Review of Qur’anic Research, Vol. 7 no. 3 (2021)

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In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 7, no.3), Reuven Firestone (Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion) reviews Michael Pregill’s, The Golden Calf between Bible and Qur’an: Scripture, Polemic, and Exegesis from Late Antiquity to Islam (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020).

7.3In the review, Firestone writes “Michael Pregill’s The Golden Calf between Bible and Qur’an sets out, via a thick reading of a single pivotal and representative narrative in the story of the Calf (or “Golden Calf” in common Jewish and Christian discourse), to situate the Qur’an within the larger religious and literary context of the Late Antique world. That it takes him nearly 450 pages to present and develop his argument attests to the complexity of the intertextual relationships he examines and the sticky methodological issues that have plagued and continue to beset those trying to make sense of traditions known from the Bible as they occur in the Qurʾān. It also attests to the extent of due diligence he undertook through his exhaustive reference to earlier research on the episode in its many literary settings…” 

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© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2021. All rights reserved. 

 

Review of Qur’anic Research, Vol. 7 no. 1 (2021)

In the first installment of this year’s the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 7 no.1), Andrew O’Connor (St. Norbert College) reviews Jeffrey Einboden’s The Qur’ān And Kerygma: Biblical Receptions of the Muslim Scripture across a Millennium (Sheffield: Equinox, 2019).

qurankerygmaIn the review, O’Connor writes “An enduring interest in scholarship on the Qurʾān is the text’s engagement with biblical and post-biblical traditions. How does the Qurʾān develop or contest biblical characters, motifs, imagery, and diction? How should scholars characterize the relationship between the Bible and the Qurʾān, and precisely what texts or traditions does the Qurʾān engage with in particular? Does the Qurʾān exhibit an awareness of the text of the Bible itself, or does it reflect engagement with oral traditions? These are important questions in our endeavor to understand the genesis of the Qurʾān, but in his recent book Jeffrey Einboden reminds us that these questions address only part of the Qurʾān’s relationship with post-biblical traditions. Yes, the Qurʾān is shaped by earlier lore, but the text has also, in turn, shaped the inheritance of biblical literature…”

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© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2021. All rights reserved.

Review of Qur’anic Research, Vol. 6 no. 9 (2020)

pageHeaderLogoImage_en_USIn In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 6, no 9), Nora K. Schmid (University of Oxford) reviews Sean W. Anthony, Muhammad and the Empires of Faith: The Making of the Prophet of Islam (Oakland: University of California Press, 2020).

empiresIn her review, Schmid writes “What do we know about Muḥammad? How do we know what we know and how certain can we be of that knowledge? These are questions that have been asked by scholars many times and answered in many different ways. In Muhammad and the Empires of Faith: The Making of the Prophet of Islam, Sean W. Anthony presents a fresh attempt to provide answers to these questions. The book has two goals. It strives to “revitalize historical research into the life and times of Muḥammad” and it attempts to “shed new light on the historical circumstances and the intellectual currents that gave rise to the sīrah-maghāzī tradition as a discrete genre of Arabic letters from the last decade of the seventh century C.E. up until the end of the eighth.” The book is therefore truly a study of two topics, the historical Muḥammad and the sīrah-maghāzī genre, and an urgent plea to make sense of the former in light of the latter…”

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Review of Qur’anic Research, Vol. 6 no. 8 (2020)

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In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 6, no 8), Waleed Rikab (Rice University) reviews Daniel Beck’s Evolution of the Early Qurʾān: From Anonymous Apocalypse to Charismatic Prophet (New York: Peter Lang, 2018).

evolutionIn his review, Rikab writes “Recent scholarship, especially following the contributions of Angelica Neuwirth and Nicolai Sinai, has increasingly stressed that the Qurʾān is better understood through an examination of the Late Antique period and the multiple religious traditions that were active in the Hijaz and the shām region, which included Christian, Jewish, and Manichean traditions. In ‘Evolution of the Early Qurʾān’, Daniel Beck offers a new contextualization of several early Meccan sūrahs in the Qurʾān against this Late Antique background, and situates his contribution in correcting tendencies among scholars to see these early sūrahs either as obscure, or as secondary to the later corpus, or as representing fossilized relics of earlier traditions….”      

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Review of Qur’anic Research, Vol. 6 no. 7 (2020)

pageHeaderLogoImage_en_US In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 6, no.7), Michael E. Pregill (University of California, Los Angeles) reviews Stephen Shoemaker’s The Apocalypse of Empire: Imperial Eschatology in Late Antiquity and Early Islam (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018).

rqrV6n7In his review, Pregill writes “Stephen Shoemaker’s The Apocalypse of Empire builds upon the methodology, and some of the most provocative conclusions, of the author’s earlier monograph The Death of a Prophet.[1] In that book, Shoemaker subjects the extant evidence concerning Muḥammad’s death to close scrutiny, concluding that the Prophet died after the invasion of Palestine commenced in 634 CE and not before, as most accounts hold. Even more shockingly, Shoemaker asserts that Muḥammad preached a fervently eschatological message and led his followers in a campaign to conquer Jerusalem as the focal point of an imminent apocalyptic culmination of history. One of the most compelling features of The Death of a Prophet is Shoemaker’s deployment of a methodology and framework drawn from the study of early Christianity in order to show how the overtly eschatological message of the original movement that followed Muḥammad was radically rewritten in the course of just a few decades, forever altering the meaning and thrust of Islam in its formative period…”

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Review of Qur’anic Research, Vol. 6 no. 5 (2020)

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In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 6, no.5),  Juliane Hammer (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) reviews Communities of the Qur’an: Dialogue, Debate, and Diversity in the 21st Century edited by Emran El-Badawi and Paula Sanders (London: Oneworld, 2020). 

