Mohammed Arkoun completed his primary studies in Taourirt-Mimoun, his secondary studies in Oran and pursued higher education at the Faculty of Philology at the University of Algiers and at the Sorbonne in Paris . Thereafter he was professor at the Faculty of Philology of Strasbourg University (1956-1959); at Lycée Voltaire, Paris (1959-1961); Assistant-Professor at Sorbonne University (1961-1969); Associate Professor at Lyon II University (1969-1972); Professor at Paris VIII University, Paris III University and at Sorbonne Nouvelle University (1972-1992). He has also been a visiting professor at U.C.L.A., Los Angeles (1969); Louvain-La-Neuve University, Belgium (1977-1979); Pontifical Institute of Arabic Studies in Rome, Princeton University (1985), Temple University, Philadelphia (1988-90) and the University of Amsterdam (1991-1993). He has acted as Fellow at Wissenschaftkolleg in Berlin (1986-87 and 1990) and Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Princeton, USA (1992-93) and has lectured all over the world.
At a time when Islam is the focus of attention, vilified by some and a source of inspiration for others, Arkoun’s is one of few voices that seeks to go against the stream. His radical review of mainstream historiography of Islam draws on interdisciplinary analysis – historical, social, psychological and anthropological. One of the foremost thinkers of the Muslim world, Arkoun is in a position to question dogmatic constructs from within, with respect and critical acumen. An understanding of this approach can lead to an emancipatory turn in the intellectual and political spheres of Muslim societies.
ISLAM: TO REFORM OR TO SUBVERT?