"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Monday, March 19, 2012

Gabriel Said Reynolds on Islam and the Quran

In the coming weeks, I hope to feature an interview with Gabriel Reynolds of the University of Notre Dame and author of a book due out in April: The Emergence of Islam: Classical Traditions in Contemporary Perspective (Fortress Press, 2012), 248pp.

About this book, the publisher tells us:
Gabriel Said Reynolds tells the story of Islam in this brief illustrated survey, beginning with Muhammad's early life and rise to power, then tracing the origins and development of the Qur’an juxtaposed with biblical literature, and concluding with an overview of modern and fundamentalist narratives of the origin of Islam. Reynolds offers a fascinating look at the structure and meaning of the Qur'an, revealing the ways in which biblical language is used to advance the Qur'an's religious meaning. Reynolds' analysis identifies the motives that shaped each narrative—Islamic, Jewish, and Christian. The book’s conclusion yields a rich understanding of diverse interpretations of Islam’s emergence, suggesting that its emergence is itself ever-developing.
Reynolds is an accomplished scholar in the area, and author of such other recent studies as The Qur'an and Its Biblical Subtext and Critique of Christian Origins: A Parallel English-Arabic Text. As so much of Islam grew up in Eastern Christian areas--Syria, Egypt, Armenia, inter alia--and as Eastern Christians, long before their Western counterparts, had to learn to live with Islam, this book promises to be of great interest to Eastern Christians today. 

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