The Koran in English

The Koran in English : A Biography

3.88 (17 ratings by Goodreads)
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The untold story of how the Arabic Qur'an became the English Koran

For millions of Muslims, the Qur'an is sacred only in Arabic, the original Arabic in which it was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century. To many Arab and non-Arab believers alike, the book literally defies translation, yet English translations are growing in both number and importance. Bruce Lawrence tells the remarkable story of the centuries-long quest to translate the Qur'an's lyrical verses-and to make English itself an Islamic language. A translation saga like no other, this panoramic book looks at cyber Korans, versions by feminist translators, and even a graphic Qur'an by the acclaimed visual artist Sandow Birk.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 280 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 20.32mm | 249.48g
  • New Jersey, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 14 b/w illus.
  • 0691209219
  • 9780691209210
  • 1,446,097

Back cover copy

"At a moment when historically grounded reflection on European and American interactions with Islam and Muslims is vital, Bruce Lawrence offers an engaging and opinionated book based on wide-ranging scholarship. Accessible to adventurous beginners and illuminating for specialists, The "Koran" in English is a terrific read."--Kecia Ali, author of Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur'an, Hadith, and Jurisprudence

"Lawrence's lively and fascinating study ranges well beyond textual history. It probes the international politics of Qur'an publication and even showcases the recently completed graphic Qur'an of American artist Sandow Birk. There is nothing like this book."--Jane Dammen McAuliffe, editor of the Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an

"Bruce Lawrence's The "Koran" in English is a masterful reception history of the Muslim scripture. A scripture is always a scripture to someone, and Lawrence takes us on a magical, erudite journey through the centuries. Here we see the Qur'an not as a text that floats above time and place, but read, internalized, contested, and engaged by a host of believers, scholars, mystics, artists, and polemicists. A rich and engaging read that could only come from the pen of one of the most brilliant and humane scholars of our time. Enthusiastically recommended for both scholarly audiences and wide readership!"--Omid Safi, Duke University

"A major contribution. This book is the first systematic treatment of the Qur'an in English translation and, I think, is destined to be a seminal work."--Ziauddin Sardar, author of Mecca: The Sacred City

"This is an excellent book--and with recent interest in the Qur'an both positive and negative, the time is right for it."--Amir Hussain, coeditor of A Concise Introduction to World Religions
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Review quote

"Lawrence makes the story of the Qur'an in English as informative as it is fascinating."---Jack Miles, Los Angeles Review of Books
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About Bruce B. Lawrence

Bruce B. Lawrence is the Nancy and Jeffrey Marcus Humanities Professor Emeritus of Religion at Duke University. His many books include Who Is Allah?; New Faiths, Old Fears: Muslims and Other Asian Immigrants in American Religious Life; and Shattering the Myth: Islam beyond Violence (Princeton).
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Rating details

17 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 35% (6)
4 29% (5)
3 24% (4)
2 12% (2)
1 0% (0)
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