This paper, presented at IQSA in 2014, compares how several modern Muslim thinkers have made use of the Ashʿarī theological doctrine that God’s speech is eternal but its expression is temporal. Special attention is paid to Aksin Wijaya, an Indonesian thinker who employs a version of the Ashʿarī doctrine to support his creative new approach to Qur’anic interpretation.
“Reenchanting the Qurʾān: Hermeneutical Applications of the Ashʿarī Concept of God’s Eternal Speech.” International Qur’anic Studies Association, San Diego, November 23, 2014.
Here is a pdf of the oral presentation version of the paper, without documentation. This was the first of several conference presentations about Aksin Wijaya and other contemporary scholars of Qur’anic hermeneutics in Indonesia. Future publications will incorporate some of the material presented here, with full documentation.
David Vishanoff, translator. “ʿAbd al‑Jabbār on Rational Interpretation of Scripture.” In Islamic Theological Themes: A Primary Source Reader, ed. John Renard, 58–65. Oakland: University of California Press, 2014.
This published translation is an excerpt from `Abd al-Jabbar’s Mutashabih al-Qur’an. It explains why rational considerations necessarily govern the interpretation of scripture.
David Vishanoff, translator. “Suyūṭī on the Occasions of Revelation.” In Islamic Theological Themes: A Primary Source Reader, ed. John Renard, 51–58. Oakland: University of California Press, 2014.
This published translation is an excerpt from al-Suyuti’s famous book on the Qur’anic Sciences, al-Itqan fi `ulum al-Qur’an. It assesses how knowing the “occasions of revelation” (asbab al-nuzul) affects the interpretation of Qur’anic verses.
This encyclopedia entry surveys the beliefs of Muslims, presenting them not as a set of agreed-upon doctrines but as an ongoing argument over seven main topics: God, creation, humanity, prophethood, ethics, salvation, and the Muslim community.
David R. Vishanoff. “Religious Beliefs.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Politics, ed. Emad El‑Din Shahin, vol. 2, 321–337. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.
I find it useful as an introductory reading for my class on Islamic Theology. Unfortunately, it was written “for hire” for OUP, and cannot be made available here. It is accessible in the printed encyclopedia, and until June 2022 it was available online through Oxford Islamic Studies Online; it has now been moved to Oxford Reference.