1st Edition

An Anthropology of the Qur’an

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after November 5, 2021
ISBN 9781032052885
November 5, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
232 Pages

USD $160.00

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Book Description

This book presents an anthropological study of the Qur’an, offering an unprecedented challenge to some of the epistemological and metaphysical assumptions of the tawḥīdic discourses. Combining primary textual materials and anthropological analysis, this book examines transcendence as a core principle of the Qur’an, uniquely signified in the divine name al-Quddūs (the Holy). It shows how the tawḥīdic representations of Allah constitute an inversion of this attribute; examines how this inversion has been conceived, authorized, and maintained; and demonstrates how it has affected Islamic thinking and practices, especially as relates to authority. This book also explores how a return to the Qur’anic primacy of God’s otherness as al-Quddus can influence Islamic thinking and practices moving forward. Therefore, it will be highly useful to scholars of Islamic Studies, philosophical theology, Qur’anic studies, political science, ethics, Anthropology and religious studies.

Table of Contents

Part One


1 Religion, the Holy and the Sacred: An Anthropological Perspective

2 Al-Quddūs (The Holy) and Transcendental Écart in the Qur’ān

3 Ontological Distinction of the Holy and the Sacred in the Qur’ān

4 Transcendence and Divine Freedom in the Qur’ān

5 Tawḥīd, God, the Qur’ān, and Being

6 Al-Quddūs and Divine Otherness

7 Tawḥīdic Discourses and the Inversion of al-Quddūs

8 The Qur’ān and the Sublimation of the Sunna

9 The Qur’ān, Muḥammad and the Disclosure of the Holy

10 The Qur’ān, the Sunna, and Authority in Modern Islam

Part Two

11 Gender: The Tawḥīdic Sexual Morality

12 ḤILM: The Forgotten Ethics of Islam

13 The Qur’ān and Islamic Art

14 Ribā (Usury): Economic Excess and Excessive Morality

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Ahmed Achrati holds an LL.B from the University of Oran, Algeria, an LL.M from New York University School of Law, and a PhD in international relations from the University of Pennsylvania. He continues to do research in anthropology and prehistoric rock art. Currently, he teaches courses on the Qur’an and Modern Society and Prehistoric Rock Art at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in the Washington, DC, area.