Table of Contents

Prelims

Preface [+-] vii-xii
Duke University
Bruce B. Lawrence is Professor of Islamic Studies Emeritus at Duke University. A specialist in Indo-Persian culture and the comparative study of religious movements, he has authored, co-authored, edited, and co-edited sixteen books. They include translations, monographs and trade books, the most recent being The Qur’an: A Biography (2006) and, with Aisha Karim, On Violence: A Reader (2007).
A short introduction to legacy of the late Marilyn Waldman who died in July 1996 and whom Lawrence characterizes as having used 'her special knowledge of Islam to attack general knowledge of Islam, but even more to undercut taken-for-granted conceptions of prophecy that exclude or reduce or misshape Islamic evidence.'
Marilyn Robinson Waldman (1943-1996), the last graduate student of Marshall G.S. Hodgson from the University of Chicago, taught at Ohio State University, where she established the Religious Studies Program and also served as Director of the Center for Comparative Studies. Her research covered the areas of Islamic historiography, the history of religions, and comparative humanities.
The author explains the reasons for her interest in studying the category of prophecy and discusses her views of the nature of comparison as an academic endeavour.

1

Marilyn Robinson Waldman (1943-1996), the last graduate student of Marshall G.S. Hodgson from the University of Chicago, taught at Ohio State University, where she established the Religious Studies Program and also served as Director of the Center for Comparative Studies. Her research covered the areas of Islamic historiography, the history of religions, and comparative humanities.
The author surveys the scholarly literature, identifying at least five overlapping strategies that mark current approaches to prophecy. She goes on to argue that the design of the present study combines the strengths and resists the limitations of these five strategies. She also states her intention to integrate material about what we mean by prophecy with Islamic examples and explains the basis for this methodology.

2

Marilyn Robinson Waldman (1943-1996), the last graduate student of Marshall G.S. Hodgson from the University of Chicago, taught at Ohio State University, where she established the Religious Studies Program and also served as Director of the Center for Comparative Studies. Her research covered the areas of Islamic historiography, the history of religions, and comparative humanities.
An investigation into various rhetorical strategies of comparison used in the Qur'an to dismiss the claims of Muhammad’s rejecters in order to uphold the integrity of Muhammad and his message. The author shows how In qur’anic discourse, the identity of Muhammad emerges largely from comparisons within a system of what she has called privileging communication. The comparisons occur throughout the qur’anic conversation between Allah and a fluid set of antagonists among Muhammad’s audience.

3

Marilyn Robinson Waldman (1943-1996), the last graduate student of Marshall G.S. Hodgson from the University of Chicago, taught at Ohio State University, where she established the Religious Studies Program and also served as Director of the Center for Comparative Studies. Her research covered the areas of Islamic historiography, the history of religions, and comparative humanities.
The author argues that new kinds of comparisons between Muhammad and previous messengers helped define Muslim identities over and against the various subject communities who claimed to “own” many of the same figures. At the same time, comparisons between Muhammad and other Muslim leaders shaped the pluralization of Muslim identity itself. Ironically, it was comparison that institutionalized an image of Muhammad as “beyond compare.” From Qur’anic primus inter pares, Muhammad slowly emerged, for the majority of the population, as the last and greatest of all messengers.

4

Dartmouth College
Robert M. Baum is Professor of Religion, Dartmouth College.
Marilyn Robinson Waldman (1943-1996), the last graduate student of Marshall G.S. Hodgson from the University of Chicago, taught at Ohio State University, where she established the Religious Studies Program and also served as Director of the Center for Comparative Studies. Her research covered the areas of Islamic historiography, the history of religions, and comparative humanities.
This chapter is adapted from Marilyn R. Waldman and Robert M. Baum, “Innovation as Renovation: The ‘Prophet’ as an Agent of Change,” in Innovation in Religious Traditions: Essays in the Interpretation of Religious Change, ed. Michael A. Williams, Collett Cox and Martin S. Jaffee (The Hague, The Netherlands: Walter de Gruyter, 1992): 241–85. Reprinted by kind permission of the publisher and Robert M. Baum. In it, the authors chose two ostensibly unlikely “conversation partners,” Muhammad and Alinesitoué in order to test the “extra language” of privileging communication. The former is a well-known male whose impact is felt worldwide; the latter, an obscure female whose influence persists mainly among her own people. Although they were separated by thirteen (solar) centuries and five thousand miles, they both made use of privileging communication from an extra-human source to oppose the status quo. And they both emerged in environments in which privileging communication from extra-humam sources was a well-established and variegated phenomenon.

