Al-Tabrisi and the Craft of Commentary
By Bruce Fudge
Routledge – 2011 – 160 pages
Series: Routledge Studies in the Qur'an
The work of the twelfth-century Shi’ite scholar al-Tabrisi, Majma’ al-bayan, is one of the most important works of medieval commentary on the Qur’an, and is still in use today. This work is an in-depth case study of Islamic exegetical methods and an exploration of the nature of scriptural interpretation in Islam.
Drawing on a wide variety of sources including unpublished manuscripts, the author examines how exegesis serves to construct, maintain and defend the status of the Qur’an as scripture and to uphold certain ideological agendas, among them the notion of the literary and rhetorical supremacy of God’s revelation in Arabic. Focusing on the genre and process of Qur’anic exegesis itself, he treats Qur’an interpretation as part of a category of religious practice recognizable from the history and comparative study of religion.
Written in clear and accessible style, Qur’anic Hermeneutics makes Qur’anic exegesis intelligible to specialists in Islam as well as those interested in scripture and its interpretation in general. As such, it will be a valuable reference to scholars of Islamic studies, religion and scripture.
"Bruce Fudge has interestingly explained the process and details of exegesis of the Qur’an. This work could be a fruitful resource for enthusiastic scholars who are keen to know more about the medieval exegesis in Islam and its significance in the progress of Muslim thought. Furthermore, the conclusion, indexes and notes of each chapters are worthy of special attention since they are a mine of information." - Majid Daneshgar, Academy of Islamic Studies, University of Malaya; Journal of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations
1. The Genre of Scriptural Commentary in Islam 2. Al-Tabrisī: A Twelfth-century Exegete of Khurāsān 3. Language and Knowledge in Majma' al-bayān 4. Commentary and Qur'ānic Narrative 5. Qur'ānic Hermeneutics and the Mu'tazila. Conclusions
Bruce Fudge is Assistant Professor of Arabic in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at Ohio State University.