IQSA Presents: Papers on Qur’anic Origins, an early Qur’anic palimpsest, and Qur’anic translation

IQSA Presents: Papers on Qur’anic Origins, an early Qur’anic palimpsest, and Qur’anic translation

Today, IQSA is proud to announce the online publication of three papers by top scholars:

  1. “Implausibility and Probability in Studies of Qurʾanic Origins,” by Dr. Aziz Al-Azmeh (Central European University)
  2. “On an early Qurʾanic palimpsest and its stratigraphy: Cambridge Or. 1287,” by Dr. Alain George (University of Edinburgh)
  3. “Reflections of a Qurʾan Translator,” by Dr. Tarif Khalidi (American University of Beirut)

Aziz Al-AzmehAll three papers are viewable in PDF format in the Publications & Resources section of our website, at this link. This week, we will briefly highlight the content of Dr. Al-Azmeh’s paper, proceeding on to the latter two in the coming weeks.

Al-Azmeh’s paper is a longer version of the keynote address he delivered at IQSA’s inaugural meeting on November 22nd, in Baltimore. In it, he discusses recent trends in Qur’anic studies

in so far as . . . they contribute to the development and cumulative growth of explanatory models for Qurʾanic genesis that might contribute to an historical and verisimilar understanding (hence: probability); or that might, for all the charm of their erudition, inhibit such an understanding (hence: implausibility).

Al-Azmeh analyzes “two contrasting lines of research” in search of a healthy approach to the Qur’anic text, as he provides a highly detailed account of the current state of the study of Qur’anic origins and the methodologies at work. He writes:

Ultimately, historical sources need to be judged on intrinsic criteria, plausibility, and verisimilitude relating to what they seek to establish; rather than hold up one’s arms in despair and adopt a boundless hermeneutic of suspicion, one might rather work from a reasonable judgement of overall verisimilitude in a number of well-defined domains, and then pursue the cumulative compulsion of detail confirmed directly or indirectly.

Click here to read the paper in full. For those who couldn’t join us in Baltimore, this posting is a renewed opportunity to “hear” from a top scholar; and for those who did attend, it is a chance to expand on the dialogue that was sparked during our inaugural meeting. Enjoy!

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