Rechercher sur

The Qur’an’s Reformation of Judaism and Christianity: Return to the Origins by Holger Zelletin -ed- (September 2019)

The Qur'an's Reformation of Judaism and Christianity: Return to (…)

Home > Bibliography/Web > Collections > English Collections > Routledge studies in the Qur’an (Routledge) > The Qur’an’s Reformation of Judaism and Christianity: Return to the Origins (…)

Zelletin (Holger) -ed-, The Qur’an’s Reformation of Judaism and Christianity: Return to the Origins, London, Routledge, ("Routledge Studies in the Qur’an"), 2019, 358 p. ISBN 978-1138567337


Holger Zelletin is Lecturer in Classical Rabbinic Judaism in the Falculty of Divinity at Cambridge (UK)

Presentation (Conference, 20-21 january 2013)


In several ways, the Qur’ān presents itself within a true Abrahamic tradition that has been compromised. It accuses Gentiles, Jews, and Christians respectively, individually as well as summarily, of a series of transgressions whose precise nature has been subject to much recent discussion: among them are scriptural or exegetical distortion (taḥrīf ), impure monotheism (shirk), and denial of revelation (kufr). It also portrays its religious criticism in terms of a return to the Abrahamic origins of true monotheism. Finally, it repeats and reshapes traditional material. Understanding the Qur’ān therefore necessitates an appreciation of how it balances continuity and change in what it negates and in what it affirms.

Recent Trends

In modern scholarship, efforts to portray the Qur’ān as in dialogue with previous religious traditions have yielded important insights. Likewise, scholars continue to emphasise correctly that one must understand the Qur’ān on its own terms and in clear distinction from previous traditions. Both tendencies are combined, with different emphases, in several recent publications, among them the recent volumes edited by Gabriel Said Reynolds, as well as the co-edited volume by Angelika Neuwirth, Michael Marx, and Nicolai Sinai. These and many other studies illustrate the potential of integrating “literary” and “historical” approaches.

The Colloquium

A group of experts is invited to evaluate the Qur’ān’s continuity in terms of the specific changes it advocates, and to study its polemics and self-perception in light of its responses to Late Antique discourse as manifested especially, but not exclusively, in Jewish and Christian literature. We would explore how the creative tension between tradition and reform manifests itself in all aspects of the Qur’ān, including law, narrative and polemics. Such studies could include, but are not restricted to, inquiries into how specific Qur’ānic passages (or entire surahs) can be read as engaging relevant late antique texts or concepts, how the Qur’an modulates particular themes or concepts in dialogue with previous tradition, or more broadly how the Qur’an presents itself vis-à-vis Gentiles, Jews, and Christians.


Mehdi Azaiez, KUL, Leuven
Islam Dayeh, Free University, Berlin
Asma Hilali, Institute of Ismaili Studies, London
Gerald Hawting, School of Oriental and African Studies, London
Angelika Neuwirth, Free University, Berlin
Thomas O’Loughlin, University of Nottingham (respondent)
Gabriel Said Reynolds, University of Notre Dame
Nicolai Sinai, Oxford University
Guy Stroumsa, Oxford University (respondent)
Joseph Witztum, The Hebrew University
Holger Zellentin, University of Nottingham
Jon Hoover, University of Nottingham (respondent)


Introduction - Holger Zellentin
1 A “Religious Transformation in Late Antiquity” - From Tribal Genealogy to Divine Covenant: Qurʾānic Refigurations of Pagan-Arab Ideals Based on Biblical Models - Angelika Neuwirth
2 The Unscriptured, Gentile Prophet, or: Why was Muhammad not a Scribe? - Islam Dayeh
3 Ritual Law from the Bible to the Qurʾān: The Case of Sexual Purity and Illicit Intercourse - Holger Zellentin
4 David and Solomon: Antecedents, Modalities and Consequences of their Twinship in the Qurʾan - Geneviève Gobillot
5 Thrice upon a Time: Abraham’s Guests and the Study of Intra-Quranic Parallels - Joseph Witztum
6 The Eschatological Counter-Discourse in the Qurʾān and in the Talmud, Sanhedrin 90b-91a - Mehdi Azaiez
7 Pharaoh’s Submission to God in the Qur’an and in Rabbinic Literature: A Case Study in Qur’anic Intertextuality - Nicolai Sinai
8 "Killing the Prophets and Stoning the Messengers": Two Themes in the Qurʾān and their Background - Gerald Hawting
9 On the Qurʾan and Christian Heresies - Gabriel Said Reynolds
10 Reflections on the Qur’an, Christianity and Inter-textuality’ - Mary B. Cunningham
11 What would Ibn Taymiyya make of intertextual study of the Qurʾān? The challenge of the isrāʾīliyyāt - Jon Hoover

View online : Routledge (Editor)