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The course will use the Qur’an, as well as Jewish and Christian historical documents, to reconstruct the religious landscape to which the Muslim scripture reacts in a pointed, precise and nuanced way.
This will give you a historically more informed understanding of nascent Islam, and will allow you to reconsider many of theological and cultural tenets of Late Antique Judaism and Christianity.
What topics will you cover?
- Traditional and Western approaches to the Qur’an
- Arabia in Late Antiquity
- Judaism and Christianity from the first to the seventh century
- The Qur’an and the Hebrew Bible
- The Qur’an and the New Testament
- Law and ritual purity in the Bible, Judaism, Christianity, and in the Qur’an
- The Qur’an, Judaism and Christianity
What will you achieve?
By the end of the course, you'll be able to...
- Compare aspects of the Qur'an's message to Jewish and Christian teachings of Late Antiquity
- Reflect on some of the similarities and on some of the differences between the Qur'an, Judaism, and Christianity
- Assess some of the historical reasons for the contemporary misconceptions of nascent Islam
- Collaborate with others on broadening your historical knowledge
- Debate historical aspects of religion with people from various backgrounds
- Interpret select Qur'anic passages in dialogue with the Jewish and the Christian tradition
- Explore the opportunities and the limitations of "traditional" and "Western" approaches to the Qur'an
- Identify helpful methods of reading the Qur'an historically, comparatively, and respectfully