CommunitiesIn her review, Hammer writes “When I first saw the title of the book under review here, ‘Communities of the Qur’an,’ I was excited. In the field of qurʾānic studies, there has been a decades-long (if not longer) focus on the qurʾānic text itself, on its origins and history, its linguistic and literary qualities, but rather much silence about the people who engage with it. This volume, edited by Emran El-Badawi and Paula Sanders, aims to change that by bringing together scholars who, in complex ways, write about and often also represent communities of the Qurʾān that the editors selected based on a thoughtful process. The result is a collection of essays, ten plus the introduction by the editors, rounded out with a foreword by Reza Aslan, and an afterword by Reuven Firestone…”

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Review of Qur’anic Research, Vol. 6 no. 4 (2020)

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In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 6, no.4), David Marshall (The World Council of Churches) reviews Mark Durie’s The Qur’an and Its Biblical Reflexes (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2018).

BibReflexesIn his review, Marshall writes “Mark Durie’s ‘The Qur’an and Its Biblical Reflexes’ is a highly original work and a substantial contribution to the field of Qurʾānic Studies. He engages with a great deal of secondary literature, but his study is also based on extensive direct reading of the text of the Qurʾān itself, so there is nothing second-hand about his approach. He presses everything he uses into the service of a very distinctive argument, so that what he says of the Qurʾān could also be said of his own work: it marches to the beat of its own drum. Durie writes clearly and engagingly, regularly re-stating his aims and recapitulating his developing argument…

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Review of Qur’anic Research, Vol. 6 no. 3 (2020)

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In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research (vol. 6, no.3), Andrea Stanton (University of Denver) reviews Johanna Pink Muslim Qurʼānic Interpretation Today: Media, Genealogies and Interpretive Communities (Sheffield/Bristol, UK: Equinox Publishing Ltd., 2019).

6.3In the review, Stanton writes “Have you ever wondered why Ibn Kathīr’s tafsīr is so ubiquitous online, in multiple languages, and in translations of different lengths? Or, what percentage of Muslims read the Qurʾān in previous centuries, and what “reading” meant? About the proliferation of pious lectures or advice-giving programs on YouTube and the details of the people behind them? Have you wondered about the role of nation-states in the politics of Qurʾān interpretation?

If you have not, Johanna Pink’s expansive, rigorous, and compelling new book on the development and contours of contemporary Muslim interpretations of the Qurʾān will open your eyes to and your understanding of these phenomena and more. If you have, then – like me – you will delight in every page, because this is the book that you have been waiting for…”

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Review of Qur’anic Research, Vol. 6 no. 1 (2020)

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In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research (vol. 6, no.1), Naomi Koltun-Fromm (Haverford College) reviews Robert C. Gregg’s Shared Stories, Rival Tellings: Early Encounters of Jews, Christians, and Muslims (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2015). 

GreggIn her review, Koltun-Fromm writes “In this rather hefty tome, Robert Gregg sets out to share with us the myriad ways the Bible and biblical lore has been read over the centuries across multiple cultural, linguistic, and religious contexts. This book’s comparative yet innovative nature opens up new avenues for looking at this vast interpretive corpus. In particular, Gregg engages equally, openly, and with the same level of academic curiosity with all the material he presents here, Muslim, Christian, and Jewish. Despite its heft, this is more a “popular” book than monograph, but that does not make it any less of a good read (it is very readable) or academically useful. While aimed at the educated generalist audience, this volume proves indispensable to anyone interested in comparative biblical exegesis and wants to familiarize oneself with trends in corpora outside of one’s normal fields. Even for those of us who were Gregg’s students, and familiar with this material, but especially for those of us who were inspired by Gregg and have made careers writing about this same material, this book still has much to teach us…

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Review of Qur’anic Research, Vol. 5 no. 10 (2019)

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In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 5, no.10), Majd Al-Mallah (Grand Valley State University) reviews Richard Serrano’s Qurʾān and the Lyric Imperative (New York: Lexington Books, 2016).

5.10In his review, Al-Mallah writes “As the title suggests, Richard Serrano’s Qurʾān and the Lyric Imperative examines the Qurʾān, but the intention is not to explain the holy book of Islam. The Qurʾān, as the author puts it, “continues to defy explanation, despite the legions engaged in the vast Islamic and Orientalist intellectual industry intent on doing just that” (1). Instead, the book examines the connections between the Qurʾān and poetry in the classical Arabic tradition and the ways in which those connections have served a central role in preserving people’s understanding of the text…

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© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2019. All rights reserved.