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Religion in the Egyptian Novel$
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Christina Phillips

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474417068

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474417068.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

The Religious Other

The Religious Other

(p.34) 2 The Religious Other
Religion in the Egyptian Novel

Christina Phillips

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter identifies religion as a key problematic in early examples of the Arabic novel in Egypt before embarking on an in-depth discussion of the religious/secular opposition in seminal words by Haykal, Taha Husayn and Tawfiq al-Hakim. It examines how texts like Zaynab (1914), Al-Ayyam (vols 1 and 2; 1929, 1933), ‘Awdat al-Ruh (1933) and ‘Usfur min al-Sharq (1938) promote national and secular values on the level of story and character yet undermine these same values through self-contradiction and slippage, and how religious patterns remain deeply embedded in characters’ thought and behaviour even as formal religion is subjected to harsh critique on the surface of the plot and theocentrism is displaced as ideology.

Keywords:   the other, Muhammad Husayn Haykal, Taha Husayn, Tawfiq al-Hakim, Secular discourse, Egyptian nation, theocentrism

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