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Jan Loop

Abstract

Generally neglected by scholars of the history of oriental studies, Johann Heinrich Hottinger's Historia Orientalis (1651, 2nd ed. 1660) is one of the most significant contributions to the history of Islam to have been published in the seventeenth century. This article analyses Hottinger's interest in Islam and in Arabic sources across the range of his writings and his correspondence, with a special focus on the Historia Orientalis. It discusses the philological and antiquarian standards by which he assessed Arab history and it describes the numerous Islamic manuscripts he exploited. It also examines the manifold ways in which Hottinger used the Koran and other Islamic sources to corroborate his apologetic Protestant interpretation of Church history. It thus sheds a light on the impact that a combination of confessional commitment, antiquarianism, and philology had on the rise of oriental studies in seventeenth-century Europe.

Restricted Access

Jan Loop

Abstract

This article discusses Western attitudes to the style of the Koran from the sixteenth to the late eighteenth century. The subject is of particular interest because the question of the Koran's aesthetic value is ultimately linked with the Islamic belief that the inimitable beauty of Muhammad's revelation is the very proof of its divine origin (i'jāz al-Qur'ān). Given the apologetic function of this doctrine in Islamic theology, many early modern European orientalists, from Theodor Bibliander to Ludovico Marracci, criticised the style. Some of the arguments presented were remarkably persistent and can be followed up to the present day. This article also shows, however, that since the end of the seventeenth century scholars such as Andreas Acoluthus, George Sale and Claude-Etienne Savary had developed a more favourable attitude to the Koranic style, while, at the end of the eighteenth century, the Prophet Muhammad was seen as an inspired genius and the Koran as an example of 'divine poetry'.

Open Access

Series:

Edited by Jan Loop, Alastair Hamilton and Charles Burnett

This volume brings together the leading experts in the history of European Oriental Studies. Their essays present a comprehensive history of the teaching and learning of Arabic in early modern Europe, covering a wide geographical area from southern to northern Europe and discussing the many ways and purposes for which the Arabic language was taught and studied by scholars, theologians, merchants, diplomats and prisoners. The contributions shed light on different methods and contents of language teaching in a variety of academic, scholarly and missionary contexts in the Protestant and the Roman Catholic world. But they also look beyond the institutional history of Arabic studies and consider the importance of alternative ways in which the study of Arabic was persued.

Contributors are Asaph Ben Tov, Maurits H. van den Boogert, Sonja Brentjes, Mordechai Feingold, Mercedes García-Arenal, John-Paul A. Ghobrial, Aurélien Girard, Alastair Hamilton, Jan Loop, Nuria Martínez de Castilla Muñoz, Simon Mills, Fernando Rodríguez Mediano, Bernd Roling, Arnoud Vrolijk.

This title, in its entirety, is available online in Open Access.
Open Access

Series:

Edited by Jan Loop, Alastair Hamilton and Charles Burnett