Tag Archives: Muslim Biblical Studies

The Ascetic Piety of the Prophet David in Muslim Rewritings of the Psalms

At the American Oriental Society’s 229th meeting, on St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago, I was part of a fascinating paper session on early forms of Islamic piety, along with Ursula Bsees and Antonio Musto. I presented my new understanding of the origins of the Islamic Psalms of David, arguing that they originated among ascetic Muslims of the 2nd/8th or early 3rd/9th century.

“The Ascetic Piety of the Prophet David in Muslim Rewritings of the Psalms.” American Oriental Society, Islamic Near East Section, March 17, 2019, Chicago.

Here are the paper and the slides in pdf form.

Psalms of the Muslim Prophet David: Rewritten Bible in a Qur’anic Idiom

Many thanks to Sam Ross and Sajida Jalalzai for organizing a panel on Islamic approaches to scripture (with special attention to the Bible) at the Southwest regional meeting of the AAR in Dallas. It proved to be a perfect confluence of interests! My contribution was:

“Psalms of the Muslim Prophet David: Rewritten Bible in a Qur’anic Idiom.” American Academy of Religion, Southwest Region, March 10, 2019, Irving, Texas.

Here are the paper and the slides in pdf form.

Between Qur’an and Psalmody: How Medieval Muslim Piety Integrated Two Notions of Scripture

Congratulations to IQSA on a very rich 2018 annual meeting, held in Denver in conjunction with the SBL and AAR. I offered a paper on the Islamic psalms and their relationship to the Bible on the one hand and the Qur’an on the other:

“Between Qur’an and Psalmody: How Medieval Muslim Piety Integrated Two Notions of Scripture.” International Qur’anic Studies Association, program unit 5, The Qur’an and the Biblical Tradition, November 18, 2018, Denver.

Here are the slides (as a pdf file) from the presentation.

This paper is being submitted for publication in a volume of essays in the Biblia Arabica series from Brill, to be edited by Camilla Adang, Meira Polliack, and Benjamin Hary.

An Early Recension of the Islamic Psalms of David

Juan Pedro Monferrer Sala and the Biblia Arabica team put on a delightful conference on the transmission of the Arabic Bible among Jews, Christians, and Muslims from April 26 to 28, 2017, in Córdoba, at Casa Árabe, whose jasmine-filled courtyard is pictured above. My contribution was:

“An Early Recension of the Islamic Psalms of David: The Koranic Style and Content of Istanbul Fatih 28 and Madrid 5146.” Biblia Arabica conference on Translators, copyists and interpreters: Jews, Christians and Muslims and the transmission of the Bible in Arabic in the Middle Ages, Cordoba, Spain, April 28, 2017.

The slides from the presentation are available as a pdf here.

Images of David in several Muslim rewritings of the Psalms (conference paper)

A very rich conference on King David was held in the elegant setting of the Institute of History at the University of Warsaw from October 26 to 28, 2016. Many thanks and congratulations to Marzena Zawanowska for organizing such a splendidly comparative and interdisciplinary gathering! My presentation updated my earlier mapping of the manuscript families of the Islamic Psalms (see An Imagined Book Gets a New Text: Psalms of the Muslim David) and explored how the figure of David was reshaped by the editors of the various recensions:

“Images of David in Several Muslim Rewritings of the Psalms.” Warrior, Poet, Prophet and King: The Character of David in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, University of Warsaw, Poland, October 28, 2016.

Here is a pdf of the paper, as delivered, and here is a pdf of the slides presented, which include the quotations discussed in the paper as well as several visualizations of the relationships between the various recensions of the psalms (produced from my database of notes using Gephi graph visualization software and the amazing RAW visualization tool by Density Design). The paper was written for oral presentation, without documentation; it was subsequently finalized and published with Brill in the conference volume, The Character of David in Judaism, Christianity and Islam: Warrior, Poet, Prophet and King, ed. Marzena Zawanowska and Mateusz Wilk (Leiden: Brill, 2021).