Postscript

The Ohio State University
Lindsay Jones has a broad interest in the methods, theories, histories, and topics associated with the cross-cultural study of religion, along with special concerns for sacred architecture and for the cultures and religions of Mesoamerica. He is author of Twin City Tales: A Hermeneutical Reassessment of Tula and Chíchén Itzá (University Press of Colorado, 1995) and The Hermeneutics of Sacred Architecture:Experience, Interpretation, Comparison (Harvard University Press, 2000) two volumes; and co-editor with Davíd Carrasco and Scott Sessions of Mesoamerica's Classic Heritage:From Teotihuacan to the Aztecs (University Press of Colorado, 1999); and editor-in-chief for the revised second edition of Mircea Eliade's sixteen-volume Encyclopedia of Religion (Macmillan Reference, 2005). Additionally, he is Director of Ohio State's Center for the Study of Religion..
Observations about Marilyn Waldman's comparative preoccupations and the genesis of this book.

End Matter

Duke University
Bruce B. Lawrence is Professor of Islamic Studies Emeritus at Duke University. A specialist in Indo-Persian culture and the comparative study of religious movements, he has authored, co-authored, edited, and co-edited sixteen books. They include translations, monographs and trade books, the most recent being The Qur’an: A Biography (2006) and, with Aisha Karim, On Violence: A Reader (2007).
PAPERBACK EDITION AVAILABLE SEPTEMBER 2013 A posthumous work by the most rigorous comparativist in her generation of Islamic studies scholars, Prophecy and Power proposes a major innovative approach to both the Prophet Muhammad and the Noble Qur’an. By the end of the ninth century the Prophet Muhammad had emerged as an intercommunal norm beyond compare, and yet the very constructedness of this model of Muhammad allows historians of religion to see how the process itself requires us to undercut the terms used. We undercut them by qualifying them with multiple meanings, both overlapping and corrective, but we also decapitalize them in order to suggest how much broader they were in earlier contexts, and how much broader they may become, or were intended to become, in later contexts.
Bibliography [+-] 180-186
Duke University
Bruce B. Lawrence is Professor of Islamic Studies Emeritus at Duke University. A specialist in Indo-Persian culture and the comparative study of religious movements, he has authored, co-authored, edited, and co-edited sixteen books. They include translations, monographs and trade books, the most recent being The Qur’an: A Biography (2006) and, with Aisha Karim, On Violence: A Reader (2007).
PAPERBACK EDITION AVAILABLE SEPTEMBER 2013 A posthumous work by the most rigorous comparativist in her generation of Islamic studies scholars, Prophecy and Power proposes a major innovative approach to both the Prophet Muhammad and the Noble Qur’an. By the end of the ninth century the Prophet Muhammad had emerged as an intercommunal norm beyond compare, and yet the very constructedness of this model of Muhammad allows historians of religion to see how the process itself requires us to undercut the terms used. We undercut them by qualifying them with multiple meanings, both overlapping and corrective, but we also decapitalize them in order to suggest how much broader they were in earlier contexts, and how much broader they may become, or were intended to become, in later contexts.
Index [+-] 187-195
Duke University
Bruce B. Lawrence is Professor of Islamic Studies Emeritus at Duke University. A specialist in Indo-Persian culture and the comparative study of religious movements, he has authored, co-authored, edited, and co-edited sixteen books. They include translations, monographs and trade books, the most recent being The Qur’an: A Biography (2006) and, with Aisha Karim, On Violence: A Reader (2007).
PAPERBACK EDITION AVAILABLE SEPTEMBER 2013 A posthumous work by the most rigorous comparativist in her generation of Islamic studies scholars, Prophecy and Power proposes a major innovative approach to both the Prophet Muhammad and the Noble Qur’an. By the end of the ninth century the Prophet Muhammad had emerged as an intercommunal norm beyond compare, and yet the very constructedness of this model of Muhammad allows historians of religion to see how the process itself requires us to undercut the terms used. We undercut them by qualifying them with multiple meanings, both overlapping and corrective, but we also decapitalize them in order to suggest how much broader they were in earlier contexts, and how much broader they may become, or were intended to become, in later contexts.

Reviews

Marilyn Waldman died in 1996, at the age of only 53, leaving behind a rough, incompletemanuscript that Bruce Lawrence and others have edited into this remarkable book, which is a“must read” for those engaged in comparative religion. Although certainly accessible to thegeneral reader, scholars who teach so-called Abrahamic or Western religions courses would greatly benefit from Waldman’s insights because of the comparisons inherent in such courses.
Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations 24.4 (2014)

This is a remarkable book that provides significant material for extended reflection; it will prove profitable to all those who feel that religious studies really is about “comparative religion” and who thus wish to think about what that really means and how best to go about the task. The work is complemented by two very appreciative essays on Marilyn Waldman and a bibliography of her works.
Studies in Religion
, 2013