Curriculum Vita of Prof. Dr. Nasr H. Abű Zayd


Birth: 10-7-1943, Tantâ, Egypt.




1972: BA in Arabic Studies with Highest Honors from the Department of Arabic Language and Literature, Faculty of Arts, Cairo University.

1977: MA in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the Department of Arabic Language and Literature, Faculty of Arts, Cairo University, with Highest Honors.

1981: Ph.D. in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the Department of Arabic Language and Literature, Faculty of Arts, Cairo University, with Highest Honors.




1972-1982: Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Arabic Language and Literature, Faculty of Arts, Cairo University.

1976-1978: Taught Arabic for foreigners (in addition to the teaching responsibilities at Cairo University) at the Center for Diplomats and at the Ministry of Education.

1982: Assistant Professor in the Same Department.

1987: Associate Professor for the Same Department at Cairo University.

1995: Professor in the same department.

1995- Visiting professor of Islamic Studies at Leiden University

2001-2004: Resource Person of ISIM project "Rights at Home"

2002- Ibn Rushd (Averroes)' Chair of 'Islam and Humanism' at the University of Humanistics, Utrecht




1975-1977: Ford Foundation Fellowship at the American University in Cairo.

1978-1979: Ford Foundation Fellowship at the Center for Middle East Studies of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia USA.

1982: Obtained the `Abdel-`Azîz al-Ahwânî Prize for Humanities.

1985-1989: Visiting Professor, Osaka University of Foreign Studies Japan.

1993: the President of Tunisia conferred The Republican Order of Merit for services to Arab culture in May.

1994- Member of the Advisory Board for the "Encyclopaedia of the Qur’an"

1995-: Visiting Professor at Leiden University, The Netherlands.

1998: The Jordanian Writers Association Award for Democracy and Freedom.

2000-2001: The Cleveringa Honorary Chair in Law, Responsibility, Freedom of Religion and Conscience, Leiden University.

2002:  The Roosevelt Institute Medal for Freedom of Worship

2002-2003: Fellow at the Wissenschaften College in Berlin.




I-Books: (in Arabic)


1. Rationalism in Exegesis: A Study of the Problem of Metaphor in the Writing of the Mutazilites (Al-Ittijâh Al-`Aqlî fi al-Tafsîr: Dirâsa fî Qadiyat al-Majâz fi ‘l-Qur’ân ind al-Mu`tazila), Beirut and Casablanca 1982, 4th edition 1998.

2. The Philosophy of Hermeneutics: A Study of Ibn `Arabî's Hermeneutics of the Qur'an (Falsafat al-Ta'wîl: Dirâsa fi Ta’wî al-Qur’ân ind Muhyî al-Dîn ibn `Arabî), Beirut and Casablanca 1983, 4th edition, 1998.

3. The Systems of Signs: An Introduction to Semiotics (`Ilm al-`Alâmât), co-editor, Cairo 1986.

4. The Concept of the Text: A Study of the Qur’anic Sciences (Mafhűm al-Nass: Dirâsa fî 'Ulűm al-Qur'ân), Beirut and Cairo 1991, 5th edition 1998.

5. The Problematic of Reading and the Method Of Interpretation (Ishkâliyât al-Qirâ'a wa  Aliyyât al-Ta'wîl), Beirut and Casablanca 1995, 5th edition 1999. 

6. The Foundation of the Moderate Ideology in Islamic Thought by Al-Shafi`î  (Al-Imâm al-Sh fi`î  wa Ta'sîs al-Aydiyulujiyya  al-Wasatiyya), Cairo, 3ed edition 1998.

7. Critique of Islamic Discourse (Naqd al-Khitâb al-Dînî ), Cairo, 4th edition 1998.

8. Women in the Crisis Discourse (Al-Mar'a fî Khitbâ al-Azma), Cairo 1995.

9. Thinking in the Time of Excommunication (Al-Tafkîr fî Zaman al-Takfîr), Cairo, 3ed edition 1998.

10. Caliphate and the Authority of the People (Al-Khilâfa wa Sultat al-Umma), Cairo, 1995.

11. Text, Authority and the Truth, (Al-Nass, al-Sulta, al-Haqîqa), Beirut and Casablanca 1995, second edition 1997.

12. Circles of Fear: Analysis of the Discourse about Women (Dawâ'ir al-Khawf: Qirâ'a fi khitâb al-Mar'a,) Beirut and Casablanca 1999.

