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Edited by Eric F. Mason and Edmondo F. Lupieri

The seventeen studies in Golden Calf Traditions in Early Judaism, Christianity, and Islam explore the biblical origins of the golden calf story in Exodus, Deuteronomy, and 1 Kings, as well as its reception in a variety of sources: Hebrew Scriptures (Hosea, Jeremiah, Psalms, Nehemiah), Second Temple Judaism (Animal Apocalypse, Pseudo-Philo, Philo, Josephus), rabbinic Judaism, the New Testament (Acts, Paul, Hebrews, Revelation) and early Christianity (among Greek, Latin, and Syriac writers), as well as the Qur’an and Islamic literature. Expert contributors explore how each ancient author engaged with the calf traditions—whether explicitly, implicitly, or by clearly and consciously avoiding them—and elucidate how the story was used both negatively and positively for didactic, allegorical, polemical, and even apologetic purposes.

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Edited by Florian Wilk

Scriptural Interpretation at the Interface between Education and Religion examines prominent texts from Jewish, Christian, and Islamic communities with a view to determining to what extent education ( Bildung) represents the precondition, the central feature and/or the aim of the interpretation of 'Holy Scripture' in antiquity. In particular, consideration is given to the exegetical techniques, the hermeneutical convictions and the contexts of intercultural exchange which determine the process of interpretation. The volume contains a methodological reflection as well as investigations of scriptural interpretation in Jewish texts from the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C.E., in New Testament writings, and in witnesses from late ancient Christianity and in the Qur’an. Finally, it contains a critical appraisal of the scholarly oeuvre of Hans Conzelmann. This work thus fosters scholarly understanding of the function of scriptural interpretation at the interface between education and religion.

Tafsir as Mystical Experience: Intimacy and Ecstasy in Quran Commentary

Tafsīr sūrat al-baqara by Sayyid ʿAlī Muḥammad Shīrāzī, The Báb (1819-1850)

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Todd Lawson

In Tafsir as Mystical Experience, Todd Lawson shows how the Quran may be engaged with for meaning and understanding, the usual goal of mystical exegesis, and also how it may be engaged with through tafsīr in a quest for spiritual or mystical experience. In this earliest of the Báb’s extended works, written before his public claim to be the return of the hidden Imam, the act of reading is shown to be something akin to holy communion in which the sacred text is both entrance upon and destination of the mystic quest. The Quran here is a door to an “abode of glory” and an abiding spiritual encounter with the divine through the prophet, his daughter Fāṭima and the twelve Imams of Ithna-ʿasharī Shiʿism who inhabit the letters, words, verses and suras of the Book.

Cover calligraphy by Burhan Zahrai of Quran 53:11

Rethinking Islamic Legal Modernism

The Teaching of Yusuf al-Qaradawi

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Ron Shaham

In Rethinking Islamic Legal Modernism Ron Shaham challenges the common opinion that Islamic legal modernism, as represented by Rashid Rida (d. 1935), is of poor intellectual quality and should not be considered an authentic development within Islamic law. The book focuses on the celebrated Sunni jurist, Yusuf al-Qaradawi (b. 1926), whom Shaham perceives as a close follower of Rida.

By studying the coherence of Qaradawi's Wasati theory of ijtihad and the consistency of its application in his legal opinions (fatwas), Shaham argues that Qaradawi, by means of eclecticism and synthesis, conducts a bold dialogue with the Islamic juristic heritage and brings it to bear on modern developments, in particular the institutional framework of the nation-state.

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Edited by Mark Beaumont

Arab Christians and the Qurʾan from the Origins of Islam to the Medieval Period is a collection of essays on the use and interpretation of the Qur’an by Christians writing in Arabic in the period of Islamic rule in the Middle East up to the end of the thirteenth century. These essays originated in the seventh Woodbrooke-Mingana Symposium on Arab Christianity held in Birmingham, UK, in 2013, and are edited by Mark Beaumont.

Contributors are: David Bertaina, Sidney Griffith, Sandra Keating, Michael Kuhn, Juan Pedro Monferrer-Sala, Gordon Nickel, Emilio Platti and David Thomas

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Michel Lagarde

Dans Le parfait manuel des sciences coraniques al-Itqān fī ʿulūm al-Qurʾān de Ğalāl ad-Dīn as-Suyūṭī (849/1445–911/1505), nous avons une description complète des problèmes relatifs au texte coranique qui se posent encore aujourd’hui, des solutions proposées et des méthodes employées. Ce texte témoigne de la liberté du débat et de la variété des solutions. Il s’agit d’un recueil de témoignages multiples antérieurs et contemporains à l’auteur et non d’une opinion subjective et isolée. Son but est d’être le guide de tout bon commentateur du Coran, en raison de la profusion des informations fournies sur l’ensemble des sciences coraniques. Cet ouvrage est un précieux point de repère pour l’histoire de la culture arabo-musulmane, en général, et de la linguistique, en particulier.

