Hela Ouardi casts a critical eye on the origins of Islam in her online lecture and accompanying text.
In her lecture titled Rendre l'Islam à l'Histoire [Rendering Islam to History] Hela Ouardi talks about her historical research. In the accompanying textL’islam à l’épreuve de son Histoire[Islam, facing its history], she analyzes the historical genesis, more specifically the founding period of Islam. A turbulent political period that is clearly less rosy than many Muslims portray it. According to Ouardi, the creation of the caliphate during this period marks the birth of political Islam, the consequences of which can be felt until this day.
The lecture and accompanying text are available on the websites of Crosstalks and Moussem. The lecture of Hela Ouardi is in French, but subtitled in Dutch and English. The text is available in French, Dutch and English.
Part of Critical Thinking within Islam, a series of talks presented by VUB Crosstalks and Moussem. Contrary to common perception, Islam has been nurtured and questioned throughout history by philosophers and dissidents, and to this day lives a fascinating culture of debate that is at odds with the delusion of a 'pure', unchanging religion. The series will feature a range of great thinkers whose lectures and essays offer remarkable insights into a rich philosophical and intellectual tradition.
Photo overview: Hela Ouardi
Hela Ouardi teaches French literature and civilization at the university of Tunis - Faculty of Letters and Humanities. She is also an associate member of the Laboratoire d'Études sur les Monothéismes at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique in Paris. Her recent work focuses on the early period of Islam, and is based on broad historical research of the sources of the Sunni and Shiite Muslim traditions. She is the author of Les derniers jours de Muhammad [The Last Days of Muhammad] (Albin Michel, 2016). Currently, her research focuses on the reign of the first four caliphs of Islam (known among Muslims as the "caliphs who walk the straight path and follow the truth"). She is devoting a series of four historical stories to it, entitled Les Califes maudits [The Cursed Caliphs], the first two volumes of which La Déchirure [The Rift]and A l'ombre des sabres [In the Shadow of the Swords] were published in 2019 (Albin Michel).
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