Dutch philosopher Michiel Leezenberg demonstrates the tradition of religious criticism and philosophical freethinking in classical Islam.
In his lectureInleiding tot de filosofische traditie binnen de islam [Introduction to the Philosophical Tradition in Islam], Leezenberg refutes the cliché that Islam has no Enlightenment tradition, and zooms in on two important thinkers from the classical period: Al-Farabi and Abu Bakr al-Razi. In the accompanying text Vrijdenken binnen de islam [Free-thinking within Islam] he talks about classical Islamic civilization, and sheds light on the work of certain philosophers and free-thinkers from that period. Their relevance today, including in the general debate on Islam, is also discussed.
The lecture and text will be available on the websites of Crosstalks and Moussem. The lecture of Michiel Leezenberg is in Dutch, but subtitled in French and English. The text will be 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 page: Michiel Leezenberg
Michiel Leezenberg works in the philosophy and classical languages departments of the University of Amsterdam. He studied philosophy, classical languages and general linguistics in Amsterdam, after which he made several longer study and research trips to the Middle East. He has taught as a visiting professor in, among others, Paris, Krakow, Ghent, Leiden and Erbil (Iraq). In 2001 he published Islamitische filosofie: Een geschiedenis [Islamic philosophy: a History], that was awarded the Socrates challenge cup for the best Dutch-language book on philosophy. In 2017 his De minaret van Bagdad: Seks en politiek en de islam [The Baghdad Minaret: Sex and Politics and Islam] appeared. He also regularly publishes scientific articles on the history and philosophy of the humanities, and on the intellectual history of the Islamic world, in particular on Kurdish culture and literature.
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