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The Arabic FreudPsychoanalysis and Islam in Modern Egypt$
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Omnia El Shakry

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691174792

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691174792.001.0001

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The Self and the Soul

The Self and the Soul

(p.42) Chapter Two The Self and the Soul
The Arabic Freud

Omnia El Shakry

Princeton University Press

This chapter reconstructs a historical interlude between Sufism and psychoanalytic psychology in postwar Egypt. It considers how we might think through the relationship between psychoanalysis and the Islamic tradition, while respecting the “ontological stakes” of the latter, namely, the belief in divine transcendence and divine discourse. The chapter addresses this question through a detailed exploration of the writings of Abu al-Wafa al-Ghunaymi al-Taftazani and his mentor Muhammad Mustafa Hilmi, both prominent Egyptian intellectuals who expounded Sufi ideas for a broader reading public, beginning in the 1940s. Situating these figures within the larger intellectual and religious context of mid-twentieth-century Egypt, this chapter explores the elective affinities between Sufism and certain strands of psychoanalysis in terms of a dialogical relationship between the self and the Other, as mediated by the unconscious.

Keywords:   Sufism, psychoanalytic psychology, Abu al-Wafa al-Ghunaymi al-Taftazani, Muhammad Mustafa Hilmi, divine transcendence, divine discourse, postwar Egypt, psychoanalysis, Islamic tradition

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