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Lost In Philology? The Virgins Of Paradise And The Luxenberg Hypothesis

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Chapter Summary

The Qurʾanic eschatological paradise as the negation of a miserable reality is described in more detail than the parallel notion in Christianity. The vivid details of the narratives of paradise and of hell support the idea that the Qurʾanic revelation depicted eschatology as something imminent and close by, not something destined to happen in an unforeseeably distant future. This chapter concentrates on this Qurʾanic narrative of paradise and largely disregard later Muslim theology and legends. Luxenberg's hypothesis is an offshoot of a massive and systematic scholarly enterprise that started in the first part of the nineteenth century with Abraham Geiger's book Was hat Mohammed aus dem Judenthume aufgenommen? On the basis of the source-critical approach, so successful with regard to the Bible and the New Testament, a similar project was initiated with regard to the Qurʾanic text. This led to the attempt of identifying the "sources of the Qurʾan".

Keywords: Luxenberg's hypothesis; New Testament; Qurʾan; Qurʾanic eschatological paradise



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