In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 3 no.8), Cecilia Palombo (Princeton University) reviews Andrew G. Bannister’s An Oral-Formulaic Study of the Qur’ān (Plymouth: Lexington Books, 2014).
The relationship between “the oral” and “the written” is one of the most fertile and unresolved questions in the study of early Islam, and one that often remains latent even in different sets of research questions and debates—from the reliability of early historical accounts to the development of Islamic legal practices, to the study of “semi-literary” papyri, and others. Andrew Bannister’s An Oral-Formulaic Study of the Qur’ān has the merit of bringing that complex relationship into the focus of Qur’ānic studies by searching the Qur’ānic text itself for signs of oral diction. This fascinating book has the potential of reviving the debate regarding orality and literacy in the late antique Near East…”
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