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With Reverence for the WordMedieval Scriptural Exegesis in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam$
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Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Barry D. Walfish, and Joseph W. Goering

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195137279

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195137279.001.0001

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An Introduction to Medieval Interpretation of the Qurʼān

An Introduction to Medieval Interpretation of the Qurʼān

(p.311) 20 An Introduction to Medieval Interpretation of the Qurʼān
With Reverence for the Word

Jane Dammen McAuliffe

Oxford University Press

Commentary on the Qurʼān, as both activity and achievement, has been a remarkably stable enterprise over the long centuries of its production. The tradition of Qurʼānic exegesis continues to occupy a prominent place within contemporary Muslim intellectual life. In general, the extant commentaries on the Qurʼān represent a large and sustained range of literary output from at least the 9th to the 12th centuries with certain seminal works that predate even that span. The Qurʼān was so central to the intellectual life of medieval Islam that its verses and their interpretation appear in virtually all forms of Islamic literature. This chapter presents an overview of medieval interpretation of the Qurʼān, the chronology and classification of Qurʼānic commentary, varieties of exegetical material, questions posed by the commentators of the Qurʼān (for example, abrogation and applicability), and the continuity of Qurʼānic commentary.

Keywords:   Qurʼān, commentaries, exegesis, abrogation, applicability, Islam, medieval interpretation, Islamic literature

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