Hassan Hanafi, an Islamic Revolutionary

Friday, May 3, 2019 - 15:00 to 17:00
Iontas Seminar Room 1.33

Hassan Hanafi Hasanein (born 1935, Cairo) enthusiastically adhered to the Nasserist movement that followed the overthrow of the Egyptian monarchy in 1952 but he was equally committed to the Muslim Brotherhood he belonged to, and he soon he experienced an inner conflict between the two options. In 1956 he graduated in Philosophy from Cairo University and moved to Paris, where he received the Doctorat d’État in 1966. Hassan Hanafi went back to Egypt and began a career as a university professor. His academic life has not been free of troubles, partly because of his ways of teaching, encouraging students to discussion. He has taught at many universities in the Islamic world, and in Europe and the USA, and he has been a very productive philosopher (over 70 books, most of them comprising several volumes).
Islamic science is initially divided into the fundamentals of religion (dogmatics) and those of jurisprudence (fiqh). Hassan Hanafi dedicated his Doctorat d’État to the methods used in the Islamic science of jurisprudence and he made a hermeneutical interpretation of them within the phenomenological school. This work was published  as Les méthodes d’exégèse. Essai sur la science des fondements et de la compréhension in Cairo, 1965; Hanafi has recently composed another book which updates his understanding, the Exegesis of Phenomenology, (in Arabic, Cairo 2013).
The first field of Islamic science concerns the fundamentals of the Islamic faith. Hassan Hanafi wrote 5 volumes for a work titled From Dogma to Revolution (in Arabic, Cairo, 1988). In 1995 he published Islam in the Modern World (in English, 2 vols.) where we find a section called “Hermeneutics, liberation, and revolution” and he himself indicates that this is a summary of the aforementioned From Dogma to Revolution. Our seminar will deal with this section and will be preceded by a presentation of Hanafi’s life and works.