College of Liberal Arts

The Qurʾān and the Biblical Tradition: New Perspectives on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Thursday Mar 30, 2017 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM | GSB 2.124

What can the Qurʾān, the Scripture of Islam, teach us about the development of Judaism and Christianity? Can its address to the audience of Mecca and Medina at the turn of the seventh century C.E. enlighten us about religious and historical trends that started in the time of Jesus and the Pharisees? This talk seeks to introduce the Qurʾān as a historical witness for the types of Jewish and Christian teaching that informed the population of the Ḥijāz, and will in turn seek to reconstruct how the Qurʾān’s message rejects and reflects specific trends in Jewish and Christian thought. The intertwined developments of legal originalism in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic thought, the nuances of Jesus’ message to Jews and gentiles across the centuries, and the implementation of the Decree of the Apostles will allow us to appreciate the Qurʾān’s unique perspective on an intellectual history that begins with the Gospel of Matthew and the Acts of the Apostles and encompasses major trends in Judaism, Christianity, and nascent Islam.

Holger Zellentin holds a PhD from Princeton University (2007) and is currently Associate Professor in Jewish Studies at the University of Nottingham. He has previously taught at the University of California, Berkeley, and at the Graduate Theological Union. Professor Zellentin has been a mid-career fellow at the British Academy, and is a holder of the prestigious Philip Leverhulme Prize. Among his numerous publications are Heresy and Identity in Late Antiquity (co-edited with Eduard Irinschi, 2008), The Qurʾān’s Legal Culture: The Didascalia Apostolorum as a Point of Departure (2013) and a forthcoming monograph titled Law and Literature from the Bible to the Qurʾān which is due to appear with Oxford University Press.

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