How to Read the Qur'an: A New Guide, with Select Translations

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Univ of North Carolina Press, Dec 5, 2011 - Religion - 288 pages
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How to Read the Qur'an offers a compact introduction and reader's guide for anyone, non-Muslim or Muslim, who wants to know how to approach, read, and understand the text of the Qur'an.

Using a chronological reading of the text according to the conclusions of modern scholarship, Carl Ernst offers a nontheological approach that treats the Qur'an as a historical text that unfolded over time, in dialogue with its audience, during the career of the Prophet Muhammad. Ernst explores the history of the text and its development in the Meccan and Medinan periods; the Qur'an's important structural features, including symmetrical or ring composition; recent revisionist challenges to its textual integrity; and intertextual references in the Qur'an that relate to earlier works, such as the Bible. Featuring Ernst's illuminating new translations of 725 Qur'anic verses, close studies of numerous key passages, and appendices with tools to help readers work their way through the entire text, How to Read the Qur'an not only summarizes historical and literary issues but also engages with the religious and political context of understanding the Qur'an today.

 

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User Review  - ImperfectCJ - LibraryThing

I was grateful to have read the Introduction and Chapter One at the beginning of the Qur'an class that I took, but the later chapters ended up kind of over my head. A greater familiarity with the ... Read full review

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User Review  - JDHomrighausen - LibraryThing

After reading Michael Sells’ Approaching the Qur’an: The Early Revelations, I wanted another book that would help me understand the Qur’an from a literary-historical perspective. Ernst, a scholar of ... Read full review

Contents

The Problem of Reading the Quran
1
The History and Form of the Quran and the Practices of Reading
20
Early Meccan Suras
76
Middle and Later Meccan Suras
105
Medinan Suras
155
Toward a Literary Reading of the Quran
205
Reading the Structure of the Meccan Suras
213
Ring Structure in Sura 2 and Sura 5
223
Suggested Interpretive Exercises
229
Notes
235
Suggested Reading
257
Index of Scriptural Citations
259
General Index
265
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About the author (2011)

Carl W. Ernst is William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of Following Muhammad: Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World, among other books.

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