The Qur'an was an object of scholarly attention in the eighteenth century, when, in the wake of Lodovico Marracci's philological Latin achievement of 1698, a number of writers attempted a literary translation of the holy book of Islam. In the same period, the Qur'an also served as a multivalent symbol--of revealed religion, of literature, and of law. This paper first examines the scholarly achievements of the period's European translators from Arabic, and then compares them to the Qur'an's reception in the Enlightenment to reveal both the connections and the differences between philological and "philosophical" reception in this formative era of Western intellectual culture.
Rob Gleave is Professor of Arabic Studies and Director of the Centre for the Study of Islam (CSI), IAIS, University of Exeter. Gleave is currently Principal Investigator of 2 major projects: Understanding Shari’a: Past Present Imperfect Present (www.usppip.eu) and Law and Learning in Imami Shi’ite Islam (LAWALISI). We will discuss his precirculated paper. To receive a copy, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.