Monday, April 26, 2010

Corpus Coranicum in the Boston Globe

I have fallen behind with the developments in Qur'anic scholarship, but there is some good news out there. The Boston Globe has a piece on developments within Qur'anic studies regarding a critical edition of the Qur'an and the Corpus Coranicum project:
But, drawing on some of the earliest Korans in existence — codices found in Istanbul, Cairo, Paris, and Morocco — the Corpus Coranicum will allow users to study for themselves images of thousands of pages of early Korans, texts that differ in small but potentially telling ways from the modern standard version. The project will also link passages in the text to analogous ones in the New Testament and Hebrew Bible, and offer an exhaustive critical commentary on the Koran’s language, structure, themes, and roots. The project’s creators are calling it the world’s first “critical edition” of the Koran, a resource that gathers historical evidence and scholarly literature into one searchable, cross-referenced whole.

I have to say, it is about time. Relying on poor quality facsimilies, undocumented or private manuscript fragments, and few critical commentaries by mid 20th century orientalists such as Arthur Jeffery has, in my opinion, left critical Qur'anic studies waiting.
In 2008 I wrote a piece on texutal criticism of the Koran, documenting variants within two ayat across two major textual tradition streams and various Tafsir (commentaries). That did not go down well with Muslim apologists and I received a number of threats leading to me removing the page. I can only imagine the reaction by Muslim apologists to such a large scale project, no matter how neutral the project's aims.


1 comment:

  1. Indeed, one wonders if any of the contributors to the critical Koran will use their real names.

    Chuck Grantham