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Studying the Qur’an in the Muslim Academy

Studying the Qur’an in the Muslim Academy examines what it is like to study and teach the Qur’an at academic institutions in the Muslim world, and how politics affect scholarly interpretations of the text.

Guided by the author’s own journey as a student, university lecturer, and researcher in Iran, Malaysia, and New Zealand, this book provides vivid accounts of the complex academic politics he encountered. Majid Daneshgar describes the selective translation and editing of Edward Said’s classic work Orientalism into various Islamic languages, and the way Said’s work is weaponized to question the credibility of contemporary Western-produced scholarship in Islamic studies. Daneshgar also examines networks of journals, research centers, and universities in both Sunni and Shia contexts, and looks at examples of Quranic interpretation there. Ultimately, he offers a constructive program for enriching Islamic studies by fusing the best of Western theories with the best philological practices developed in Muslim academic contexts, aimed at encouraging respectful but critical engagement with the Qur’an.

About the Author

Majid Daneshgar, Ph.D. is a Research Associate at the Orientalisches Seminar, University of Freiburg, Germany. He is also an alumnus of the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS), where he worked on textual censorship in Islamic literature. He is interested in method and theory in the study of religion, critical thinking theories, and Islamic intellectual and exegetical progress, as well as Malay Islamic studies. His publications include Islamic Studies Today (2016), The Qur’an in the Malay Indonesian World (2016), and Tantawi Jawhari and the Qur’an (2017).

Table of Contents

I. A taboo breaking project
II. Study organization

Chapter 1: “Islamic Apologetics” and Islamic Studies
I. On”Islamic Apologetics”
II. Western Islamic studies
III. Modern trends in Qur’anic studies
IV. Studying Islam outside its core lands

Chapter 2: The Qur’an in the Muslim Academy: What Should Be Censored?
I. Muslims’ views of western Islamic studies
II. Western works in the Muslim academy: Rippin’s Qur’anic studies
III. Studying the Qur’an in Muslim universities and seminaries
IV. Reading the Qur’an with other materials
V. Self-sufficiency in academic production
VI. Muslims’ reading of Muhammad’s adopted son, Zayd

Chapter 3: The Sectarian Study of Islam: A Culture of Isolation and the Isolation of Cultures
I. From the Islamization of Biblical literature to the sectarianizing of the Muslim academy
II. The Forgotten East
III. Reception and marginalization of minorities
IV. Forgetting the language and culture of everywhere/always

Chapter 4: Hatred of Iinferiority and Confrontation with the West: Forgetting Some; Remembering Others
I. Forgetting western scholars of the Qur’an: origins
II. E. W. Said’s Orientalism
III. Muslim study of the Qur’an in the light of Orientalism
IV. Mis-understanding of Europeans in Orientalism
V. Remembering scientists

Final Remarks
I. Conclusions
II. “Islamic Apologetics” everywhere

Bibliographic Information

Title: Studying the Qur’an in the Muslim Academy

Author(s): Majid Daneshgar

Publisher: Oxford University Press

 Language: English

Length: 220 pages

ISBN: 9780190067540

Pub. Date: 06 December 2019

Studying the Qur’an in the Muslim Academy

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