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The Etymological Fallacy And Qur’Anic Studies: Muhammad, Paradise, And Late Antiquity

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Chapter Summary

Despite the modest declared claims of etymology, Barr documents and describes what might be called the "etymological fallacy" that underpins many of the scholarly approaches to biblical words. Muhammad's paradise is a visionary and prophetic proclamation of a world to come that is declared a reality and the only certitude in the universe. Is Luxenberg claiming that Muhammad or the Qurʾan could not even get the spiritualizing analogy of Ephrem had they read it? The Light Verse and hundreds of examples in the Qurʾan of amthal make clear that when it suited the Qurʾan it could wrap its mind around an image, and the images are not bad at all. The author's understanding of the event of Islam in Late Antiquity is fully based on the work of scholars studying this period. Indeed, it is rather remarkable how little hold Christianity managed to have on the author of the Qurʾan.

Keywords: Barr; Christianity; etymological fallacy; Islam; Late Antiquity; Luxenberg; Muhammad's paradise; Qurʾan



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