Reading the Qur'an in the Twenty-first Century

Reading the Qur'an in the Twenty-first Century : A Contextualist Approach

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Reading the Qur'an in the Twenty-First Century considers the development of Qur'anic interpretation and highlights modern debates around new approaches to interpretation. It explores how Muslims from various theological, legal, socio-political and philosophical backgrounds think about the meaning and relevance of the Qur'an, and how their ideas apply in the contemporary world. The book: * reflects on one of the most dominant approaches to interpretation in the pre-modern period, textualism, and the reaction to that in Muslim feminist readings of the Qur'an today. * covers issues such as identifying the hierarchical nature of Qur'anic values, the criteria for the use of hadith in interpretation, fluidity of meaning and ways of ensuring a degree of stability in interpretation. * examines key Qur'anic passages and compares pre-modern and modern interpretations to show the evolving nature of interpretation. Examples discussed include: the authority of men over women, the death of Jesus, shura and democracy, and riba and interest. Abdullah Saeed provides a practical guide for interpretation and presents the principal ideas of a contextualist approach, which situates the original message of the Qur'an in its wider social, political, cultural, economic and intellectual context. He advocates a more flexible method of interpretation that gives due recognition to earlier interpretations of the Qur'an while also being aware of changing conditions and the need to approach the Qur'an afresh today.

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  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 15.24mm | 317.51g
  • Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • LondonUnited Kingdom
  • English
  • 0415677505
  • 9780415677509
  • 457,823

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"Readers seeking to understand the current diversity in ways Muslims read and interpret the Qur'an will find in Abdullah Saeed a sure-footed guide. He demonstrates how a reading that respects context is firmly rooted in the Islamic tradition from the earliest days." - Daniel A. Madigan, Georgetown University, USA

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About Abdullah Saeed

Abdullah Saeed is Sultan of Oman Professor of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia. His previous books for Routledge include Interpreting the Qur'an (2005), Islamic Thought: An Introduction (2006), and The Qur'an: An Introduction (2008).

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