Narrative Ethics and the Art of Qur’anic Storytelling
Objectives and contents
This course offers an ethical approach to the Qur’an through a close reading of its narratives. After a general introduction to the Qur’an as a religious scripture and aesthetic experience in Muslim life, we will engage in a close reading of key Qur’anic narratives, many of which are based on wellknown Biblical stories. What are the literary characteristics of the Qur’an’s retelling of Biblical stories? How are these characteristics related to the objectives of these narratives, particularly, the formation of the ethical self? Our close readings will be guided by two broad hermeneutical approaches:
1. traditional Muslim exegesis that focuses on ethical, typological interpretation (e.g., mystical, philosophical);
2. contemporary hermeneutical approaches concerned with narrative ethics (e.g., Paul Ricoeur, Alasdair MacIntyre).
We will conclude our course with broader reflections on the practice of reading religious scripture through a relational, multi-perspectival lens.
- Folio from the “Blue Qur’an”, second half 9th–mid-10th century
- Angelika Neuwirth, Der Koran als Text der Spätantike. Ein europäischer Zugang, Suhrkamp Verlag, 2010.
- Celine Ibrahim, Women and Gender in the Qur’an, Oxford University Press, 2020.
- Fazlur Rahman, Major Themes of the Qur’an, University of Chicago Press, 2nd edition, 2009.
- Heikke Räisänen, The Idea of Divine Hardening: a Comparative Study of the Notion of Divine Hardening, Leading Astray and Inciting to Evil in the Bible and the Qurʼān, Finnish Exegetical Society, 1972.
- Ingrid Mattson, The Story of the Qur’an: Its History and Place in Muslim Life, Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.
- Mohamed Abdullah Draz, La morale du coran, Presses Universitaires de France, 1951.
- Navid Kermani, Gott ist Schön. Das ästhetische Erleben des Koran, C. H. Beck, 2000; English translation: God is Beautiful. The Aesthetic Experience of the Qur’an, Polity, 2018.
- Neal Robinson, Discovering the Qur’an. A Contemporary Approach to a Veiled Text, Georgetown University Press, 2004.
- Shadaab Rahemtulla, Qur’an of the Oppressed: Liberation Theology and Gender Justice in Islam, Oxford University Press, 2018.
- Sherman Jackson, Islam and the Problem of Black Suffering, Oxford University Press, 2014.
- Toshihiko Izutsu, Ethico-Religious Concepts in the Qur’an, McGill University Press, 2002.
- Ziad Elmarsafy, The Enlightenment Qur’an. The Politics of Translation and the Construction of Islam, Oneworld Publications, 2009.
|Teacher||Prof. Dr. Islam Dayeh, visiting professor at the LSRS and professor of Arabic philology and Islamic intellectual history (Freie Universität Berlin)|
|Calendar||The course will take place in September 2021 and is organised in 3 sessions:|
Thursday 23rd, 14:30-18:30 / Friday 24th: 14:30-18:30 / Saturday 25th: 8:30-12:30
|Costs||80 € / Registration fee is to be paid to the following bank account:|
IBAN: LU54 0019 1100 0846 5000
|Validation||Oral examination (2 ECTS)|