Scriptural Polemics: The Qur'an and Other Religions

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9780199359363: Scriptural Polemics: The Qur'an and Other Religions

A number of passages in the Qur'an criticize Jews and Christians, from claims of exclusive salvation and charges of Jewish and Christian falsification of revelation to cautions against the taking of Jews and Christians as patrons, allies, or intimates. Mun'im Sirry offers a novel exploration of these polemical passages, which have long been regarded as obstacles to peaceable interreligious relations, through the lens of twentieth-century tafsir (exegesis). He considers such essential questions as: How have modern contexts shaped Muslim reformers' understanding of the Qur'an, and how have the reformers' interpretations recontextualized these passages? Can the Qur'an's polemical texts be interpreted fruitfully for interactions among religious communities in the modern world?

Sirry also reflects on the various definitions of apologetic or polemic as relevant sacred texts and analyzes reformist tafsirs with careful attention to argument, literary context, and rhetoric in order to illuminate the methods, positions, and horizons of the exegeses. Scriptural Polemics provides both a critical engagement with the tafsirs and a lucid and original examination of Qur'anic language, logic, and dilemmas, showing how the dynamic and varied reformist interpretations of these passages open the way for a less polemical approach to other religions.

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About the Author:


Mun'im Sirry is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Theology and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He earned his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from the University of Chicago Divinity School. His articles have appeared in several peer-reviewed journals, including Arabica, BSOAS, Interpretation, Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Journal of Semitic Studies, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, The Muslim World, Studia Islamica, and Der Welt des Islams.

Review:


"Through careful analysis of five original, related, but never-compared case studies, Sirry expands what others have argued about the mandate for a sustained, interreligious focus on creedal and practical differences within the Abrahamic fold, not just in the Middle East but across the Indian Ocean, including and especially in Indonesia. This study marks a welcome advance into contextualized dialogue. It offers ground-level awareness of challenges as well as promises to all researchers and practitioners of monotheistic collaboration toward a higher, collective good." --Bruce B. Lawrence, Professor of Islamic Studies Emeritus, Duke University


"This volume is an important contribution to understanding the impact of the key polemical Qur'anic passages about Judaism and Christianity that shaped Muslim theology of the 'other.' Sirry's meticulous reading of the Qur'anic commentaries to expound this theology is thoroughly grounded in both the classical as well as the modernist-reformist commentaries. At every step of the evolving thesis, he is in total command of his materials and the academic methodology required to establish the validity of his approach as inclusively and critically as possible. The inclusion of Shi'ite materials, and thorough familiarity with Western scholarship on the Qur'an, in addition to selecting the exegetes from different parts of the Islamic world, render the work indispensable for anyone wishing to examine the Muslim religious polemics and its production under various social-political contexts today." --Abdulaziz Sachedina, Professor and Endowed IIIT Chair in Islamic Studies, George Mason University


"In this carefully argued study of modern Muslim interpreters of the Qur'an, Mun'im Sirry directly addresses the difficult questions affecting Muslim attitudes toward other religions. It is a thought-provoking contribution which will interest anyone concerned about interfaith relations." --Carl W. Ernst, William R. Kenan, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.A number of passages in the Qur an contain doctrinal and cultural criticism of Jews and Christians, from exclusive salvation and charges of Jewish and Christian falsification of revelation to cautions against the taking of Jews and Christians as patrons, allies, or intimates. Mun im Sirry offers a novel exploration of these polemical passages, which have long been regarded as obstacles to peaceable interreligious relations, through the lens of twentieth-century tafsir (exegesis). He considers such essential questions as: How have modern contexts shaped Muslim reformers understanding of the Qur an, and how have the reformers interpretations recontextualized these passages? Can the Qur an s polemical texts be interpreted fruitfully for interactions among religious communities in the modern world? Sirry also reflects on the various definitions of apologetic or polemic as relevant sacred texts and analyzes reformist tafsirs with careful attention to argument, literary context, and rhetoric in order to illuminate the methods, positions, and horizons of the exegeses. Scriptural Polemics provides both a critical engagement with the tafsirs and a lucid and original sounding of Qur anic language, logic, and dilemmas, showing how the dynamic and varied reformist intepretations of these passages open the way for a less polemical approach to other religions. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780199359363

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