Quranic Studies and the Literary Turn

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Travis Zadesh



This review essay examines current trends in the field of Quranic studies, as expressed in recent introductory works on the Quran, which in turn reflect developments in more specialized publications. A prominent characteristic in this body of scholarship is an increased emphasis on approaching the Quran as a literary text, as conceived within the structures of textual criticism. Much of this work strives to bypass the autochthonous exegetical corpus developed by Muslim authorities and read the Quran on its own terms, as a text best situated within a sectarian milieu of late antiquity. Particular attention is given here to the configuration of literature as a secular category of analysis and the implications it bears for this growing field.

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