Thursday, 16 June 2016, 06.00 PM-08.00 PM
Majāz al-Qur’ān, the commentary ascribed to one of the founding fathers of Arabic philology, Abū ῾Ubayda Ma῾mar b. al-Muthannā (d. 210/825), has been read as belonging to a “pre-rhetorical” and “pre-scientific” stadium of Arabic linguistic thinking and exegetical scholarship. While Majāz al-Qur’ān and other ‘philological commentaries’ undoubtedly played an important role in the establishment of an Arabic linguistic canon and the differentiation of the sciences, its involvement with intellectual debates of patristic and rabbinic hermeneutics has not been given any attention. I wish to problematize our perspective on the earliest texts of tafsīr with regard to historiographic ‘containers’, such as late antique or early Islamic, and suggest a reading of Majāz al-Qur’ān as a text that does engage with surrounding discourses of scriptural hermeneutics and the functions of language.
Nora Schmidt graduated from Arabic and German literature and philosophy at the Free University Berlin, where she also carried out her dissertation on early Arabic philology and late antique commentary culture. She is currently a postdoctoral scholar in the research group “From Logos to Kalām – linguistic knowledge from Late Antiquity to Early Islam” in the framework of the Collaborative Research Center Episteme in Motion. Transfer of Knowledge from the Ancient World to the Early Modern Period at the Free University Berlin.
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