How to Read the Qur'an: A New Guide, with Select Translations


How to Read the Qur'an, a compact introduction and reader's guide to the Qur'an, featuring illuminating new translations of 725 Qur'anic verses, is the most up-to-date toolbox for anyone who wants to know how to approach, read, and understand the text of the Qur'an. Noting that many people are baffled by existing English translations, Ernst aims for the book to be useful for both non-Muslim and Muslim readers who are interested in a historical, literary, and religious studies approach to understanding the Qur'an. The book is designed for general readers and will also be eminently suitable for introductory college courses, advanced secondary courses, As Ernst says, a text like the Qur'an--which has such immense importance for Muslims, and which, given the geopolitical tensions in today's world, poses extraordinary problems for non-Muslims--cannot be treated as a clearly defined subject that can be explained simplistically. Its history, composition, structure, style, vocabulary, and meaning have all been interpreted and disputed in a variety of ways. The ideal introduction to this text for English-language readers ought to take into account the various audiences, both Muslim and non-Muslim, that will be looking for different answers. It will also have to deal with sensitive issues regarding the historical and literary interpretation of sacred texts. It will have to explain the different points of view and major debates, and clarify what is at stake. Ernst thus provides a significant explanatory introduction that not only summarizes the historical and literary issues but also engages with the religious and political context of understanding the Qur'an today, including an understanding of the ritual and oral uses of the text.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Chapel Hill, NC
Publication year:
  • 2011


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