Majid Mgamis, D.Phil, Guest Researcher, Department of Languages, Linnaeus University
Institutionen för språk och litteraturer
The talk will explore the controversial 2008 novel, Azazeel, by the famous contemporary Egyptian novelist, Yousef Zeidan, with view at highlighting its critique of Christian history.
As a novelist and a thinker, Zeidan has always been known as a controversial figure whose oeuvre expounds hidden terrains in Abrahamic religions. Azazeel, a winner of the International Prize for Arabic fiction in 2009, is no exception. Set in the fifth-century AD, the novel traces the travel of the narrator, an Egyptian monk, from Nag Hammadi (Egypt) to Aleppo (Syria). The narrator’s voyage illuminates significant controversial issues in Christian history so much so that the novel has lead the Coptic orthodox church in Egypt to accuse the author of defaming Christianity.
The talk will dwell on this controversy highlighting elements of religious critique prevalent in the text, and connecting it to Ziedan’s overhaul critique of the three Abrahamic religions, which are, for him, one religion in three different manifestations.