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The Implications of, and Opposition to, the Methods and Theories of John Wansbrough

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Chapter Summary

This chapter considers the implication of and opposition to the methods and theories of John Wansbrough. The introduction section talks about the two most significant contributions of Wansbrough made to the study of Islamic origins since Ignaz Goldziher and Joseph Schacht. The next section deals with the approaches to early muslim texts. The third section summarises Wansbrough's theories and their implications. The fourth section details the opposition to Wansbrough by the Islamicists, which was quite vehement. Most opposing arguments have focused on Wansbrough's theories and not his methodology. The fifth section details the factors that contributed to the opposition and hostility. Many non-Muslim scholars of Islamic origins continue to operate in a Muslim theological framework for the reasons outlined above. But in so doing, they risk forfeiting their status as scholars. Wansbrough's greatest contribution to Islamic origins may be his summons for Islamicists to return to scholarship.

Keywords: Ignaz Goldziher; Islamic origins; Islamicists; John Wansbrough's theories; Joseph Schacht; Muslim texts



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