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Islamic History in Retrospective with Dr. Zahiye Kundos (EUME Forum Transregional Studies Fellow 2020/2021)

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Date(s) - 06/15/2021
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

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During 1884 Jamāl al-Dīn al-Afghānī (d. 1897) and Muḥammad ʿAbduh (d. 1905), two of the pioneering thinkers of modern Islam, met in Paris and co-edited the transregional anti-colonial journal al-ʿUrwa al-wuthqā la ʿinfișām lahā (“The most unfailing hold which shall never give way”). Literal reconstruction of this political-theological text provides an opportunity to shed light on the dramatic times of the 1880s. A time in which the authors strove to redefine the civilizational characteristics of Islam to combat colonialism, refute the Enlightenment prejudices against Eastern peoples in general and Muslims in particular, and to plant the seeds for a second rise of the Islamic civilization. The authors’ critique of modernity was aided by their rereading of Ibn Khaldūn’s formative book alMuqaddimah. “History in retrospective” wishes to voice some of the neoclassical formulations registered in the journal, which tell a different story of the history of Islam and its possible futures.

 

About the speaker

Zahiye Kundos is a literary scholar and cultural critic. Her academic project aims to pave a path for a new encounter that can allow theologians and literature scholars in general and within the Muslim and Arab world in particular, to engage in conversation and recognize their shared histories, social needs and political duties. Zahiye is a fellow at Forum Transregionale Studien (EUME) 2020-2021. Her PhD dissertation ‘The Firm Indissoluble Bond:’ al-Afghānī and ʿAbduh on Modernist Islam as Critique of Modernity” (2018, Tel Aviv University) is currently under revision.

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