13. Discourse and Hermeneutics (Al-Khitâb wa al-Ta'wîl), Beirut and Casablanca 2000.

14. Thus Spoke Ibn `Arabi (Hakadhâ Takallama Ibn `Arabî,) The Egyptian National Organization for Books, Cairo 2002.


11-Books in English:


-Voice of an Exile, (coauthor: Esther R. Nelson), Praeger Publisher, Greenwood Publishing Group Inc. USA, 2004.


II1-Articles (in English):


1. "Al-Ghazalis Theory of Interpretation", Journal of Osaka University of Foreign Studies, Japan, 72, 1986, pp. 1-24.

2. “The Perfect Man in the Qur’an: textual analysis”, Journal of Osaka University of foreign Studies, Japan, no. 73, 1988, pp. 111-133.

3. "The Case of Abu-Zaid", Index on Censorship, London, 4, 1996, pp. 30-39.

4. "Linguistic Exposition of God in the Qur'an" in Fundamentalismus                             der Moderne, Christen und Muslime im Dialog,                                              Evangelische Akademie, Loccum, Germany, 75/94, 1996, pp. 97-110.

5. "The Textuality of The Koran" in Islam and Europe in Past and Present, NIAS (Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in The Humanities and Social Sciences), 1997, pp. 43 - 52.

6. Divine Attributes in the Qur'an: Some poetic aspects in Islam and Modernity, edited by John Cooper, Ronald Nettler and Mohammed Mahmoud, I.B.Tauris, London, 1998, pp. 120-211.

7. “Inquisition Trial in Egypt”, in Human Rights in Islam 15, RIMO, Maasstricht 1998, pp. 47-55.

8. Islam, Muslims and Democracy, in Religion und Politik, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, intere Studie Nr. 151/1998, pp. 103-12.

9. “Literature and Heresy–Literature and Justice: The Critical Potential of Enlightened religion” in Literatur, Menschenrechte in Islamischen Gesellschaften und Staaten, Evangelische Akademie Loccum 22/96, 1998, pp. 18-32.

10."The Concept of Human Rights, the Process of Modernization and the Politics of Western Domination", in Politik amd Gesellshaft: International Politics and Society, Herausgegeben von der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, 4/1998, pp. 434-437.

11. “The Modernization of Islam or the Islamization of Modernity”, in Cosmopolitanism, identity and Authenticity in the Middle East, ed. Roel Meijer, Curzon Press, England 1999,pp 71-86. 

12. "Islamic Cosmology and Qur'anic Exegesis", in Religion Wandel der Kosmologien, edited by Dieter Zeller, Sonderdruk 1999, pp. 217-230.

13.The Image of Europe in Modern Egyptian Narrative, in Colonizer and Colonized, Eds. Theo D'haen and Particia Krüs, Rodopi, Amsterdam-Atlanta 2000, vol. 2, pp. 627-643.

14. "The Qur’anic Concept of Justice”, Polylog, forum for Intercultural Philosophizing', No. 3 (June 2001): Website address:

15. The Qur’an: God and Man in Communication, inaugural lecture for the Cleveringa Chair at Leiden University (November 27th, 2000)

16. “Heaven, Which way?” Al-Ahram Weekly, issue No. 603.

17. The Dilemma of the Literary Approach to the Qur'an, ALIF, Journal of Comparative Poetics, the American University Cairo (AUC), No. 23, Literature and the Sacred, 2003, pp. 8-47.

Entries in the Encyclopaedia of the Qur’ân:

18-Spricht Gott Nur Arabisch? (Does God Speak Arabic?), in Michael Thumann (ed), Der Islam und der Westen, Berliner Taschenbuch Verlag, Berlin 2003, pp. 117-126.

19-Entries in the Encyclopaedia of the Qur’ân, Brill, Leiden-Boston-Koln:

1-Arrogance, Vol. I (2001), pp. 158-161.

2-Everyday Life: Qur’an In, Vol. II (2002), pp. 80-97.

3-Illness and Health, Vol. II (2002), pp. 501-502.

4-Intention, Vol. II (2002), pp. 549-551.

5-Opression, Vol 111 (2003), pp. 583-584.


