Feminist Edges of the Qur'an

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9780199359561: Feminist Edges of the Qur'an
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Aysha Hidayatullah presents the first comprehensive analysis of contemporary feminist interpretations of the Qur'an. Synthesizing prominent feminist readings of the Qur'an in the United States since the late twentieth century, she provides an essential introduction to this nascent field of Qur'anic scholarship and engages in a deep investigation-as well as a radical critique-of its methods and approaches. With a particular focus on feminist "impasses" in the Qur'anic text, she argues that many feminist interpretations rely on claims about feminist justice that are not fully supported by the text, and she proposes a major revision to their exegetical foundations. A provocative work of Muslim feminist theology, Feminist Edges of the Qur'an is a vital intervention in urgent conversations about women and the Qur'an.

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Aysha A. Hidayatullah is Assistant Professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of San Francisco, a Jesuit Catholic institution where she teaches courses on Islam, gender, and race.

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"[A] compassionate critique and reassessment of the exegetical path towards gender equality. All interested in feminist re-interpretation of sacred texts will benefit from this exploration of gender in the Qur'an."--Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual


"An important resource...throughout my encounters with Feminist Edges of the Qur'an, I felt compelled to travel through it accompanied by the Qur'an and several of the sources Hidayatullah so closely scrutinizes, as if I were renewing old acquaintances and being engulfed anew by the teachings of my faith. I am a more insightful scholar because of the journey."--Journal of the American Academy of Religion


"This book is indispensable for anyone wanting to have a richer understanding of how the Qur'an is read and interpreted within a feminist context. It is a wonderful synthesis of the work that has been done in the field thus far and provides tools necessary to seek out new avenues in understanding the Qur'an while still retaining a feminist spirit."--Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy


"Aysha Hidayatullah cogently narrates American Muslim women's forays into scriptural interpretation, analyzes and critiques their assumptions and methods, and proposes strategies for moving past the aporias generated by existing exegetical approaches. Combining historical explication, lucid analysis, and theologically constructive critique, Feminist Edges of the Qur'an is a landmark contribution to scholarship and a must-read for anyone interested in gender, authority, and Islam." --Kecia Ali, author of Sexual Ethics and Islam


"In Feminist Edges of the Qur'an, Aysha Hidayatullah explores a recent, lively, and somewhat turbulent chapter in this history... Feminist Edges of the Qur'an does offer dynamic ideas such as the 'interdependence' of the sexes, which signal a shifting balance of power between men and women. Hidayatullah's objective is not to idealize certain passages from the Qur'an or to criticize others. Her goal is larger: reminding us that the dichotomies of male control and female passivity must be perpetually disrupted. Last but not least, the book remains a careful summation of the development of Muslim feminist hermeneutics through the ages." --LA Review of Books


"Aysha Hidayatullah's Feminist Edges of the Qur'an is written by an ardent student of feminist Qur'an exegesis who remains committed to the field but who has become increasingly critical of its methods and ambivalent about its conclusions... She makes a plea for embracing the "radical uncertainty" into which this realization must lead, and for approaching it not with fear but with hope. Her prose is deeply personal and inspired." --First Things


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