Studying the Qurʾan: Neither Here nor There

In: Method & Theory in the Study of Religion
Sarah A. Qidwai Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology Toronto, Ontario Canada

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This paper addresses three aspects of Majid Daneshgar’s monograph Studying the Qurʾan in the Muslim Academy. The first part looks at the complexities around the lack of coherence between the Muslim Academy and so-called “Western” Institutions. Drawing on some examples from my own life, I will address the hesitance to embrace sources from the West as highlighted by Daneshgar. Then, I will present an example from the “Western Academy” that speaks to a broader audience across this divide. The second part of this paper will address the phenomenon of trying to find scientific proofs in the Qur‘an and the issues around those attempts in the field of the history of science and religion. Drawing on my own research, the third part of this reflection will draw on the example of Islam in India to show the complex nature of the so-called Muslim Academy and its ties to colonial encounters.

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