In In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 7, no.7), Devin J. Stewart (Emory University) reviews Sarah R. bin Tyeer’s The Qur’an and the Aesthetics of Premodern Arabic Prose (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).
In the review, Stewart writes “I have attended several presentations by Islamic art historians in which they purported to present an Islamic theory of aesthetics that drew on the Qurʾān. These talks were characterized by sweeping generalizations about the qurʾānic text, an appalling absence of concrete examples, and great leaps from the text to rather vague aesthetic principles. In contrast, Sarah R. bin Tyeer, writing from the perspective of comparative literature, has produced an antidote of sorts: a good-faith effort to detect a theory of aesthetics in the Qurʾān and to apply it to concrete examples of Arabic literature. In this complex book the author adopts a bold approach, shows a willingness to take some risks, and undertakes a lively engagement with the material, and these merits more than make up for a few technical issues and some heavy-handed opinionating…”
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An entire surah of the Qurʾan bears her name. She is the only woman mentioned by name in the Qurʾan. After Moses, Abraham, and Noah, Mary is also the person most frequently named in the Qurʾan; in other words, her name appears more frequently than those of either Muhammad or Jesus. She is portrayed in the Qurʾan with great respect and reverence, both as the mother of Jesus and as the equal of the male prophets who are found in its pages. The history of Islam is also replete with examples of Mary being seen in a positive light. From the earliest times to the present day, Mary has continued to be held in high regard by Christians and Muslims alike. Thus, one would think that Mary would be a bridging figure to promote dialogue between these two world religions, but in fact she has been the cause of much rancour and tension. She has even been turned into a protagonist for imperialist policies and something like a goddess of war.
Forthcoming from Gingko Library, this groundbreaking study by Muna Tatari and Klaus von Stosch painstakingly reconstructs the picture of Mary that is presented in the Qurʾan and shows how veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Roman Catholic Church intersects and interacts with the testimony of the Qurʾan. This sensitive and scholarly treatise is an important contribution to constructive interfaith dialogue in the 21st century.
Preorder this book now at https://www.gingko.org.uk/title/mary-in-the-quran/!
About the Authors
Muna Tatari read Islamic Studies and Theology at the universities of Hamburg and Amman. She is currently Professor of Islamic Systematic Theology at the University of Paderborn.
Klaus von Stosch is Professor of Catholic Theology and Didactics and Chair of the Centre for Comparative Theology and Cultural Studies at the University of Paderborn.
Content Courtesy of the Gingko Library (gingko.org.uk)
Did you know that active membership in the International Qur’anic Studies Association comes with research benefits? IQSA members receive full access to periodicals featuring the latest research from experts in the field, including the Journal of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (JIQSA) and the Review of Qur’anic Research
The Journal of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (JIQSA) is a peer-reviewed annual journal devoted to the scholarly study of the Qur’an. Its goals are to
- publish scholarship of high technical quality on the Qur’an, discussing its historical context; its relationship to other religious text traditions; and its literary, material, and cultural reception;
- cultivate Qur’anic Studies as a growing field with a distinctive identity and focus, while acknowledging relevant linkages to the study of the Bible as well as the Islamic tradition, including tafsīr;
- facilitate crucial conversations about the state of the field in Qur’anic Studies and the future of the discipline;
- connect diverse scholarly communities from around the world on issues of common concern in the study of the Qur’an.
IQSA members have online access to all 5 volumes of JIQSA, including presidential addresses and responses from Annual Meetings. Read more about JIQSA, its’ submission process, and subscribe at this link!
In addition, IQSA members reeive access to the Review of Qur’anic Research (RQR), an online companion to the International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA). IQSA is committed to the advancement and dissemination of high quality scholarship on the Qur’an and to the facilitation of deeper understandings of the Qur’an through scholarly collaboration. RQR is an online resource that features reviews of cutting-edge scholarship in the field of qur’anic studies and allied fields.
IQSA members have full access to all 7 volumes of RQR, containing over 70 book reviews! Read more and login at this link.
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The International Qur’anic Studies Association offers a variety of traditional resources to further its mission, including academic journals, book reviews, and collected works; but did you know that IQSA also has a collection of video content?
In the recent shift to digital scholarship, IQSA sponsored new series of virtual seminars to continue building bridges amongst scholars across the globe in Qur’anic Studies. Some examples include the IQSA Corona Qur’an Seminars, held in conjunction with the University of Notre Dame at the height of the pandemic, and the Qur’anic Studies in Indonesia series hosted jointly by IQSA and the Indonesian Qur’anic Studies Association (AIAT).
Interested? View these videos for free from the comfort of your home at https://iqsaweb.org/videos/, or on IQSA’s YouTube page!