• This volume presents the views on the Qur’aninfo-icon by Professor Angelika Neuwirth, one of the leading scholars in Qur’anic studies today.
    It contains fourteen articles that reflect her original thought on the topic as developed over thirty years of research.  The book consists of a mixture of new as well as previously published pieces, some of which are translations from the German while others are articles originally written in English. Thus, for the  first time, Professor Neuwirth’s scholarship on the Qur’an is presented to a global audience in English in a comprehensive way. In Professor Neuwirth’s view, scholars are used to understanding the Qur’an as the ‘Islamic text’ par excellence, an assumption which, when viewed historically, is far from evident. More than twenty years before it rose to the rank of Islamic scripture, the Qur’an was an oral proclamation addressed by Prophet Muhammad to pre- Islamic listeners, for the Muslim community had not yet been formed. 
    Those listeners might best be described as individuals educated in late antique culture, be they Arab pagans familiar with the monotheistic religions of Judaism and Christianity, or syncretists of these religions, or learned Jews and Christians whose presence is reflected in the Medinan suras. The interactive communication process between Prophet Muhammad and these groups brought about an epistemic turn in Arab Late Antiquity: with the Qur’anic discovery of writing as the ultimate authority, the nascent community attained a new ‘textual coherence’ where scripture, with its valorisation of history and memory, was recognised as a guiding concept.
    It is within this new Biblically imprinted world view that central principles and values of the pagan Arab milieu were debated.  This process resulted in a twin achievement: the genesis of a new scripture and the emergence of a community. Two great traditions, then, the Biblical, transmitted by both Jews and Christians, and the local Arabic, represented in Ancient Arabic poetry, appear to have established the eld of tension from which the Qur’an evolved; it was both scripture and poetry which had produced and shaped the emerging Muslim community.

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    See Index here:  (99.09 KB)
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    See Index of Biblical and Post-Biblical Citations here:  (33.72 KB)
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    See Index of Qur'anic Citations here:  (43.27 KB)
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  • Foreword

    I: Frameworks
    1: Not Eastern and not Western (lasharqiyyatan wa-lagharbiyyatan, Q. 24:35): Locating the Qur'an within the History of Scholarship
    2: The Discovery of Writing in the Qur'an: Tracing an Epistemic Revolution in Late Antiquity
    3: A Religious Transformation in Late Antiquity. From Tribal Genealogy to Divine Covenant: Qur'anic Refigurations of Pagan-Arab Ideals Based on Biblical Models
    4: Glimpses of Paradise in the World and Lost Aspects of the World in the Hereafter: Two Qur'anic Re-readings of Biblical Psalms
    II: The Liturgical Qur'an and the Emergence of the Community
    5: Images and Metaphors in the Introductory Sections of the Early Meccan Suras
    6: From Recitation through Liturgy to Canon: Notes on the Emergence of the Surainfo-icon Composition and its Dissolution in the Course of the Development of Islamic Ritual
    7: Referentiality and Textuality in Surat al-Hijr (Q. 15): Some Observations on the Qur anic Canonical Process and the Emergence of a Community
    8: Surat al-Fatiha: Opening of the Textual Corpus of the Qur'an or Introit of the Prayer Service?
    9: From the Sacred Mosque to the Remote Temple: Surat al-Israʾ, between Text and Commentary
    10: The Discovery of Evil in the Qur'an?: Revisiting Qur'anic Versions of the Decalogue in the Context of Pagan-Arab Late Antiquity
    III: Narrative Figures between the Bible and the Qur an
    11: Crisis and Memory: The Qur'an's Path towards Canonisation as Reflected in its Anthropogonic Accounts
    12: Narrative as a Canonical Process: The Story of Moses Seen through the Evolving History of the Qur'an
    13: Imagining Mary, Disputing Jesus: Reading Sūrat Maryam and Related Meccan Texts within the Qur'anic Communication Process
    14: Mary and Jesus: Counterbalancing the Biblical Patriarchs: A Re-reading of Surat Maryam in Surat Al ʿImran (Q. 3:1 62)
    15: Oral Scriptures in Contact: The Qur'anic Story of the Golden Calf and its Biblical Subtext between Narrative, Cult, and Inter-communal Debate
    16: Myths and Legends in the Qur'an: An Itinerary through its Narrative Landscape


  • Professor Angelika Neuwirth

    Angelika Neuwirth was educated in Classics and Oriental Studies at German and international universities (Italy, Iran and Israel). She has taught at the Universities of Munich, Amman, Bamberg, and Cairo, and has held the Chair of Arabic Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin since 1991. From 1994 to 1999 she served as the director of the Orient-Institut der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft in Beirut and Istanbul. Her major fields of research are classical and modern Arabic literature and Arab Late Antiquity studies. In several recent publications, Professor Neuwirth has tried to...Read more