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Sardar, Ziauddin
Reading the Qur'an : the contemporary relevance of the sacred text of Islam / Ziauddin Sardar
Alternate Title Contemporary relevance of the sacred text of Islam
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, c2011
book jacket
Location Call Number Status
 3rd Floor  BP130.4 .S376 2011    AVAILABLE
Subject Koran -- Criticism, interpretation, etc
Koran -- Appreciation
Koran -- Reading
Physical Description xxii, 406 p. ; 25 cm
Note Includes bibliographical references (p. 387-392) and index
Contents Overview. The Qur'an and me -- Style and structure -- Approaches and interpretations -- Questions of authority -- The limits of translations -- By Way of Tradition. Al-Fatiha: attributes of God -- Al-Fatiha: 'the straight path' -- Al-Baqara: the Qur'an and doubt -- Al-Baqara: 'the hypocrits' -- Al-Baqara: Paradise -- Al-Baqara: fall and evil -- Al-Baqara: 'children of Israel' -- Al-Baqara: a 'middle community' -- Al-Baqara: virtuous people -- Al-Baqara: law of equity -- Al-Baqara: fasting -- Al-Baqara: war and peace -- Al-Baqara: hajj -- Al-Baqara: apostasy and migration -- Al-Baqara: marriage and divorce -- Al-Baqara: qualities of leadership -- Al-Baqara: majesty of god and freedom of religion -- Al-Baqara: arguing with God -- Al-Baqara: charity and usury -- Al-Baqara: witness -- Al-Baqara: prayer -- Themes and Concepts. Prophets and revelation -- Abrogation and change -- Time and change -- Truth and plurality -- Humanity and diversity -- Individual and community -- Reason and knowledge -- Crime and punishment -- Rights and duties -- Nature and environment -- Ethics and morality -- Reading and writing -- Contemporary Topics. The Sharia'h -- Power and politics -- Polygamy and domestic violence -- Sex and society -- Homosexuality -- The veil -- Freedom of expression -- Suicide (assisted and otherwise) -- Science and technology -- Evolution -- Art, music and imagination
Summary In this book, the author laments that for far too many Muslims, the Qur'an he had learned in his mother's lap has become a stick used for ensuring conformity and suppressing dissenting views. Indeed, some find in the Qur'an justification for misogyny, validation for hatred of others, an obsession with dress and mindless ritual, rules for running modern states. Arguing against these trends, he speaks out for a more open, less doctrinaire approach to reading the Qur'an. He contends that the Qur'an is not fixed in stone for all time, but a dynamic text which every generation must encounter anew, and whose relevance and implications for our time we have yet to fully discover. The words of the Qur'an imply movement: the religious life, it tells us, is not about standing still but always striving to make our life, our society, the entire world around us a better place for everyone. He explores the Qur'an from a variety of perspectives, from traditional exegesis to hermeneutics, critical theory, and cultural analysis, drawing fresh and contemporary lessons from the Sacred Text. He also examines what the Qur'an says about such contemporary topics as power and politics, rights of women, suicide, domestic violence, sex, homosexuality, the veil, freedom of expression, and evolution. In his book about the Qur'an and Islam today, the author opens a new window on this remarkable Sacred Text

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