Edward Said, Religion, and the Study of Islam: An Anglican view


  • Yazid Said Dublin City University




Islamic Studies, orientalism, Edward Said


This article examines the important, but controversial, analysis of Western readings of Islam by Edward Said in his Orientalism and other works. The thesis supports Said’s claim that a Western historical reading of Islam has a context and a framework of its own; but, it argues that Said falls into similar traps to those he critiques in the way he reasons away the significance of ‘religion’ in his investigation. This failure opens up for a different methodology of relating to Islamic religious texts and the study of Islam generally, using insights from Rowan Williams’s Why Study the Past?. While Said as well as certain Orientalists share scepticism about ‘religion’, this article points to the significance of theological and moral considerations in approaching religious texts.

Author Biography

Yazid Said, Dublin City University

Yazid Said is lecturer in Islamic Studies at the Mater Dei Institute, a College of Dublin City University. He completed his PhD at Corpus Christi College in the University of Cambridge in 2010 on the political and legal thought of Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d. 1111). He lectures on subjects related to the study of al- Ghazali (d. 1111), Islamic studies and ethics, political theology, and contemporary issues relating to Israel and Palestine. He is an afliated member of Faculty at McGill University in Montreal and spent a year as a scholar in residence at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem. A Palestinian-born Israeli citizen, ordained as an Anglican priest, he has served in the diocese of Jerusalem, Cambridge, Vancouver, and Montreal.



How to Cite

Said, Y. (2013). Edward Said, Religion, and the Study of Islam: An Anglican view. Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, 26(2), 123–138. https://doi.org/10.1558/arsr.v26i2.123