Monday, January 04, 2016

The Study Quran

THE ANXIOUS BENCH: The Study Quran (John Turner).
Thus, I’m extremely pleased by the appearance of HarperOne’s The Study Quran, a project headed by Seyyed Nasr. One of my colleagues at George Mason, Maria Dakake, is one of the contributing editors.

The publication of The Study Quran is a landmark. It contains an original translation of the Quran, which is also very readable. It also contains an extensive scholarly apparatus, pointing readers to the ways that Quranic verses have been interpreted, especially during the first several centuries after the life of the Prophet Muhammad. This is enormously useful, as are the topical essays, which discuss everything from Sufism to Islamic art to “Death, Dying, and the Afterlife in the Quran.” The careful introductions to hadith sources at the back of the volume are also very helpful.

Unlike the Harper Collins Study Bible, at least as far as I can discern, The Study Quran is less concerned with introducing students to critical (i.e., non-Muslim or very progressive Muslim) scholarship on the Quran, so it is not an exact parallel. Nevertheless, I’m very grateful to have something to assign for my introductory students that will help them make better sense of the Qur’an and how Muslims have interpreted it.
I've been meaning to note this important publication for some time, so this is a good opportunity. I haven't yet seen it myself, but I'm looking forward to hearing more about it.