Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011, 7 PM

Amr Bargisi

Director of Programs, Egyptian Union of Liberal Youth, Cairo; Albert Einstein-Fellow, Caputh

Is an Islamic Haskalah Possible? Natural Right in Communities Dominated by Religion

Gesprächsleitung: Prof. Dr. Christoph Schulte, Potsdam

At the core of Islamism lies a concept of law alien to modern Westerners: the placement of all human existence under one binding relationship, that of servitude to God. Islamist law transcends Western distinctions between private and public, individual and society, church and state, even reason and revelation. This law is not merely divine commandment; it is a comprehensive prescription of how the world, in all possible senses, should be. The more the law is obeyed and enforced, the smaller the gap between is and ought becomes. In an effort to close the gap once and for all, Islamism pursues a totalizing mission.
The current spread of Islamism – fostered, ironically, by Western-style electoral democracy – poses serious questions about what we take for granted as modern subjects. As we grapple with the ramifications of Islamist law, we have to return to the concept of natural right as the basis for both morality and politics. At stake is an answer to what Leo Strauss called the theologico-political problem — the conflict between Athens and Jerusalem, between political philosophy and political theology.

Amr Bargisi studierte Philosophie an der Ain-Shams-Universität in Kairo und ging anschließend mit einem Doktorandenstipendium an die Universität Chicago. Er lebt in Kairo und ist als Programmleiter der Ägyptischen Union der Liberalen Jugend politisch aktiv. Derzeit ist er Albert Einstein-Fellow des Einstein Forums und der Daimler und Benz Stiftung.

Christoph Schulte ist Professor für Philosophie und Jüdische Studien an der Universität Potsdam. Veröffentlichungen u.a.: Die jüdische Aufklärung (2002) sowie Psychopathologie des Fin de siècle (1997).

The event will be held in English

Eine Gemeinschaftsveranstaltung mit der Daimler und Benz Stiftung, Ladenburg