Nasr H. Abu-Zayd, Ph.D.
Professor of Islamic Studies
Born July 10, 1943 near Tantâ, Egypt; passed away July 5, 2010 in Kairo.
Studied Islamic Studies at Cairo University
Gerd und Ebelin Bucerius Fellow der Zeit-Stiftung
Qur'anic HermeneuticsProject Description
The basic objective is to find out, by analyzing the traditional sources of exegesis in various fields of Islamic knowledge, whether there are any elements to form an Islamic theory of hermeneutics. Islamic sources to be analyzed cover many disciplines such as Islamic theology, Islamic philosophy, jurisprudence, and mysticism, as well as sources of literary theory and poetics. Major sources will be Arabic and the frame of reference is the modern theory of hermeneutics, specifically in its relevance to Biblical Studies.
As the Qur'an represents a sphere of communication between God and man, the two dimensions of divinity and humanity are to be considered in the possible theory of Islamic Hermeneutics. First of all, it is my presupposition that these two dimensions were the working dynamics in the process of canonizing the Qur'an. Rearranging the verses and chapters of the Qur'an in an order different than that of their chronological order, the mushaf and tilâwa order (tartîb al-tilâawa) versus the revelation order (tartîb 'nuzûl), could be re-examined in the light of this presupposition. It was, after all, a process of integrating texts, which were revealed on different historical occasions, in one text. It was, in other words, to transform the Qur'an into kitâb, following the development expressed in the Qur'an itself.
Abû Zayd, Nasr Hamid. Politik und Islam: Kritik des religiösen Diskurses, translated by Cherifa Magdi. Frankfurt: Dipa-Verlag, 1996.
-. Leben mit Islam (Life with Islam). Autobiography edited by Navid Kermani, translated by Sharifa Magdi. Herder, 1999.
-. Mafhum an-nass. Dirasa fi ulum al-Qur'an. Kairo 1410/1990. Dirasat adabija.