In al-Suyūṭī’s (1445-1515) The Perfect Handbook of the Qurʾānic Sciences, we find a complete description of the problems concerning the Qurʾānic text that still arise today, of the solutions proposed and the methods employed. This text bears witness to both freedom of debate and the variety of solutions. It is a collection of multiple accounts, both prior to and contemporary with the author, and not simply an isolated, subjective opinion. Its aim is to be the guide for every good Qurʾān commentator because of the abundant information it provides on all the Qurʾānic sciences. This work is an invaluable point of reference for the history of the Arab-Islamic culture in general and of linguistics in particular.




Dār al-islām / dār al-ḥarb

Territories, People, Identities

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Edited by Giovanna Calasso and Giuliano Lancioni

This is the first collection of studies entirely devoted to the terminological pair dār al-islām / dar al-ḥarb, “the abode of Islam” and “the abode of war”, apparently widely known as representative of “the Islamic vision” of the world, but in fact almost unexplored. A team of specialists in different fields of Islamic studies investigates the issue in its historical and conceptual origins as well as in its reception within the different genres of Muslim written production. In contrast to the fixed and permanent categories they are currently identified with, the multifaceted character of these two notions and their shifting meanings is set out through the analysis of a wide range of contexts and sources, from the middle ages up to modern times.

Contributors are Francisco Apellániz, Michel Balivet, Giovanna Calasso, Alessandro Cancian, Éric Chaumont, Roberta Denaro, Maribel Fierro, Chiara Formichi, Yohanan Friedmann, Giuliano Lancioni, Yaacov Lev, Nicola Melis, Luis Molina, Antonino Pellitteri, Camille Rhoné-Quer, Francesca Romana Romani, Biancamaria Scarcia Amoretti, Roberto Tottoli, Raoul Villano, Eleonora Di Vincenzo and Francesco Zappa.

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Edited by Alberdina Houtman, Tamar Kadari, Marcel Poorthuis and Vered Tohar

In Religious Stories in Transformation: Conflict, Revision and Reception, the editors present a collection of essays that reveal both the many similarities and the poignant differences between ancient myths in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and modern secular culture and how these stories were incorporated and adapted over time. This rich multidisciplinary research demonstrates not only how stories in different religions and cultures are interesting in their own right, but also that the process of transformation in particular deserves scholarly interest. It is through the changes in the stories that the particular identity of each religion comes to the fore most strikingly.

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Pavel Pavlovitch

In The Formation of the Islamic Understanding of kalāla in the Second Century AH (718-816 CE), Pavel Pavlovitch studies traditions ( ḥadīth) about the lexical and terminological meaning of the Quranic vocable kalāla. Attempts to understand kalāla began with acknowledging its unintelligibility but ultimately brought into existence a capacious body of interpretative ḥadīth, associated with early Islamic authorities. The analysis of these traditions affords insights into the changing conception of scripture during the first two Islamic centuries, the early history of Islamic exegesis and jurisprudence, and varying scholarly attitudes towards constituent sources of Islamic law. The book highlights the importance of coherent methodology of dating and reconstructing Muslim traditions according to their lines of transmission ( isnāds) and their narrative content ( matns).

A Qurʾān Commentary by Ibn Barrajān of Seville (d. 536/1141)

Īḍāḥ al-ḥikma bi-aḥkām al-ʿibra (Wisdom Deciphered, the Unseen Discovered)

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Gerhard Böwering and Yousef Casewit

A Qurʾān Commentary by Ibn Barrajān of Seville (d. 536/1141) is a critical Arabic text edition of a medieval Muslim Qurʾān commentary entitled, Īḍāḥ al-ḥikma bi-aḥkām al-ʿibra ( Wisdom Deciphered, the Unseen Discovered). The annotated Arabic text is accompanied by an analytical introduction and an extensive subject index.

This Qurʾān commentary is Ibn Barrajān’s last and most esoteric work, and as such offers the most explicit articulation of his mystical and philosophical doctrines. It synthesizes his teachings, drawn from a wide array of Islamic disciplines, and provides a link between early Sufism and Muslim mysticism in medieval Spain (Andalusia). The Īḍāḥ moreover is the earliest known work of its kind to make extensive use of Arabic Biblical material as proof texts for Qurʾānic doctrines.