The Sting of Desire: Hugo Marcus’s Theology of Male Friendship

The Muslim Times

In this chapter, we turn to Hugo Marcus (1880–1966) at a time when the turn-of-the-century German emancipatory debates and his encounter with Indian Muslims in the interwar period were culminating in his theological writings on exalted male friendship. What did this German homosexual of the 1880s make of the distinguished Ahmadi gentlemen from faraway Lahore? What actually happened when the latter made a place for this elderly man who described himself as painfully shy? And how was his theology received? To answer these questions, I continue my earlier discussion of Hugo Marcus, which addressed his conversion to Islam and role as leading thinker of the mosque community in Berlin.1

As an adolescent, Hugo Marcus acquired the habit of writing on a daily basis and kept faithful to it for the rest of his life. His writings were on the thoughts that…

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