Gurgī Zaidān: his life and thought

Thomas Philipp

1979. 249 pp. english text.

In this biography, Thomas Phillip reconstructs Gurgī Zaidān’s life and intellectual development. Zaidān was an Arab Christian in Greater Syria in the late 19th century. Influenced by the cultural and literary renaissance in Egypt and the Levante, Zaidān was an historical novelist, journalist, publisher, and founder of the journal al-Hilāl.

Zaidān’s biography is embedded in the cultural history of the Middle East and the increasing debates in the Syrian Protestant College between the advocates of Darwinist evolution theory and those of orthodox doctrines. The second part of the volume provides a translation of Zaidān’s autobiography from 1860 till 1883.


Prof. Thomas Phillips held the chair for Political Studies and contemporary history of the Middle East at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität in Erlangen. He wrote his dissertation about Gurgī Zaidāns life and influence on Modern Arab thought.

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