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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: 19 September 2021

The Secular Scripture

The Secular Scripture

(p.77) 3 The Secular Scripture
Religion in the Egyptian Novel

Christina Phillips

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter continues to explore the interdependence and co-imbrication of the religious and secular, focusing now on mature Egyptian novels from the mid twentieth century. It explores Mahfuz’s famous trilogy (1956-7) and al-Sharqawi’s Al-Ard (1954) and Muhammad Rasul al-Hurriyya (1962) as different culminations of the secularisation process implied by nation formation, and the conflict and tension inherent therein, examining methods of religious displacement and othering, strategies of demystification, lines of religious critique, symbolic trajectories, as well as spiritual yearning, apologetics and theological conundrums as they appear in these works. The evidence is that, into maturity, as the secular aesthetic in the Egyptian novel stabilises, religious themes endure and religion remains a contested site.

Keywords:   Najib Mahfuz, ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sharqawi, Egyptian novel, Secularisation, Religious criticism

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