Catalogue


Voice of an exile : reflections on Islam /
Nasr Abu Zaid with Esther R. Nelson.
imprint
Westport, CT : Praeger, 2004.
description
xi, 219 p.
ISBN
0275982505 (pbk. : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
imprint
Westport, CT : Praeger, 2004.
isbn
0275982505 (pbk. : alk. paper)
catalogue key
5125496
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Esther R. Nelson is Professor of Religious Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Reviews
Review Quotes
'œ[The author is] as Arab and Islamic as any of [his] critics, except that [he is] wiser and more learned.'' Times Literary Supplement
"This rare glimpse behind the scenes of the Islamic academic world is rich with anecdotes and insights that signal both the grave difficulties and the creative possibilities for Islam in the years ahead. The book could easily become a supplementary text in courses on Islam or global religious concerns. Scholars, students, and the public will enjoy and benefit from these frank discussions of a life lived on the creative edge of Islam." - Cliff Edwards Director and Professor of Religious Studies Virginia Commonwealth University
"Voice of an Exile, more engrossing than a novel, is the gripping autobiography of a life with Islam. It is a tale of academic and religious intrigue, filled with romance, exile, honor and revenge, and heroism and cowardice, all played out on the public stage.... Nasr Abu-Zaid is not the only Muslim intellectual in exile from his home country, but he has produced the most articulate and accessible book about what it means to be an engages Muslim thinker today. Fresh and insightful, this is a book for general readers and college courses, as well as for everyone concerned with Islam and the role of religion in public life today." - Dale F. Eickelman Dartmouth College
"Nasr Hamed Abou Zaid uses his personal life history as a lens through which to examine Islam and its civilization, the history of modern Egypt, Arab society and culture, contemporary politics, and the predicament in which Islam and Muslims find themselves in the 21st century.... Written with grace, humor, and compassion, Voice of an Exile deserves a wide readership among students and scholars." - David S. Powers, Arabic and Islamic Studies Cornell University
"Nasr combines in his writing audacious intellectual criticism, deep understanding of Islam, devotion to Egyptian people and commitment to the Western-European contributions to the emancipation of human condition." - Mohammed Arkoun Emeritus Professor of the History of Islamic Thought Sorbonne (Paris III)
"Nasr Abu Zaid is a heroic figure, a scholar who has risked everything to restore the traditions of intellectual inquiry and tolerance that for so long characterized Islamic culture. Voice of an Exile describes the ongoing conflict to determine the future shape of one of the world's great religions, a struggle with vast consequences for politics as well as religion and scholarship. The book is simply awe-inspiring." - Philip Jenkins, Distinguished Professor of History and Religious Studies, Pennsylvania State University
"A clarion call to any society that would limit free expression of ideas. His book is no mere autobiography, but the inspiring voice of a fiercely independent spirit, a voice we need to hear and learn from." - Jonathan E. Brockopp, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and History Pennsylvania State University
"[The author is] as Arab and Islamic as any of [his] critics, except that [he is] wiser and more learned."- Times Literary Supplement
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, May 2004
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
In 1995 Ayman al-Zawahiri, a prominent terrorist figure recently associated with Al Queda and al-Jihad, issued a bounty against Dr. Nasr Abu Zaid, a respected Islamic scholar at Cairo University. What was Zaid's offense? Arguing that Islam's holy texts should be interpreted in the historical and linguistic context of their time, and that new interpretations should account for social change. His controversial claim that the Qur'an be interpreted metaphorically rather than literally further enraged fundamentalists. Labeled an apostate by the Cairo court of appeals, his life was threatened and he was forced to flee to the Netherlands with his wife. A professor of Arabic and Islamic studies at Leiden University in his adopted country, this progressive Islamic scholar insists that change is still possible and that new understandings of Islam can be accepted and advanced. Forgoing claims that Islam is a violent religion, Zaid shows us that, above all, justice and obedience lies at the heart of the Qur'an. At the outset of this book, we find Zaid growing up in Quhafa, a village in northern Egypt. Islam gives meaning and definition to his life. As he matures, we see him sorting through Egypt's various political developments and upheavals. Zaid carefully weaves such developments into the events of his own life--his father's death, raising his younger siblings, attending Cairo University, his study abroad, his marriages, the events leading to his exile, and his visit to Egypt after a seven-year absence. Through it all, we see him advancing in his academic career and applying new skills to his study and interpretation of the Qur'an. He wrestles with subjects such as polygamy, wife beating, inheritance, and the practice of usury in Islamic cultures. He asserts and illustrates that Islam must be separate from the State in order to protect the religion from political manipulation. Zaid's personal story and academic pursuits, reflecting the social reality of the broader culture, offer new perspectives on Islam and provide hope to Muslims who feel their religion has been misrepresented and misunderstood.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Betrayed by his colleagues, declared an apostate, & exiled from his own country, Nasr Abu Zaid tells his story. He explains how his belief that the Koran be interpreted metaphorically rather than literally led him into confrontation with religious courts & terrorists.
