Reading Scriptures Across Religious Lines in Colonial India

This paper, presented while I was a graduate student at Emory University, compares two Hindus, two Christians, and two Muslims who wrote about one another’s scriptures–some appreciatively and some critically–during the long and fascinating 19th century in India. I loved this research, and I still hope to turn it into a major publication someday. In the meantime, here is a pdf of the paper as delivered. It may be cited as:

David R. Vishanoff. “Reading Scriptures Across Religious Lines in Colonial India: Interreligious Conflict and Reconciliation, and the Intrareligious Contestation of Identity.” Religion, Identity, and Reconciliation conference, Emory University Graduate Division of Religion, Atlanta, March 31, 2001.

The paper summarized a much longer and more theoretical but less well written paper that I submitted to Emory as my minor field general examination, of which a pdf is available here.

M.A. Thesis: On the Origin and Development of the Qurʾānic Use of Āmana

My M.A. thesis, completed in 1997 at the University of Colorado in Boulder under the guidance of Fred Denny, Ira Chernus, and Robert Lester, advances a peculiar and, no doubt, very naive idea about how the early Muslim community came to be known as “believers:” in accordance with its pre-Islamic usage, the term initially meant “those who give protection” to the Prophet Muhammad, but came to mean “believers” as the community’s self-definition evolved. This is not an idea I would feel qualified either to defend or refute today, but it has found some sympathetic ears among scholars and may still be of interest.

David Reeves Vishanoff. “On the Origin and Development of the Qurʾānic Use of Āmana.” M.A. Thesis, University of Colorado, 1997.

Here is a scanned pdf of the thesis.