Sadik al-Azm's Critique of Religious Thought set off one of the the great Arab intellectual uproars of the twentieth century, leading to the author's imprisonment and trial for mocking religion and inciting sectarian conflict. As in his earlier Self-Criticism after the Defeat, Al-Azm takes on the taboos of the age and their sponsors: the religious elites. In this book he attempts to awaken the Arab mind from its dogmatic slumber, leading it out of the Middle Ages and into a modern world characterized by science and rationality. Critique of Religious Thought is one of the most controversial and influential books about the role of religion in Arab politics. This is the first authorized English translation of Sadik Al-Azm's classic work, Naqd al-fikr ad-dini, originally published in Arabic in 1969. Newly translated by George Stergios and Mansour Ajami, with an introduction for this edition by the author.