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2017, vol. 6, iss. 1, pp. 33-53
Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd and the foundation of his hermeneutics: A critical review of the attitude that the Quran is the product of culture
Grupa za savremeno religijsko mišljenje, Centar za religijske nauke 'Kom', Beograd

emailseidhalilovic@centarkom.rs
Abstract
In the cognitive stage of religious traditions, science, in the light of the authority of religious revelation and reason, was dominant in relation to culture, which means that it was possible to determine the true value of different cultures using scientific knowledge. Nowadays, the completely opposite approach is gaining in popularity. Namely, when they discovered the fundamental weaknesses of empiristic definition of science, postmodern philosophers started more vocally saying that culture actually has a crucial influence on the method and internal science structure. Thus, science loses its cognitive independence and becomes the product of culture. In other words, each culture creates a separate scientific knowledge in accordance with its other cognitive layers and needs of the members of that culture. Among the Muslim reformist thinkers, influential Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd wrote in a most comprehensive and thorough manner about the text of the Quran undergoing the influence of culture from the time of life of t he Prophet Muhammad. He explained that the interpreter necessarily has a crucial role in forming the meaning of a text and that the meaning of the text will not be determined on its own until the hermeneutical position of the person reading and interpreting it is taken into consideration. Abu Zayd believed that the primal meaning of the Quran was conditioned by cultural and historic contexts of the time when the Quran appeared and that meaning was no longer credible. However, according to his opinion, the essence of the Quran message will be discovered using hermeneutics, when we harmonize the text with our contemporary cultural realities. With his pioneering attitude, Abu Zayd broke all ontological and metaphysical principles of mystical hermeneutics in the traditional cognitive environment of Islam. The renowned representatives of Islamic mystical heritage insisted that essential and inner meanings of the Quran text are in no way opposing its outer meaning. Using various methods, they uncovered sophisticated secrets of the Quran teachings in the heart of outer layer of the words of God and, in that manner, they ascended to the heaven of metaphysical realities of the Quran and the whole universe.
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article language: Serbian
document type: Original Scientific Paper
DOI: 10.5937/kom1701033H
published in SCIndeks: 02/10/2017
Creative Commons License 4.0