Literature

Adam Jussila: Islamic Scholarship as the Precursor to the Renaissance

Adam Jussila: Islamic Scholarship as the Precursor to the Renaissance

  The European Renaissance had strong roots in the Islamic scholarship of the middle ages. It is important to understand the environment at the time that bred the Muslim scholars, known as ulama. With the “golden age” of Islam, Islamic society saw a flourishing in almost all academic pursuits, from theology to politics to physics.(…)

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Adam Jussila: The Rise of Islam

Adam Jussila: The Rise of Islam

Islam was not created in a day, but its creation and subsequent rise in popularity in the 7th century was remarkable to anyone who has studied it. It was a combination of luck and brilliant religious and political leadership- some might call it the perfect storm. The prophet Muhammad came out of nowhere to create(…)

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James Fleming (RELG 373): The Eternal and the Ephemeral, Differences in Mystical Approaches

James Fleming (RELG 373): The Eternal and the Ephemeral, Differences in Mystical Approaches

Though all are considered to be vital to nearly all tariqas, or Sufi lines, the poets and mystics Rumi, Hafez, and Sa’di differ in their views on how the mystic concepts behind Sufism should be approached. This can be demonstrated with examples of their works, which for these purposes include, A son leaves his father(…)

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James Fleming (RELG 373): Rumi and the Paradox of the Moment’s Son

James Fleming (RELG 373): Rumi and the Paradox of the Moment’s Son

Although Rumi’s verse in his work Masnavi is laid out in a very clear manner with simple allegorical structure, the content and the underlying meaning is far from being being restricted to any such manner of superficiality. Each poem is extremely multilayered, with many esoteric truths and mystic knowledge being alluded to. As a result(…)

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Andrew Seligson: Understanding Intertextuality through Sura 55

Andrew Seligson: Understanding Intertextuality through Sura 55

The importance of intertextual readings of the Suras is as important as reading any other sacred scripture. For example, the recurring dreams in the Hebrew bible in the story of Joseph and Daniel creates an internal coherence of the text. At each point in time of writing of these sources and tales, it gives us(…)

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Kai Joy: Nature and the Cosmology of the Quran

Kai Joy: Nature and the Cosmology of the Quran

Nature and cosmology are instrumental to to Islam, to the Quran and to the understanding of both. Nature acts as an embodiment of God’s power, as a devout worshipper, and as a line of communication between God and people. In the Quran, nature is addressed first and foremost with regard to creation, to God’s ability(…)

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Scott Tyson: Cosmos of God’s Will

Scott Tyson: Cosmos of God’s Will

The Qur’anic cosmological view can be best understood as an affirmation of God’s supremacy over the universe, and accordingly a call for humankind to behave faithfully. Aspects included in Qur’anic text such as the non-ultimacy of nature, the complexity and order of nature, as well as man’s free-will in relation to nature, all contribute to(…)

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Rose MG: Let’s Talk About Reading and Empathy!

Rose MG: Let’s Talk About Reading and Empathy!

This past summer I spent a week or two staying with my Aunt, Uncle, and cousin, Belicia. Belicia is about twelve, and while for most of her life she was not super into reading, recently she has developed a keen appetite for the pastime. She is now very into young adult series like The Hunger(…)

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Rose MG: Barefoot Gen: a Call for Peace, a Call for Change

Rose MG: Barefoot Gen: a Call for Peace, a Call for Change

Barefoot Gen is a pseudo autographical comic by Nakazawa Keiji. Keiji is a hibakusha, a term that translates literally to “Person exposed to explosion,” and in this case meaning that he was a survivor of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Barefoot Gen follows the titular character and his family in the time leading up(…)

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Ghalib Dehlavi: A Thousand Times Go Away, A Hundred Thousand Times Come Back

Ghalib Dehlavi: A Thousand Times Go Away, A Hundred Thousand Times Come Back

This is my favorite poem from Ghalib Dehlavi (d. 1869) sent to me today by my sister Amineh      Mahallati, Professor of Persian Language at Princeton: ز من گرت نبود باور انتظار، بیا بهانه جوی مباش و ستیزه‌کار، بیا! به یک دو شیوه ستم، دل نمیشود خرسند به مرگ من که به سامان روزگار(…)

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Gabe Salmon: Utter Transparency in the Qur’anic Eschaton Demands Personal Responsibility

Gabe Salmon: Utter Transparency in the Qur’anic Eschaton Demands Personal Responsibility

(Response Paper Assignment 5) The character of the afterlife is a peculiarly arresting theme in the Qur’an. Our beliefs about what follows life directly affect our morality and conduct. The Qur’an leverages the keen immediacy of these questions of eschatology and human existence to reinforce the centrality of personal responsibility in faith. Beyond the mere(…)

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Gabe Salmon: Contextual and Intertextual Meaning in Sura 55 (Al-Rahman)

Gabe Salmon: Contextual and Intertextual Meaning in Sura 55 (Al-Rahman)

The Qur’an represents itself as direct revelation, divine truth made tangible and textual to guide us as we explore our existence. We seek to coax meaning and direction from the text, to engage in exegesis (“drawing out” textual truth) but avoid eisegesis (“drawing in” or projecting our own ideas of truth onto the text). The(…)

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Frances Purcell: Literary Devices and Qur’anic Efficacy

Frances Purcell: Literary Devices and Qur’anic Efficacy

Literary Devices and Qur’anic Efficacy: A Strong Correlation My take on the significance of the intertextuality and context in Surat al-Rahman is that these two devices are employed, most importantly, from a literary standpoint. This sura concerns the appreciation of God’s gifts to the world, and what becomes of those who do or do not(…)

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Matt Simon: Qur’anic Clarity vs. Intertextuality and Context

Matt Simon: Qur’anic Clarity vs. Intertextuality and Context

What strikes me the most about the exegetical significance of context and intertextuality (in this case related to surat al-Rahman) is the immediate conflict this brings to my mind between the complexity of this type of reading with the Qur’an’s claim of clarity. Its own clarity is mentioned in many places in the Qur’an: “Thus(…)

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