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date: 07 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Charting key turning points in the history of the academic study of the Qur’an, this chapter offers a survey of the debates and arguments which dominate discussions. Exploring what is meant by academic scholarship, the chapter assesses the profound influence of the work of figures such as Theodore Nöldeke, Abraham Geiger, Gustav Weil, and indeed Ignaz Goldziher; and it reviews developments in more recent approaches to the Qur’an, including the work of Rudi Paret, Montgomery Watt, John Wansbrough, Fazlur Rahman, Toshihiko Izutsu, Michel Cuypers, and Angelika Neuwirth. Also examined are key preliminary questions such as ‘the technical parameters of academic scholarship of the Qur’an’; ‘insider-outsider’ perspectives; ‘non-confessional’ and ‘confessional’ approaches; claims about ‘truth value’ statements; and the ‘intrusion of polemical discourses’.

Keywords: academic study of the Qur’an, Goldziher, Geiger, Nöldeke, Paret, Watt, Wansbrough, critical practice/criticism/ polemical discourses

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