The Qur'an between the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic: An Exegetical Tradition, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

The Qur'an between the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic

An Exegetical Tradition, 1st Edition

By Susan Gunasti


216 pages

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pub: 2019-03-20
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The Qur’an between the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic is one of the few book-length studies on an Ottoman Qur’an commentary. Its premise is that "the Ottoman Empire" did not come to an end until 1950 so far as Islam was concerned in Turkey.

The work explores the relationship between Elmalılı’s Qur’an commentary and the intellectual trends of the period, including the impact of materialism, the sciences, notions of civilizational progress, and philosophy. In doing so, this study emphasizes the "local" aspect of the Qur’an commentary, through a sustained focus on the Istanbul context in which it was written. This work demonstrates that Elmalılı’s Qur’an commentary is a product of and reaction to the religious, intellectual, political, and social trends of the period. This work, in considering all the factors that led to the commissioning of Elmalılı’s Qur’an commentary, also contributes to our understanding of the history of Islam in early to mid-twentieth-century Turkey.

This intellectual history of modern Islamic thought contributes to our understanding of the genre of Qur’an commentary in the early twentieth century. It is a key text for students and scholars interested in Islam in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey, modern Islamic thought, and the Middle East.

Table of Contents


1. A Religious Scholar’s Life in a Tumultuous Period

2. Qur’an Commentary in the Nineteenth Century

3. Commissioning a Qur’an Commentary Suitable for the Modern Period

4. The Philosophical Context of Elmalılı’s Religious Understanding

5. Hak Dîni and Its Contemporary Concerns


About the Author

Susan Gunasti is an associate professor of religion at Ohio Wesleyan University. She obtained her doctorate from Princeton University from the Department of Religion. Her research interests are Qur’an commentary, Islam in the Ottoman Empire, and Islamic political thought.

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:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / Middle Eastern
RELIGION / Islam / Koran & Sacred Writings
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies