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Copying and Reading Sacred Scriptures: Qurʾan and Torah in Comparative Perspective
This talk by Professor Daniella Talmon-Heller (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev) will highlight commonalities and differences between Jewish and Muslim thinking about the aural, graphic, and material forms of the Torah and Qurʾan. Jews and Muslims have both been preoccupied with transcribing and reading the authentic text as accurately as possible while securing its sanctity. They have adopted similar devices to facilitate its precise graphic representation, but ultimately employed different solutions regarding the design and format of the material object. The Jewish tradition preserved the ancient form of the scroll, written in scripta defectiva, for its elaborate rituals of liturgical reading in the synagogue. It allowed the newer and handier form of the codex, written in scripta plena, for all other purposes. The Muslim tradition, with its preference for the oral performance of the text, makes no such distinction, yet likewise regulates the work of the scribe and the handling of the book.
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Sponsored by the UCLA Department of Near Eastern Studies. Organized by Professor Luke Yarbrough. Co-sponsored by UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies, UCLA CMRS Center for Early Global Studies, and UCLA Islamic Studies Program.