A leading thinker in the Arab world also recognized as a courageous defender of human rights, free speech, and intellectual freedom. Professor Emeritus of Modern European Philosophy at Damascus University, he is a worldwide respected scholar and political commentator who has offered innovative, often controversial challenges to conventional narratives on issues surrounding Islam and the West, secularism, Orientalism, and the Israel-Palestine issue. He received a B.A. in Philosophy from AUB, and earned a M.A. and a PhD from Yale University majoring in Modern European Philosophy. In addition to Damascus University and AUB, he has taught at Harvard, Princeton, and the University of Hamburg. He received international recognition for his work, notably the Leopold-Lucas prize from the University of Tübingen, Germany, the Erasmus Prize in 2004, and in 2005 was awarded Dr. Honoris Causa by Hamburg University. Author of numerous books, both philosophical and political, including in Arabic al-Naqd al-Thati Ba’d al-Hazima, (Self-Criticism after the Defeat) (1968 ); Naqd al-Fikr al-Dini, (Critique of Religious Thought) (1969); al-Istishraq wal-Istishraq al-Mudadd (Orientalism and Orientalism in Reverse) (1981); and Thihniyat al-Tahrim (The Taboo Mentality) (1997), and in English Kant’s Theory of Time (1967) and The Origins of Kant’s Arguments in the Antinomies (1972). His books have been translated to English, German, Dutch, Norwegian and Italian.
Prof. Sadek Jalal al-Azm in the Media:
Prof. Sadek Jalal Al-Azm talking about the question of secularism and Islam at a talk organised by the Ibn Rushd Fund for Freedom of Thought Berlin and the Forum Arabischer Kultur in Berlin e.V., March 8, 2012.