What is the nature of the Qur’an? It might seem a straightforward question, but there is no consensus among modern communities of the Qur’an, both Muslim and non-Muslim, about the answer. And why should there be?
On numerous occasions throughout history, believers from different schools and denominations, and at different times and places, have agreed to disagree. The Qur’anic interpreters, jurists and theologians of medieval Baghdad, Cairo and Cordoba coexisted peacefully in spite of their diverging beliefs. Seeking to revive this ‘ethics of disagreement’ of Classical Islam, this volume explores the different relationships societies around the world have with the Qur’an and how our understanding of the text can be shaped by studying the interpretations of others. From LGBT groups to urban African American communities, this book aims to represent the true diversity of communities of the Qur’an in the twenty-first century, and the dialogue and debate that can flow among them.
‘Contains a very valuable range of perspectives… Students/readers will walk away with an appreciation of the messiness of communal lines and connections, practices of reading, meaning-making, and interpretation, and in some communities, even the embodied and practiced dimensions of a sacred text.’
– Review of Qur’anic Research
‘This lovely collection describes ten different interpretive communities, both Muslim and non-Muslim, of the Qur’an. It helps us to better understand the text that is central to the world’s Muslims, while illuminating their own diversity.’
– Amir Hussain, Professor of Theological Studies, Loyola Marymount University