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New Methods in the Study of the Qur’an
The date and provenance of the Qur’an, as with all the literary sources for early Islamic history, have been the subject of scholarly disagreement for decades. So have the questions of whether the Qur’an had one author or multiple authors, and whether the suras are random mishmashes of verses from different periods or somewhat coherent textual units. The field has been ripe for the application of new methods as a way out of the various deadlocks. This presentation gives an overview of some of the methods recently applied to the study of the Qur’an, including stylometry (quantitative analysis of style), radiocarbon dating, X-Ray Fluorescence imaging, and a new take on traditional textual criticism.
Behnam Sadeghi specializes in the early centuries of Islamic religion and teaches courses on pre-modern intellectual history. He has done research on the early history of the Qur’an, the hadith literature, and the early legal debates about women in the public space. His doctoral dissertation examined methods of textual interpretation applied in the Hanafi school of law in the pre-modern period. He has taught Approaching Religion (covering early Islam), and courses on pre-modern theology, pre-modern law, and the early history of the Qur’an.
Event sponsored by UCLA Center for the Study of Religion and co-sponsored by UCLA Iranian Studies, UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies and UCLA Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures