Book: Philosophical Perspectives on Modern Qur'anic Exegesis
The book explores the conditions of possibility of a contemporary (and potentially future) hermeneutics of the Qur’an. The hermeneutical key of the future proposed here is philosophy, starting from the presupposition that the Qur’an can be studied as a philosophical book. Thus the analysis is theoretical more than historical. Many philosophers commented the Qur’an. Many philosophers supported their theories by resorting to the Qur’an. Thinkers like Fakhr al-Din al-Razi connected traditional theology and philosophy in their Qur’anic commentary. Thinkers like Nasr Abu Zayd used philosophy to deconstruct the Qur’an paving the way for a modern humanistic hermeneutics. The book tries to go a step further: it aims to offer a path within the Qur’an that – through philosophy – leads to a fresh understanding of fundamental tenets of Islamic thought like tawhid or God’s oneness and to a fresh fathoming of the same Qur’anic text. Upon the tawhid bases Islam was built and flourished. The Qur’anic text provided the sound reference for enacting human praxis. Now hermeneutics, not only as a method, but as a paradigm, can lead to a re-reading of tawhid and other Islamic ideas in the name of philosophy. The book applies the phenomenological and ontological hermeneutics of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger to the study of the Qur’an going far beyond the previous Annemarie Schimmel’s phenomenological approach that is not either philosophical or properly phenomenological (in Husserl’s sense).