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Representing a new development in the study of Qur'anic text, this book tackles the issue of Qur'anic text structure by fusing the fields of linguistics and Qur'anic studies.
The Qur'an contains many long suras covering diverse topics but with no apparent common context within which such variety can be explained. This book proposes a new explanation of Qur'anic text structure, arguing that the long suras have structure that are explicable within a framework for the mechanisms of human verbal communication. Through a systematic step-by-step analysis of the cognitive process involved in verbal communication and comprehension of text, this work provides interesting and useful insights into methods of analysis, mechanisms and dynamics of the Qur'anic text structure.
The unique application of a sophisticated linguistic theory to the Qur'an introduces an entirely new way of reading the Qur'an and with detailed analysis of two Qur'anic passages the book presents a solid working out of the theory that will be accessible to both linguists and scholars of the Qur'an.
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Salwa El-Awa is a Lecturer in Qur'anic Studies at the Department of Theology and Religion, University of Birmingham, where she teaches Qur'anic hermeneutics and methods of Islamic text interpretation. Her main research interest is analysis of Qur'anic discourse. Among her recent publications are a study on repetition in the Qur'an and an Arabic book on the role of context in interpretation of Qur'anic homonyms.Review:
"I admire [El-Awa] for being one of the few contemporary young intellectuals with the ambition - and also the talent and scholarship - to force a dialogue between Western linguistics and Qur'anic hermeneutics... El-Awa's achievement in this book remains that of showing how the contemporary themes of Western linguistics are relevant to Qur'anic hermeneutics, and how an interpreter could spell out some of the complex arguments concerning the issue rather more precisely for her readers." - Abdul Rahim Afaki, Department of Philosophy, University of Karachi, Pakistan; Journal of Shi'a Islamic Studies Winter 2011, Vol IV No. 1
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