6. The Quest for the Historical: Can Biblical Studies Lead Qur’anic Studies away from Theology?

Identity, Politics and the Study of Islam - Current Dilemmas in the Study of Religions - Matt Sheedy

James Crossley [+-]
St Mary's University, London
James Crossley is Professor of Bible, Society, and Politics at the St Mary’s University, London, U.K. He is the author of numerous articles in various academic journals, author of seven books, most recently Jesus and the Chaos of History: Redirecting the Life of the Historical Jesus (Oxford University Press, 2015), Jesus in an Age of Neoliberalism: Quests, Scholarship, and Ideology (Routledge, 2012), and The New Testament and Jewish Law: A Guide for the Perplexed (T&T Clark, 2010), and he has edited and co-edited three books, most recently Judaism, Jewish Identities and the Gospel Tradition: Essays in Honour of Maurice Casey (Routledge, 2014).

Description

This essay takes as its starting point the dispute between Aaron Hughes and Omid Safi on the state of Islamic Studies in North America, and the quests for historical “founding figures”, through a comparison with biblical studies. It will cover issues relating to “critics” and “caretakers”, Orientalism and metacritical approaches to scholarship, and the ongoing dominance of theology. It will provide arguments for the ways in which “critics” can promote their agendas in a way that creates some distance from “confessional” or “caretaker” approaches, including the significance of certain uses of social history. The essay will end with theses (or perhaps suggestions) for the critical historian of Jesus or Muhammad.

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Citation

Crossley, James. 6. The Quest for the Historical: Can Biblical Studies Lead Qur’anic Studies away from Theology?. Identity, Politics and the Study of Islam - Current Dilemmas in the Study of Religions. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Oct 2018. ISBN 9781781794890. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=30339. Date accessed: 25 Nov 2017 doi: 10.1558/equinox.30339. Oct 2018

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