The Qur’an in its Historical Context
Edited by Gabriel Said Reynolds
Routledge – 2008 – 304 pages
Series: Routledge Studies in the Qur'an
Providing commentary on the controversial revisionist school of Qur’anic studies, this book explores the origins, scholarship and development of the Qur'an. The collection of articles, each written by a distinguished author, treat very familiar passages of the Qur’an in an original manner, combining thorough philology, historical anthropology, and cultural history.
This book addresses in a critical fashion the hottest issues in recent works on the Quran. Among other things, the contributors analyze the controversial theories of Luxenberg regarding Syriac and the Quran, and in particular his argument that the term Hur refers not to virgins but to grapes.
The Muslim World Book Review:
Islamic Thought and Sources
The Qur'an in its historical context. Edited by G.S. Reynolds, ISBN 9780415428996.
This book (Qur'an) came to prominence not because of its scholarly credentials but largely due to the extensive media coverage about one of its many critically discredited suggestions that the Qur'anic "Hurin 'Ayn" is a Syriac loan phrase meaning 'white grapes' and not the 'houries of paradise' mentioneed in today's Qur'an.] [ The book under review is based on the papers delivered at an academic gathering at the university of Notre Dame in 2005 which was motivated by the work of luxenberg. It is divided into three main sections. The historical context of the Qur'an is discussed first by examining the linguistic/historical evidence; second, by looking at the religious context of the late antique Near East and, finally, by exploring critically the Qur'an scholarship within the Muslim exegetical tradition.] [ The second part of the book explores the religious context of the late antique Near East which begins with a reflection by Samir Khalil Samir who tries to prove the 'obvious' influence of Christian theology on the Qur'an.
'The tenor of argument by the various contributors provides an example of the much-needed positive engagement between the ‘traditionalists’ and the ‘modernists’ in Qur’anic studies, such that the historical and textual minutiae of the Book will continue to inspire scholarly and dispassionate intellectual discourses.' - AMIDU OLALEKAN SANNI; Journal of Qur’anic Studies 13.1 (2011)
Foreword D. Madigan. Notes on Contributors. List of Images. Map: Locations Cited in the Present Volume. Abbreviations. Introduction: Qur'anic Studies and its Controversies G.S. Reynolds Part 1: Linguistic and Historical Evidence 1. The Qur'an in Recent Scholarship - Challenges and Desiderata F. Donner 2.Epigraphy and the Linguistic Background to the Qur’an R. Hoyland 3. Reconstructing the Qur’an: Emerging Insights G. Böwering 4. Reconsidering the Authorship of the Qur’an. Is the Qur’an Partly the Fruit of a Progressive and Collective Work? C. Gilliot 5. Christian Lore and the Arabic Qur’an: The “Companions of the Cave” in Surat al-Kahf and in Syriac Christian Tradition S. Griffith Part 2: The Religious Context of the Late Antique Near East 6. The Theological Christian Influence on the Qur’an: A Reflection S.K. Samir 7. Mary in the Qur’an: A Reexamination of Her Presentation S.A. Mourad 8. The Legend of Alexander the Great in the Qur’an 18:83-102 K. van Bladel 9. Beyond Single Words: ma’ida – Shaytan – jibt and taghut. Mechanisms of Translating the Bible into Ethiopic (Ga’az) Bible and of Transmission into the Qur'anic Text M. Kropp 10. Nascent Islam in the 7th Century Syriac Sources A. Saadi Part 3: Critical Study of the Qur'an and the Muslim Exegetical Tradition 11. Notes on Medieval and Modern Emendations of the Qur’an D. Stewart 12. Syriac in the Qur’an: Classical Muslim Theories A. Rippin. Bibliography. Index of Biblical Verses. Index of Qur'anic Verses. Index of People, Places and Subjects
Gabriel Said Reynolds is Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies and Theology at the University of Notre Dame, where he specializes in Qur'anic Studies.