Corpus Coranicum from Philology to Literary Analysis: Critical Vision

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Samer Rashwani

Abstract

Purpose: Corpus Coranicum is a research project launched in 2007 by the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. This project has been subject to different interpretations with respect to its objectives and context. While some envisioned it as a scientific breakthrough that will end with a critical edition of the Qur’an, other scholars have not perceived any breakthrough or originality neither in approach nor in vision, except for its scope and  amplitude. This study aims to provide a critical review of some aspects of the project, especially those related to the documentation. The reappraisal of the methodological and epistemological postulates of the project shall provide a more veracious reckoning of it and its output.


Methodology: The study adopts the method of textual criticism of the Qur’an’s variant readings in their classical sources, and provides a critical analysis of the hermeneutical presuppositions of the historical interpretation of the Qur’an.


Findings: The study concludes that the material provided by Corpus Coranicum in its digital database is not suitable altogether as a basis for a proper text criticism that is supposed to reveal the historical formation of the Qur’anic text and its readings, and that is due to a systematic and methodological deficiency in dealing with the historical references. The study also shows the methodological and hermeneutical pitfalls that lay behind the collection of ancient religious and cultural texts and linking them to the Qur’anic text. Although this idea is useful in enriching our understanding of the cultural and historical surroundings of the Qur’an, yet we should be fully cognizant of its limitations due to barrier of translation and double interpretation (Qur’an and parallel text).


Originality: This is the first detailed critical appraisal of this project that  goes beyond the common polemics between East and West, and opens up prospects for constructive scholarly dialogue and criticism.

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Keywords

Quran
Corpus Coranicum
Historical Criticism
Textual criticism
Interpretation

Section
Articles in Arabic
References
1- References in English:

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2-References in Arabic:
ثانياً- المصادر والمراجع العربية:

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