Dr. Hannelies Koloska: The Qur’an in view of philology, history and theology

Dr. Hannelies Koloska: The Qur’an in view of philology, history and theology
Activity Date: 
Monday, Dec 19, 2016

The Qur'an is generally assumed as an Islamic text. This is an inapplicable description considering its historical beginnings. Its oral proclamation by Muhammad, dated in the time between 610-632 C.A., was not yet directed towards Muslims. They just emerged as a distinct religious community at the same time as the Qur'anic text. Instead it aimed at an audience native or familiar to late antique Arabic pagan, Jewish and Christian traditions. The Qur'an can therefore be understood as an interpretation, commentary or answer to theological questions that were debated among contemporaries. In this colloquium I gave an insight into a historical-philological approach to the Qur'an that considers it as a growing and dynamic text. I tried to show that reading the Qur'an in all its parts not as a literary book but as a historical text reflecting an ongoing process of communication and continual dialogue between different parties is a worthwhile endeavor. We discussed first results of my research project to produce a historical-literary commentary on one part of the Qur'an.