PD Dr. Manfred Sing
Affiliated Scholar, Collaborative Project HISDEMABRoom: 03-07, Diether-von-Isenburg-Str. 9-11, 55116 Mainz (Besucheranschrift)
Phone: +49 6131 39 39475
Fax: +49 6131 39 35326
Sing has been working at the IEG since February 2013.
Egypt became the main center of Arabic literary production and Islamic reform at the end of the nineteenth century. Various actors freely discussed the meanings of democracy, secularism, and independence as well as the significance of diverse cultural and religious identities. In the national independence movement and the political system, a secular consensus prevailed in the first half of the twentieth century. However, the 1929 Egyptian Nationality Law stipulated that only a person whose family had lived in Egypt since 1848 without interruption was an Egyptian. Thus, it discriminated against mobile Jewish, Greek, Italian, Armenian, and Syrian minorities, residing in Egypt since Ottoman times. By discussing the scope and limits of such concepts as democracy, secularism and citizenship in public debates, the research project aims to take a fresh look at the emergence of modern Egypt.
The research project of Manfred Sing investigates the ways in which Arab intellectuals and religious scholars adopted European concepts of religion in order to reject external stereotypes and, at the same time, to articulate the need for religious, social, and political reform.
This project explores the emergence of an independent Egyptian State and the institutions and practices thereof—an elaborate legal system and state medical apparatus, the election of an Egyptian parliament and promulgation of a constitution, and new understandings of citizenship and the rights and duties of the State—against the backdrop of transition from Ottoman rule, to British protectorate, through quasi-independence, toward greater autonomy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The leading research question is how modern Egypt came into being through multi-layered political, cultural, and religious negotiations of Ottoman, European, and Egyptian pasts.