Discussion about the Quran, hadith, the history of Islam, etc.
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A Historical-Critical Introduction to the Qur’an
October 30, 2017
I’ve just been exploring the newly published book by Nicolai Sinai, The Qur’an: A Historical-Critical Introduction (Edinburgh University Press, 2017; the online listing here
). Of course, the Qur’an and Islam are far too late to be included in a blog site on the origins of Christianity. But I couldn’t resist mentioning this new book. Drawing on the growing body of scholarly work on the Qur’an, its formation, textual history, and relationships to the cultural settings in which it was formed, Sinai’s book makes all this available to students and general readers in a clear, balanced, and richly documented discussion.
A historical-critical approach to biblical texts has been in play for a couple of centuries, and students in courses in universities and theological seminaries have been introduced to it for a long, long time. So it’s good now to have a student-oriented textbook that illustrates such an approach to the Qur’an also.
It’s not my own field, but the book comes with glowing endorsements from scholars who are themselves eminent in the study of the Qur’an and the history of Islam, such as Fred Donner (University of Chicago).
No doubt, the book will receive objections from Muslims who imagine the Qur’an to be a miracle, not a historical phenomenon, just as fundamentalist Christians demur from a critical approach to biblical texts. But, as Sinai notes, an awareness of the historically-conditioned nature of a sacred text doesn’t mean that it’s no longer sacred or meaningful for faith.
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I still think Waraka created many of the traditions present. he was known to write perverted Arabic biblical traditions, and had contact with that Muhammad creep.
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Interesting, about time something was published. But how long until a fatwa, book burning or murder takes place over it?