairs the proper functioning of these societies. Several competing claimants to authority are trying to overcome this indecision by converting general opinion to their cause, and naturally some of them take their inspiration from religion which has always been a dominant force in these societies.

The Egyptian scholar Nasr Hāmid Abu Zayd provides a critical exposure of the discourses used by these claimants to authority in his book Naqd al-Khitāb al-Dīnī (The Critique of Religious Discourse). The book consists of an introduction and three chapters. Abu Zayd starts his introduction by stating that while the phenomenon of religious expansion in Muslim countries has attracted the attention of many scholars and researchers, they use different approaches towards this phenomenon and reach different conclusions about it. He accepts these approaches as discourses and divides them into three categories. The first and strongest approach is the official discourse represented by the Azhar University and some religious scholars even though they seem to be in opposition against the official discourse of the state. What he means by the opposition becomes more obvious in the following pages of the book...