The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Al-Nasikh wa'l-Mansukh

The French review alluded to below dinged Kohlberg / Moezzi for not taking into account John Burton's research into abrogation (naskh, also alluded to below). Those authors had some justification in that Burton's book just isn't very easy to read, and (perhaps more so) because Burton's notions elsewhere about the Qur'an itself were, shall we say, famous.

I have just found that Burton has, himself, lately been abrogated - by Louay Fatoohi. Fatoohi offers in part a response, in part an update to Burton; so that modern scholars (and Muslims) can at least understand what Islamic abrogation is, and in what context they can refer to it.

Unfortunately it was then that I encountered Fatoohi's other book. It shows that Fatoohi at heart is an ideologue. I worry, should I purchase Fatoohi's books, that I am going to encounter the same problem I encountered at ShiaChat: a latter-day Believer projecting his current understanding of Truth back into times and places in which the contemporary understanding of Truth was different. In short I have to worry whether I am getting a tract rather than a book.

It's possible that he's kept his biases better controlled this time. His coreligionist Reza Aslan has done okay. From "my" side of the fence, Ibn Warraq has enjoyed (mixed) success as an editor. I won't belabour the point with further examples.

posted by Zimri on 17:09 | link | 0 comments

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