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Review: Reading the Qurʾān with Richard Bell

Reviewed Work: A Commentary on the Qurʾān by Richard Bell, C. Edmund Bosworth, M. E. J. Richardson
Review by: A. Rippin
Journal of the American Oriental Society
Vol. 112, No. 4 (Oct. - Dec., 1992), pp. 639-647
DOI: 10.2307/604478
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/604478
Page Count: 9
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Reading the Qurʾān with Richard Bell
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Abstract

The publication of the mammoth work by Richard Bell, A Commentary on the Qurʾān, provides a welcome opportunity for reflection upon Qurʾānic studies and its future in the academic environment. The work, which was prepared over 40 years ago in order to accompany Bell's The Qurʾān Translated, reveals Bell's attempts to discern the meaning of the Qurʾānic text in order to fit it into the life of Muḥammad. As a principle of history and textual interpretation, this approach has an honorable pedigree in Biblical and Qurʾānic scholarship; it has provided the prime reading strategy for scholars until recently. Whether it is still sufficient today is doubtful. Bell's work reveals its age.

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