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TALK | The Qur’an in the Enlightenment


The Qur’an in the Enlightenment

Thursday, November 30th, 2017
Room 516, Hamilton Hall

Presenter: Alexander Bevilacqua, Williams College

Respondents: Sarah R. bin Tyeer, Columbia University & Claire Gallien, Université de Montpellier, and Edward W. Said Fellow at the Heyman Center

Moderator: Pier Mattia Tommasino, Columbia University

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.

Part of the Italian and Mediterranean Colloquium series.

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Presented by the Department of Italian and co-sponsored by The European Institute, Middle East Institute (MEI), and Columbia Global Centers.