Western Studies of the Quranic Narrative: from the Historical Orientation into the Literary Analysis

  • Munirul Ikhwan
  • Al-Jami ah Journal of Islamic Studies, December 2010, Al-Jami'aj Research Centre
  • DOI: 10.14421/ajis.2010.482.387-411

Western Studies of the Qur'anic Narrative

What is it about?

This article observes a shift in Western studies of the Qur’an, primarily its narratives, which have parallels in the Judeo-Christian traditions. It highlights the historical approach commonly adopted by early Western scholars to examine these parallels. Differences in some details of narrative are seen as the Qur’an’s distortion or negligence in borrowing. Western studies of the Qur’an as such tend to feature the ‘truth’ of the older and the ‘mistakes’ of the later. An important shift happens when narratology is introduced to read these parallels, proposing a reading on the way the Qur’an communicated with its first audience within the culture they were acquainted with. From this approach, differences between the Qur’an and the Bible can be understood that the Qur’an aims to introduce a new version of relating narratives as a semiotic reading to perceive narratives in the Bible.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Munirul Ikhwan