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An Anthropology of the Qur’an (November 2021)

Ahmed Achrati

An Anthropology of the Qur'an (November 2021)

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Achrati (Ahmed), An Anthropology of the Qur’an, London, Routledge, ("Routledge Studies in Religion"), 2021, 232 p. ISBN 9781032052885


Ahmed Achrati holds an LL.B from the University of Oran, Algeria, an LL.M from New York University School of Law, and a PhD in international relations from the University of Pennsylvania. He continues to do research in anthropology and prehistoric rock. Currently, he teaches courses on the Qur’an and Modern Society and Prehistoric Rock Art at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in the Washington, DC, area.


This book presents an anthropological study of the Qur’an, offering an unprecedented challenge to some of the epistemological and metaphysical assumptions of the tawḥīdic discourses. Combining primary textual materials and anthropological analysis, this book examines transcendence as a core principle of the Qur’an, uniquely signified in the divine name al-Quddūs (the Holy). It shows how the tawḥīdic representations of Allah constitute an inversion of this attribute; examines how this inversion has been conceived, authorized, and maintained; and demonstrates how it has affected Islamic thinking and practices, especially as relates to authority. This book also explores how a return to the Qur’anic primacy of God’s otherness as al-Quddus can influence Islamic thinking and practices moving forward. Therefore, it will be highly useful to scholars of Islamic Studies, philosophical theology, Qur’anic studies, political science, ethics, Anthropology and religious studies.


Part One


1 Religion, the Holy and the Sacred: An Anthropological Perspective

2 Al-Quddūs (The Holy) and Transcendental Écart in the Qur’ān

3 Ontological Distinction of the Holy and the Sacred in the Qur’ān

4 Transcendence and Divine Freedom in the Qur’ān

5 Tawḥīd, God, the Qur’ān, and Being

6 Al-Quddūs and Divine Otherness

7 Tawḥīdic Discourses and the Inversion of al-Quddūs

8 The Qur’ān and the Sublimation of the Sunna

9 The Qur’ān, Muḥammad and the Disclosure of the Holy

10 The Qur’ān, the Sunna, and Authority in Modern Islam

Part Two

11 Gender: The Tawḥīdic Sexual Morality

12 ḤILM: The Forgotten Ethics of Islam

13 The Qur’ān and Islamic Art

14 Ribā (Usury): Economic Excess and Excessive Morality

View online : Routledge