The Qur’an and Adab: Conference Description
Many scholars have studied the Qur’an’s importance in religious literature, however less attention has been paid to the influence of the Qur’an and its exegesis upon the kind of activity that was later to be known as adab (classical Arabic literature), and how in turn the udaba’ contributed to the reception history of the Qur’an.
This colloquium aims to examine the use of and different responses to the Qur’an and its narratives in the works of the udaba’ of the 9th - 15th centuries. It will explore the diverse ways in which udaba’ in the classical period employed the concepts, stories, images, and language of the Qur’an. A larger aim of the colloquium is to investigate how the Qur’an shaped the concept of adab itself, and the ways of thinking or ethical values which adab works attempted to construct, and which were appropriated to a wider framework. It will also demonstrate that experiences with the Qur’an are not limited to formal exegesis, but that udaba’ often employ the Qur’anic text in a variety of contexts in different ways. This will enable scholars to better situate the reading and interpretation of the Qur’an in a larger social and cultural context, and to understand how the Qur’an was interpreted and received outside the professional scholastic circles of tafsir works.
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