Islamic Liberation Theology. Reflection between Gustavo Gutierrez, Farid Esack and Hamid Dabashi.

Marco Demichelis

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In the published text by Ḥamīd Dabāšī, Islamic liberation theology, there is no mention within it of the essay by Farīd Esack, Qurʾān, liberation and pluralism, published in 1997, and after reading both introductions. Perhaps it will be helpful to better recognize the relationship between these two authors, and those who have gone before them (Ašgar ʿAlī Engineer and Šabbir Aḫtar), concerning Islamic Liberation Theology and Theodicy, not only in connection to their thinking and methodological approach, which emerges as being very different, but with respect to the historical events that are affecting the Islamic Middle East in recent years. The hermeneutic and theological approach of F. Esack, the South African citizen, contrasts markedly with the political Šīʿah terminology and methodology, used by Ḥ. Dabāšī, who is a US citizen of Iranian origin. However, their use of similar sources, including such Christian liberation theology authors as Gustavo Gutierrez, allows them to promote a study which is capable of reinterpreting contemporary Islamic theodicy against the background of the recent Middle East uprisings. The analysis to which I am particular attracted concerns the relationship between two reinterpretations of the takfīr concept and the plural identification of the Arab-Islamic holy prophecy, described as advocating religious pluralism. The deconstruction, leading from a purely theological analysis of the takfīr and the interpretation of a plural Islam, is not openly tolerant, but is able to consider a more shared concept of Truth, and could be politically contemplated by a faith approach which remains Islamic-oriented whilst not being culturally tied to the Western world. The balance of political Islam through a faith still acknowledging the transcendent and acting as the backer of human freedom continues to be sought by theorists but is not appreciated by the most uncompromising Muslims believers.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)125-147
Numero di pagine23
RivistaOriente Moderno
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2014


  • Islamic Studies
  • Islamic Thought


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