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The study of canons and canonization

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Chapter Summary

By examining the variety of canons, their commonalities, and efforts to distill the essence of canonicity, we can identify common historical processes and acquire conceptual tools useful for understanding the emergence and function of the ḥadīth canon in Islam. Canon studies have drawn our attention to the role of the canon as a possible tool for inclusion in a community. It has provided the Principle of Charity as a device to measure canonicity and chart the development of a canonical culture. Finally, we can conceive of the canon as a common measure of truth in which the authority of tradition is deposited for later application. The study of legal canons has produced some of the most articulate and incisive observations about the phenomenon of the canon in general.

Keywords: ḥadīth canon; canonical culture; canonization; Charity; Islam



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