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Arabic, Qur'ānic Speech and Postmodern Language. What the Qur'ān Simply Says

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Ibn Warraq has recently compiled two books, one on Muhammad, the other on the Qur'ān. His stated aim is to show that “Muslims need new scientific research into the Qur'ān, and a reexamination of the Qur'ānic message and its meaning in the 21st century” (Ibn Warraq, 2002, p. 59). But his massive anthologizing of old material is remarkable only for its copious display of a humanistic thinking, and the unquestioned commitment to the totalizing rationalism of modern enlightenment. While the hermeneutical approach of this essay explores possible ways of appropriating postmodern strategies for the purpose of understanding the Qur'ān, it also underscores the violence in Ibn Warraq's proposed literary criticism, and its roots in the metaphysics of the letter, and the cultic attachment to the graph.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Classics and Mediterranean Studies, UIC, Chicago


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