Long Description
In 1995 Ayman al-Zawahiri, a prominent terrorist figure recently associated with Al Queda and al-Jihad, issued a bounty against Dr. Nasr Abu Zaid, a respected Islamic scholar at Cairo University. What was Zaid's offense? Arguing that Islam's holy texts should be interpreted in the historical and linguistic context of their time, and that new interpretations should account for social change. His controversial claim that the Qur'an be interpreted metaphorically rather than literally further enraged fundamentalists. Labeled an apostate by the Cairo court of appeals, his life was threatened and he was forced to flee to the Netherlands with his wife. A professor of Arabic and Islamic studies at Leiden University in his adopted country, this progressive Islamic scholar insists that change is still possible and that new understandings of Islam can be accepted and advanced. Forgoing claims that Islam is a violent religion, Zaid shows us that, above all, justice and obedience lies at the heart of the Qur'an. At the outset of this book, we find Zaid growing up in Quhafa, a village in northern Egypt. Islam gives meaning and definition to his life. As he matures, we see him sorting through Egypt's various political developments and upheavals. Zaid carefully weaves such developments into the events of his own lifehis father's death, raising his younger siblings, attending Cairo University, his study abroad, his marriages, the events leading to his exile, and his visit to Egypt after a seven-year absence. Through it all, we see him advancing in his academic career and applying new skills to his study and interpretation of the Qur'an. He wrestles with subjects such as polygamy, wife beating, inheritance, and the practice of usury in Islamic cultures. He asserts and illustrates that Islam must be separate from the State in order to protect the religion from political manipulation. Zaid's personal story and academic pursuits, reflecting the social reality of the broader culture, offer new perspectives on Islam and provide hope to Muslims who feel their religion has been misrepresented and misunderstood.
Long Description
In 1995 Ayman al-Zawahiri, a prominent terrorist figure recently associated with Al Queda and al-Jihad, issued a bounty against Dr. Nasr Abu Zaid, a respected Islamic scholar at Cairo University. What was Zaid's offense? Arguing that IslaM&Apos;s holy texts should be interpreted in the historical and linguistic context of their time, and that new interpretations should account for social change. His controversial claim that the Qur'an be interpreted metaphorically rather than literally further enraged fundamentalists. Labeled an apostate by the Cairo court of appeals, his life was threatened and he was forced to flee to the Netherlands with his wife. A professor of Arabic and Islamic studies at Leiden University in his adopted country, this progressive Islamic scholar insists that change is still possible and that new understandings of Islam can be accepted and advanced. Forgoing claims that Islam is a violent religion, Zaid shows us that, above all, justice and obedience lies at the heart of the Qur'an. At the outset of this book, we find Zaid growing up in Quhafa, a village in northern Egypt. Islam gives meaning and definition to his life. As he matures, we see him sorting through Egypt's various political developments and upheavals. Zaid carefully weaves such developments into the events of his own lifehis father's death, raising his younger siblings, attending Cairo University, his study abroad, his marriages, the events leading to his exile, and his visit to Egypt after a seven-year absence. Through it all, we see him advancing in his academic career and applying new skills to his study and interpretation of the Qur'an. He wrestles with subjects such as polygamy, wife beating, inheritance, and the practice of usury in Islamic cultures. He asserts and illustrates that Islam must be separate from the State in order to protect the religion from political manipulation. Zaid's personal story and academic pursuits, reflecting the social reality of the broader culture, offer new perspectives on Islam and provide hope to Muslims who feel their religion has been misrepresented and misunderstood.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
Exiledp. 1
My Early Yearsp. 17
Badriyya, Karima, Ayat, and Shereenp. 37
A Reluctant Scholarp. 49
Here I Standp. 63
My American Adventurep. 85
Going Japanesep. 103
Ebtehalp. 119
My Teaching Journeyp. 135
A Decent Returnp. 153
The Nexus of Theory and Practicep. 165
Looking Aheadp. 181
The Way Forwardp. 199
Appendixp. 209
Notesp. 213
Indexp. 217
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.

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