At the time of his death in 1998, at the age of 47, Norman Calder had become the most widely-discussed scholar in his field. This was largely focused on his monograph, Studies in Early Muslim Jurisprudence (Oxford, 1993), which boldly challenged existing theories about the origins of Islamic Law. The present volume of twenty-one of his articles and book chapters represents the full richness and diversity of Calder's oeuvre, from his initial doctoral research on Shii Islam to his later more philosophical writings on Sunni hermeneutics, in addition to his numerous studies on early Islamic history and jurisprudence. Calder's pioneering research, which was based on a sensitive reading of medieval texts fully informed by contemporary critical theory, often challenged the established assumptions of the day. He is known in particular for urging a reassessment of widely-held prejudices which underestimated the degree of creativity in medieval Islamic scholarship. Many of the articles in this volume have already become classics for the fields of Muslim jurisprudence and hermeneutics.
Contents: Introduction. Methodology: History and nostalgia: reflections on John Wansbrough's The Sectarian Milieu; The limits of Islamic orthodoxy; Law; Tafsir from Tabari to Ibn Kathir: problems in the description of a genre, illustrated with reference to the story of Abraham. Early Islam: The sa'y and the jabin: some notes on Qur'an 37:102-3; Hinth, birr, tabarrur, tahannuth: an inquiry into the Arabic vocabulary of vows; From midrash to scripture: the sacrifice of Abraham in early Islamic tradition; The ummi in early Islamic juristic literature; The qurra' and the Arabic lexicographical tradition; The Barahima: literary construct and historical reality. Jurisprudence: a) Sunnism: Ikhtilaf and ijma' in Shafi'i's Risala; The significance of the term imam in early Islamic jurisprudence; Friday Prayer and the juristic theory of government: Sarakhsi, Shirazi, Mawardi; Exploring God's Law: Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Abi Sahl al-Sarakhsi on zakat; al-Nawawi's typology of muftis and its significance for a general theory of Islamic Law; The 'Uqud rasm al-mufti of Ibn al-'Abidin. b) Imami Shi'ism: Zakat in Imami Shi'i jurisprudence, from the 10th to the 16th century A.D.; Khums in Imami Shi'i jurisprudence, from the 10th to the 16th century A.D.; Accommodation and revolution in Imami Shi'i jurisprudence: Khumayni and the classical tradition; Legitimacy and accommodation in Safavid Iran: the juristic theory of Muhammad Baqir al-Sabzavari (d. 1090/1679); Doubt and prerogative: the emergence of an Imami Shi'i theory of ijtihad. Indexes.
The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.
The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.
Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource.
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