Reason and Scripture: Questions of Exegetical Authority

In the latest installment of Review of Qur’anic Research 1, no. 7, Rodrigo Adem reviews Tariq Jaffer’s new book, Rāzī: Master of Qurʾānic Interpretation and Theological Reasoning (Oxford University Press, 2015). Fakhr al-Din al-Razi (d. 1209 C.E.) had a pervasive influence on Sunnī and Shīʿī theological discourses from the thirteenth century to the present day. Jaffer’s book explores how al-Razi’s approach to the Qur’an embodied pivotal intellectual developments in the Islamic scholarly milieu of his time, focusing in particular on one specific aspect of al-Razi’s exegetical priorities, the so-called “rule of interpretation (qānūn al-taʾwīl),” wherein “reason” (ʿaql) is privileged over “scripture” (naql) for authoritative qur’anic exegesis in matters of theological import.

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© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2015.