Journal Article

Reading the Qur’ān with Fidelity and Freedom

Jane Dammen McAuliffe

in Journal of the American Academy of Religion

Published on behalf of American Academy of Religion

Volume 73, issue 3, pages 615-635
Published in print September 2005 | ISSN: 0002-7189
Published online September 2005 | e-ISSN: 1477-4585 | DOI:
Reading the Qur’ān with Fidelity and Freedom

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Within our lifetimes the population of North America has become much more demographically and religiously diverse. We now live on a continent that has recently rediscovered the public face of religion and often fears it, whose prevailing mindset has moved from “secularization” to “clash-of-civilizations” in the blink of an eye. Islam sits at the center of this change, and Muslims in North America, and elsewhere, have been subject to increased scrutiny and suspicion. So, too, has Islam’s sacred text, the Qur’ān. Frequently misunderstood and misrepresented, the Qur’ān deserves to be read on its own terms rather than filtered through the genre categories and reception history of another scriptural tradition. It also warrants attention to its exegetical tradition and to the capacity demonstrated by that tradition to generate new insights and understandings. In both North America and Europe emerging exegetical voices are engaging contemporary social, political, and cultural issues. Just like those of previous generations, these new commentators seek to balance the dual demands of exegetical fidelity and creatively responsive freedom.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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