The 2011 Egyptian revolution chants:a romantic-mutazil moral order

Ghanem, Hiba (2018) The 2011 Egyptian revolution chants:a romantic-mutazil moral order. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 45 (3). pp. 430-442. ISSN 1469-3542

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While most literature on the 2011 Egyptian Revolution chants highlights the revolutionary role of poetry, little attention has been paid to the role that theology plays within this domain. This article argues that reading Abu al-Qassim al-Shabbi’s poem, ‘Life’s Will’ (1933), which inspired the chant for the fall of the regime, through the lens of Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age (2007) sheds light on the political relevance of the theological theme within this poem. The essay re-reads al-Shabbi’s investment in the Islamic muʿtāzilī doctrine of free will in terms of the creative role that Taylor gives to romantic poetry in creating a community’s ‘moral order’. Such an analysis brings to light the contribution that a comparative theological-literary framework can have to the political deliberation on the Arab Spring revolutions, especially the 2011 Egyptian Revolution.

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British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
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11 Jan 2017 13:18
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 04:14