Logo Utrecht University

CfH Lectures


In this lecture professor Abu Zayd addresses the issues of rationalism, religiosity and spirituality: a call for open conversation. The text he suggests is the philosophical allegory Hayy Ibn Yaqzan written by the twelfth-century Andalusian philosopher Ibn Tufayl; it is available in many English translations and there is a recent Dutch translation (Boulaq, Amsterdam) by Remke Kruk. Professor Abu Zayd takes the narrative as an example of the possibility to address the issue in our present context, especially in the Dutch context, without taking into account the classical dilemma of keeping the “ordinary,” the “masses” or the “uneducated” out of the debate. As narrative, the story signifies more than what it intends to tell.

This lecture was given within the framework of the academic year-long lecture series on postsecularism, a collaboration of BAK and the Faculty of Humanities at Utrecht University, marking part of the research trajectory of Concerning the Post-Secular, a long-term, multifaceted project at BAK. The lecture series aims at investigating the “post-secular” as a central aspect of our current historical condition and the mutual engagements of secularism and religious discourses especially in contemporary Europe. It maps the intersections of the “post-secular” with social and political theory as well as cultural and artistic practices and movements with special emphasis on issues of political theory, Islam in Europe, ethics, human rights, feminist practices, contemporary art, and the European tradition of liberal humanism.