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Kolloquium Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften - Johanna Pink

Pink

History of the present. Why a 14th century exegete is central to contemporary Muslim Qur’anic interpretation

Prof. Dr. Johanna Pink
Islamwissenschaften
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

History of the present. Why a 14th century exegete is central to contemporary Muslim Qur’anic interpretation
Wann 24.04.2017
von 11:15 bis 12:45
Wo FRIAS, Albertstr. 19, Seminarraum
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Kontakttelefon +49 (0)761 203-97362
Teilnehmer universitätsöffentlich / open to university members
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Most studies on contemporary Muslim approaches to the Qurʾān focus on the innovative, the “modern,” on ruptures, and on the critique of pre-modern exegetical traditions. My current research project, on the other hand, is interested in genealogies. It aims to take stock of the whole range of methods, themes, and authorities that are relevant to contemporary Muslims’ engagement with the Qurʾān and to ask where they are coming from. When doing so, the popularity of some pre-modern works of exegesis – first and foremost that of Ibn Kathīr (d. 1373) – is hard to overlook. This is not merely the natural result of a fixation on earlier authorities, however; it is a conscious appropriation and reinterpretation of a Mamlūk scholar’s thought, promoted by specific actors to which the availability of media was instrumental. Having explained how and why Ibn Kathīr came to be the foremost authority in the field of Qurʾānic exegesis and what that means for the way in which his work is currently read, the presentation undertakes a brief reflection on whether Foucault’s concept of a “history of the present” may fruitfully be applied to the history of Qurʾānic exegesis and where its usefulness has its limits.