Interreligious Boundaries and Encounters

In 2013 I wrote a chapter on the general subject of boundaries and encounters between religious communities for a volume on Understanding Interreligious Relations, edited by David Cheetham, Douglas Pratt, and David Thomas.

David R. Vishanoff. “Boundaries and Encounters.” In Understanding Interreligious Relations, ed. David Cheetham, Douglas Pratt, and David Thomas, 341–364. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.

I was surprised to discover how little systematic theoretical reflection there had been on the subject within the field of religious studies itself, but I found plenty of relevant case studies to illustrate the chapter’s argument, which is related to my thinking about sacrificial listening. Many thanks to Whitney Patterson, a University of Oklahoma student who worked closely with me to find, sift, and think through all those fascinating case studies!

The book is a remarkable collection of essays addressing both theoretical topics and specific religious traditions. The table of contents may be found at OUP’s web site.

Al-Shafi`i on how the Qur’an reveals the law

A rough translation, for teaching purposes, of a very important section on bayan from al-Shafi`i’s famous Risala fi usul al-fiqh (housed on my old web site).

Ibn Hazm on gender-specific language in revelation

Rough translation, for teaching purposes, of a section on masculine imperatives from Ibn Hazm, al-Ihkam fi usul al-ahkam (html) .

Review of Rumee Ahmed, Narratives of Islamic legal theory

My review of Rumee Ahmed’s remarkably clear, accessible, and insightful analysis of writings on legal theory by two prominent Ḥanafis, Abū Zayd al-Dabūsī (d. ca. 430/1038) and Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad al-Sarakhsī (d. ca. 483/1090). Ahmed looks beneath the surface of their writings to discern their values and motivations, their theological and philosophical concerns, and their different visions of divinely revealed law.

David R. Vishanoff. Review of Rumee Ahmed, Narratives of Islamic Legal Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012). Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations 24 no. 1 (2013): 134–136.

Permanent link to the published article (Version of Record), with pdf for those whose institutions subscribe to the journal: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09596410.2013.732266

For scholars whose institutions do not provide access to the journal, a limited number of free downloads are available at http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/Wdw6643Yd7P4PHG9ZwYv/full

In case you cannot access the published article, here is a PDF of the Author’s Original manuscript.

Review of Todd Lawson, The Crucifixion and the Qur’an

The Qur’an’s statement that the Jews “did not kill [Jesus], nor did they crucify him, but it was made to appear [so] to them” (4:157) has often been interpreted to mean that someone else was crucified in his place, but in his book The Crucifixion and the Qur’an Todd Lawson shows that this interpretation is neither inevitable nor universally accepted by Muslim exegetes. Here is my review of the book:

David R. Vishanoff. Review of Todd Lawson, The Crucifixion and the Qur’an: A Study in the History of Muslim Thought (Oxford: Oneworld, 2009). Review of Middle East Studies 47.1 (2013): 69–71.

Permanent link to the published article (Version of Record): DOI 10.1017/S2151348100056366

Unfortunately, the review is rather critical, so I do not wish to distribute it widely, and will not post the full text here. It is important only for those scholars who are considering making serious use of the book.