Renewal and Heritage : The Quest for Authenticity in Hasan Hanafi's Islamic Ideology
Sammanfattning: This study presents and analyses a contemporary interpretation of Islam by the Egyptian thinker Hasan Hanafi. His ideas are analysed in a perspective of the history of ideas where both Islamic and Western influences are taken into consideration. A special focus is placed on the ideological dimension with the quest for authenticity as a theoretical basis. I elaborate on the idea that his thought is founded on a wish to be comprehended as genuine. Important questions are how for example heritage, modernism, reason, revelation, and authenticity are understood, how a Muslim identity in the contemporary globalised world is preserved and how he claims that Muslims can act in accordance with revelation and at the same time use reason to a large extent. The aim is to make the connection between ideology and theology explicit. I discuss Hanafi’s political ideas and socialist interpretation of Islam, the development of Islam as a theology of liberation and as foundation for universal ethics. His ideas on Occidentalism, Orientalism and what is accommodated from the Western World are analysed. Strategies for claiming continuity with the heritage and authenticating renewal is analysed throughout. I find it essential not only to reproduce what insiders may have to say about their religion. This study stresses the importance of contextualisation and self-reflexivity on behalf of outsiders. However, it must be complemented with contextualisation of insiders. This study illustrates that religion is historical, it is a process of change and it is negotiated and interpreted by people with differing views that may or may not be agreed upon by insiders. In accordance with this view, I suggest that questions concerning identity, power and self are in Hanafī’s focus. However, Islam is indispensable for renewal since continuity with the Islamic heritage is important for authenticating his thought.
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