The late nineteenth century saw the onset of a great religious transformation that might well be called the Muslim reformation. Among Sunnis at least, arguably the most influential figure was the Egyptian thinker Muhammad Abduh. In this podcast, we’ll follow Abduh from his rural upbringing through his youthful years of political activism and debates with Christian missionaries to his later cooperation with Egypt’s colonial rulers and the rationalist theology of his Treatise on Divine Unity. Turning finally to his legacy, we’ll ask whether his key role in this reformation makes it useful to consider him the ‘Martin Luther of Islam’? Nile Green talks to Oliver Scharbrodt, the author of Islam and the Baha’i Faith: A Comparative Study of Muhammad ‘Abduh and ‘Abdul-Baha ‘Abbas (Routledge, 2008).

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