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The Qurʾānic Cosmology, as an Identity in Itself

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The main purpose of this article is to depict the cosmos according to the plain text of the Qurʾān, as its contemporary interlocutor would understand it. To reach this goal we relied mostly on the literary meaning of the qurʾānic descriptions of the celestial and terrestrial elements, along with a glance at the other preceding and/or contemporary cosmologies. It is, therefore, a comparative study which ends up in a thorough picture of the cosmos according to the text of the Qurʾān commensurable with other ancient cosmologies, namely the Babylonian and biblical ones. The most significant outcome of this article is to cast doubt on the prevalent supposition that the qurʾānic cosmology is nothing more than a cento of the preceding cultures, civilizations or religions. It would claim that the Qurʾān has rather had an active and dialectic interaction with every major or minor cosmological idea of its time. Especially in a case study on the shape of the qurʾānic firmament, it will be shown how the historical circumstances, linguistic matters, and ideological issues influenced the qurʾānic perception of the world and/or its selective manner in gleaning the preceding ideas.Le principal objectif de cet article est de dépeindre le cosmos selon le texte du Coran, comme le lectorat de son époque pouvait le comprendre. Pour atteindre ce but, nous nous reposons principalement sur le sens littéral des descriptions coraniques des éléments célestes et terrestres, avec un regard sur les autres cosmologies précédentes ou de la même époque. Il s’agit donc d’une étude comparative qui s’achève avec une description minutieuse du cosmos selon le texte du Coran, comparable à d’autres cosmologies antiques, notament celles de Babylone et de la Bible. Le résultat le plus significatif de cet article est de remettre en cause le présupposé dominant selon lequel la cosmologie coranique n’est rien de plus qu’un composé des précédentes cultures, civilisations ou religions. Ainsi, on pourrait affirmer que le Coran a plutôt eu une interaction active et dialectique avec chaque conception cosmologique majeure ou mineure de son temps. En particulier dans l’étude de l’apparence du firmament coranique, il sera montré comment le contexte historique, des questions linguistiques et des problèmes idéologiques influencèrent la perception coranique du monde et sa manière sélective de puiser dans les idées précédentes.This article is in French

Affiliations: 1: Tehran University, Fārābī College ; 2: Tehran University, Fārābī College


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