The Koran as a text from Late Antiquity - A European approach
ca. 859 pages
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Is the Koran a purely Islamic text and therefore foreign to predominantly Christian and Jewish cultures? Or rather, is it a new and wilful voice in the chorus of debates on Late Antiquity during which the theological foundations of Judaism and Christianity were also laid ?
It is not the Koran that we have to remodel due to the discovery of new scripts or with the aid of linguistic experiments: we have to make significant changes in Western perspectives on the Koran if we want to comprehend its revolutionary recency. Angelika Neuwirth, Director of the research project, Corpus Coranicum, a textual documentation and historical-critical commentary on the Koran at the Berlin-Brandenburg Akademie der Wissenschaften, interprets the Koran as a text of Late Antiquity, an epoch which was also decisive in European cultural history. The Koran can thereby be recognized as a familiar text that could easily form part of “European heritage”, were it not for its division from unbiased perception by ancient prejudices.
With this volume, Angelika Neuwirth opens her long commented edition of the Koran that will be published by the Verlag der Weltreligionen in 2011.
»With Angelika Neuwirth, the Koran has been freed of its late Islamic tradition and the process of its development has become visible […] The achievement of this approach consists of […] re-organizing all the myths and misunderstandings that have crept into interpretations of the Koran over the course of the centuries on the part of Muslims as much as scholars of Islamic studies […] this book will certainly define ongoing Islamic studies and the discussion on the right interpretation of the Koran in the coming years and decades, not only in the West but also in the Islamic world.« Deutschlandradio Kultur
»This book is an invitation to all Occidentals and Orientals who consider Islam as much a European heritage as Christianity and Judaism. « Berliner Zeitung
»This book […] serves to whet our appetite for what will follow, but, as a scholarly tome on its own, it is a major enunciation of a scholarly approach to the Qur’an, unrivalled by any other work that has appeared for probably the past 100 years, at least in its overall scope, analytical depth, unified vision and intellectual rigour. […] Overall, there is no doubt that this book represents an impressive expression of the state of the art in the scholarly study of the Qur’an.« Religion, Andrew Rippin, University of Victoria, Canada © 2011, Andrew Rippin