Born in Syria (1934 – 22 December, 2016) Sadik al-Azm was one of the foremost Arab intellectuals of recent decades. Since this book’s original publication in Arabic, al-Azm was to know both eminence and persecution. He was tried in Lebanon for his assault on Islamic religious dogma, and was dismissed from his position at the American University of Beirut. Many of his works are still banned in the Arab world. He was Professor Emeritus of Modern European Philosophy until 20087 at the University of Damascus and was awarded the Erasmus Prize in 2004.