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Rethinking the Qur’an in Late Antiquity

Juan Cole

Rethinking the Qur'an in Late Antiquity

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Cole (Juan), Rethinking the Qur’an in Late Antiquity, Berlin, De Gruyter, ("IQSA Studies in the Qurʾan; 5"), 2024, 250 p. ISBN 978-3111340906


Juan Cole, University of Michigan, USA.


How the Qur’ān reflects on and responds to the regional cultural, religious and political currents swirling in Western Arabia and neighboring areas during the great war, 603-630, between the Roman and Sasanian empires? The book approaches the Qur’an through six case studies. The first two consider the era 200-800 CE, which classicist Peter Brown dubbed late antiquity. The second two contextualize quranic stories and tropes in the era of Herakleios and Khosrow II. The final pair consider issues in how the Qur’an was constituted, both physically and stylistically, and also sets these processes in their late antique context. The book treats the constitution of the quranic text, first physically and then rhetorically. The use in the Qur’ān of the technique of narrative apostrophe is for the first time subjected to a concerted analysis. These themes are all united by a concern to understand better issues in why the Qur’ān makes certain narrative choices, how the narrative changes over time, and how it articulates with other texts and perspectives.

View online : De Gruyter