When people come to read the Qur’an, there is an interaction between what the words of the Qur’an say and what the person reading the text already thinks and believes before reading it. This lecture marks the launch of
(2015) and discusses the ways in which different Muslim scholars have responded to the words of the Qur’an. Chapters from the volume will be used as examples to show how the readings of individual words are influenced by theological, legal and philosophical agendas. The lecture also introduces some aspects of literary theory and philosophy of language that are necessary to gain an understanding of how we read, and why knowing how we read is important in the study of the Qur’an and its interpretation.
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