Professor Youssef Yacoubi of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures will deliver the second lecture in the 2014-2015 "Religions of the World: Past and Present" community lecture series. His lecture, like all others in the Center for the Study of Religion-sponsored series, is free and open to all. There will be a brief question-and-answer session and a reception following the lecture.
My lecture will center around answering the following set of questions: How are Arab-Muslim intellectuals developing a modern "tradition of Critique" within and for Islamic thought today? How does the Muslim intellectual stand both outside society, historical memory, and inside them? How does the Muslim intellectual find common ground between her critique of established and sacred traditions, political realities and those critiques of others from Europe, Latin America etc., leveled at their own traditions? How does the intellectual engage herself with the changing and contingent issues of culture, history, and politics while at the same time remaining true to certain principles of democratic appraisal?
On this account, I will center my lecture on an examination of the major "projects of critique" proposed by some of the leading intellectuals: Mohammed 'Adb al-Jabiri, Mohammed Arkoun, Fatima Mernissi, and others. I will discuss these significant critical contributions in light of the very present clash between philosophy and literature, religious authority and democracy, and the rise of revolution. In the final analysis, I shall argue that an interplay between Islamic reason today and others reasons must mean a new paradigm shift of conceiving Islamic thought within the current context of interdisciplinary scholarship in the humanities and social sciences.