Nasr Hamid Abu-Zaid
Professor of Islamic Studies and Politics, University of Leiden
Nasr Hamid Abu-Zaid is a Professor of Islamic Studies and Politics at the University o Leiden in Amsterdamn. and is the Ibn Rushd Chair holder for Islam and Humanism at the University of Humanistic Studies of Utrecht. He specializes in humanistic hermeneutics. Abu Zaid studied literature and wrote his doctoral thesis on Ibn al-Arabi, an Islamic theologian and mystic. He later came to criticize the spiritual monopoly of Islamic orthodoxy, arguing that it blocked rationalism and that it distorted the essential message of the Qura.n. Abu Zaid was an Assistant Lecturer of Arabic Language in Cairo University, taught Arabic at the Center for Diplomats and at the Ministry of Education, and was a Resource person for the ISIM project .Rights at Home.. He was a Fellow of the Ebelin and Gerd Bucerius ZEIT Foundation in November 2003, April and June 2004. Abu Zaid is the author of the following books published in Arabic: Rationalism in Exegesis: A Study of the Problem of Metaphor in the Writing of the Mutazilites; The Philosophy of Hermeneutics: A Study of Ibn `Arabi.'s Hermeneutics of the Qur'an; The Systems of Signs: An Introduction to Semiotics; The Concept of the Text: A Study of the Qur.anic Sciences; The Problematic of Reading and the Method Of Interpretation; The Foundation of the Moderate Ideology in Islamic Thought by Al-Shafi`i.; Critique of Islamic Discourse; Circles of Fear: Analysis of the Discourse about Women; and Thus Spoke Ibn `Arabi. Abu Zaid is also the author of the following books published in English: Voice of Exile and Rethinking the Qur`an: Towards Humanistic Hermeneutics.