New Perspectives on the Qur'an: The Qur'an in its Historical Context 2, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

New Perspectives on the Qur'an

The Qur'an in its Historical Context 2, 1st Edition

Edited by Gabriel Said Reynolds


538 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

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This book continues the work of The Qur’ān in its Historical Context, in which an international group of scholars address an expanded range of topics on the Qur’ān and its origins, looking beyond medieval Islamic traditions to present the Qur’ān’s own conversation with the religions and literatures of its day.

Particular attention is paid to recent debates and controversies in the field, and to uncovering the Qur’ān’s relationship with Judaism and Christianity. After a foreword by Abdolkarim Soroush, chapters by renowned experts cover:

  • method in Qur'ānic Studies
  • analysis of material evidence, including inscriptions and ancient manuscripts, for what they show of the Qur'ān’s origins
  • the language of the Qur'ān and proposed ways to emend our reading of the Qur'ān
  • how our knowledge of the religious groups at the time of the Qur'ān’s emergence might contribute to a better understanding of the text
  • the Qur'ān’s conversation with Biblical literature and traditions that challenge the standard understanding of the holy book. 

This debate of recent controversial proposals for new interpretations of the Qur'ān will shed new light on the Qur’anic passages that have been shrouded in mystery and debate. As such, it will be a valuable reference for scholars of Islam, the Qur’an, Christian-Muslim relations and the Middle East.

Table of Contents

Foreword Abdul Karim Soroush Introduction Gabriel Said Reynolds Part 1: Method in Qur’ānic Studies 1. The Historian, The Believer, and the Qur'ān Fred Donner 2. Studies in Qur'ānic Vocabulary: The Problem of the Dictionary Andrew Rippin 3. Towards Understanding the Qur’ān’s Worldview: An Autobiographical Reflection Nasr Abu Zayd Part 2: The Qur’ān and Material Evidence 4. The Jews of the Hijaz in the Qur'ān and in Their Inscriptions Robert Hoyland 5. The Usage of Ancient South Arabian and other Arabian Languages as an Etymological Source for Qur'ānic Vocabulary Hani Hayajneh 6. Vowel Letters and Ortho-epic Writing in the Qur'ān Gerd-R. Puin Part 3: Qur’ānic Vocabulary 7. Hapaxes in the Qur'ān: Identifying and Cataloguing Lone Words (and Loan Words) Shawkat M. Toorawa 8. Tripartite, but Anti-Trinitarian Formulas in the Qur'ānic Corpus, Possibly Pre-Qur'ānic Manfred Kropp 9. Angels, Stars, Death, the Soul, Horses, Bows - or Women? The Opening Verses of Qur'ān 79 Munther Younes 10. Al-Najm (Q 53), Chapter of the Star: A New Syro-Aramaic Reading of Verses 1-5 Christoph Luxenberg Part 4: The Qur’ān and Its Religious Context 11. Al-Nasārā in the Qur'ān: A Hermeneutical Reflection Sidney Griffith 12. The Mysterious Letters and Other Formal Features of the Qur'ān in Light of Greek and Babylonian Oracular Texts Devin Stewart 13. Does the Qur'ān Deny or Assert Jesus’ Crucifixion and Death? Suleiman Mourad 14. Early Christian Arabic Texts: Evidence for non-Uthmānic Qur’ān Codices, or Early Approaches to the Qur’ān? Clare Wilde 15. Has God Sent a Mortal as a Messenger?" (Q 17:95). Messengers and Angels in the Qur'ān Gerald Hawting Part 5: The Qur’ān and Biblical Literature 16. Is There a Notion of "Divine Election" in the Qur'ān? Reuven Firestone 17. Lot’s Daughters in the Qur'ān: an Investigation Through the Lens of Intertextuality Waleed Ahmed 18. Joseph among the Ishmaelites: Q 12 in Light of Syriac Sources Joseph Witztum 19. Condemnation in the Qur'ān and the Syriac Gospel of Matthew Emran El-Badawi 20. The Qur'ānic Pharaoh Adam Silverstein

About the Editor

Gabriel Said Reynolds is Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and Theology at the University of Notre Dame (USA). He is the author of The Qur’an and Its Biblical Subtext (Routledge 2010), the editor of The Qur’an in Its Historical Context (Routledge 2008), and the translator of ‘Abd al-Jabbar’s A Critique of Christian Origins (BYU 2010).

About the Series

Routledge Studies in the Qur'an

In its examination of critical issues in the scholarly study of the Qur'an and its commentaries, this series targets the disciplines of archaeology, history, textual history, anthropology, theology and literary criticism. The contemporary relevance of the Qur'an in the Muslim world, its role in politics and in legal debates are also dealt with, as are debates surrounding Quranic studies in the Muslim world.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / Islam / General
RELIGION / Islam / Theology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Islamic Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies