Will this attract attention?
The University of NottinghamDepartment ofTheology and Religious Studies
Return to the Origins: The Qur'ān's Reformation of Judaism and Christianity20 - 21 January 2013, The University of Nottingham
A meeting of leading international scholars dedicated to the questionof how the Quran relates to forms of Judaism and Christianity of itstime.
ReformationIn several ways, the Qur’ān presents itself within a true Abrahamictradition that has been compromised. It accuses Gentiles, Jews, andChristians respectively, individually as well as summarily, of aseries of transgressions whose precise nature has been subject to muchrecent discussion: among them are scriptural or exegetical distortion(taḥrīf ), impure monotheism (shirk), and denial of revelation (kufr).It also portrays its religious criticism in terms of a return to theAbrahamic origins of true monotheism. Finally, it repeats and reshapestraditional material. Understanding the Qur’ān therefore necessitatesan appreciation of how it balances continuity and change in what itnegates and in what it affirms.Recent Trends
In modern scholarship, efforts to portray the Qur’ān as in dialoguewith previous religious traditions have yielded important insights.Likewise, scholars continue to emphasise correctly that one mustunderstand the Qur’ān on its own terms and in clear distinction fromprevious traditions. Both tendencies are combined, with differentemphases, in several recent publications, among them the recentvolumes edited by Gabriel Said Reynolds, as well as the co-editedvolume by Angelika Neuwirth, Michael Marx, and Nicolai Sinai. Theseand many other studies illustrate the potential of integrating“literary” and “historical” approaches.The Colloquium
A group of experts is invited to evaluate the Qur’ān’s continuity interms of the specific changes it advocates, and to study its polemicsand self-perception in light of its responses to Late Antiquediscourse as manifested especially, but not exclusively, in Jewish andChristian literature. We would explore how the creative tensionbetween tradition and reform manifests itself in all aspects of theQur’ān, including law, narrative and polemics. Such studies couldinclude, but are not restricted to, inquiries into how specificQur’ānic passages (or entire surahs) can be read as engaging relevantlate antique texts or concepts, how the Qur’an modulates particularthemes or concepts in dialogue with previous tradition, or morebroadly how the Qur’an presents itself vis-à-vis Gentiles, Jews, andChristians.