Tuesday, May 09, 2017

JAAR review of The Study Quran

A review of The Study Quran, edited by Seyyed Hossein Nasr and others and previously mentioned on this blog for its Maryami connections, has just been published in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, possibly the world’s leading journal in the field. It is by Aisha Geissinger, a Quran specialist and assistant professor at Carleton University in Canada, and is careful and fair.

Geissinger welcomes The Study Quran as “a fascinating example of what could be termed the ‘next stage’ in the publication of confessional literature that reflects the reception of the Qur’an by believing Muslims writing in English” because, unlike other English translations, it really engages with the techniques and history of tafsir (exegesis) and “vividly conveys something of the Qur’an’s long and intellectually vibrant history of interpretation.”

She notes, however, that—like all other translations—The Study Quran presents one particular perspective. She characterizes this perspective as “broadly... neo-traditionalist” and sometimes perennialist. The selection of “traditional” material, she concludes, produces “a twenty-first century CE construction of an ostensibly timeless ‘tradition.’” And how, I wonder, could it not?

My thanks to OA for drawing this review to my attention.

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