111. Book Reviews:


1. "Beyond The Written Words: Oral Aspects of Scripture in the History of Religion" by William A. Graham, Die Welt des Islam, E.J. Brill, Leiden, 1995, 35, 1, pp. 150-152.

2. Muslim, Jews and Pagans: Studies on Early Islamic Medina, by Micheal Lecker, Bibliotheca Orientalis LV No. 1 / 2, January-April 1998, Column 275-8.

3. "Paradise Lost, Reflections on the Struggle for Authenticity in the Middle East” by C.A.O. can Nieuwenhuijze, Bibliotheca Orientalis LVI No. 3/4, May-August 1999, Column 510-513.

4. "Image of the Prophet Muhammad in the West, A Study of Muir, Margoliouth and Watt", by Jabal Muhammad Bauban, Bibliotheca Orientalis LVI No.  3/4, May-August 1999, Column 518-522.

5. “Reforming the Muslim World”, by M.A.Shoudhury, Biblitheca Orientalis, LV11 No.1/2, January-April 2000 column 221-224.

6. " Islamic Banking and Interest: a study of the Prohibition of Riba and its Contemporary Interpretation" by Abdullad Saeed, Biblitheca Orientalis, LV11 No. 5/6, September-December 2000 coulmn 736-739.


111 – Translations:




-Politik und Islam: Kritik des Religiösen Diskurses, translated by Cherifa Magdi, Dipa-Verlag, Frankfurt, 1996.

-Ein Leben mit dem Islam (Life with Islam) autobiography edited by Navid Kermani, translated by Sharifa Magdi, Herder 1999.



-"Islam und Menschenrechte” (Islam and Human Rights)", Kas . Auslands-Informationen, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, 5, 1996, pp. 51-59.

-Die Frauenfrage zwischen Fundamentalismus und Aufklärung by Salima Salih, in Islam-Demkratie-Moderne, Aktuelle Antworten arabicher Denker, Verlag C.H. Beck, München, 1998, pp. 193-210.


2- Dutch:

 -Vernieuwing in het islamitisch denken, translated by Fred and Rob Leemhuis,                                   Uitgeverij BULAAQ, Amsterdam, 1996.

-“Islam en democratie: convergenties of divergenties?” in Dehamel Opaarde? De gelovige burger in multiculturele democratie, Davidfonds Leuven 1998, pp.114-128.

-Mijn Leven met de islam, Becht. Haarlem, 2002



-“The Sectarian and the Renaissance Discourse”, translated and introduced by Mona Mikhail, ALIF, Journal of Comparative Poetics, The American University of Cairo, no 19, 1999, pp. 203-222.


4- French:

-Le Discourse Religieux Contemporain: Mécanismes et Fondements Intellectuels, translated by Nachwa al-Azhari, Edwige Lambert and Iman Farag, In: CEDEJ - Egypte / Monde Arabe, No.3, 3e trimestre, 1990 , pp. 73-120.

-Critique du Discours Religieux, translated by Mohamed Chairet, Sindbad Actes Sud, 1999.


5- Indonesian:

-Imam Syafi`i: Moderatisme - Eklektisime - Arabisme, translated by Khoiron Nahdliyyin, LKIS, 1997.



Islâm e Storia, Critical del discourso religioso, Bollati Boringhieri, 2002.



-“Mafhum al-Wahy”, by Muhammad Taqi Karmi, in Naqd wa Nazar, vol 3,no. 4, fall 1997, pp. 376-433.

-“Al-Tarikhiyya: al-Mafhum al-Multabis”, by Muhammad Taqi Karmi, in Naqd wa Nazar, vol 3,no. 4, fall 1997, pp. 328-375.


8- Turkish:

-"Universal Principles of Sharica: A New Reading", translated                                  from Arabic to Turkish by Mostafa Unver, Journal of Islamic                               Research, Ankara, Turkey, vol. 8, n. 2, 1995, pp. 139-143.

-“The Problem of Qur’anic Hermeneutics, from Classical to Recent Period” by Omer Ozsoy, Journal of Islamic Research, Ankara, Turkey, vol. 9, no. 1-2-3-4, 1996, pp. 24-44.

-The Foundation of The Moderate Ideology in Islamic Thought by al-Shâfi`î, translated by M. Hayri Kirbasoglu, in Sunni Paradigmanin Olusumunda, Kitabiyat, Ankara 2000, pp. 89-148.


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