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Beyond the Quran : early Ismaili taʼwil and the secrets of the prophets

Author: David Hollenberg
Publisher: Columbia, South Carolina : University of South Carolina Press, 2016.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Ismailism, one of the three major branches of Shiism, is best known for taʼwil, an esoteric, allegorizing scriptural exegesis. Beyond the Qurʼan: Early Ismaili taʼwil and the Secrets of the Prophets is the first book-length study of this interpretive genre. Analyzing sources composed by tenth-century Ismaili missionaries in light of social-science theories of cognition and sectarianism, David Hollenberg argues that  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Criticism, interpretation, etc
History
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Hollenberg, David.
Beyond the Quran.
Columbia, South Carolina : University of South Carolina Press, 2016
(DLC) 2016028744
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: David Hollenberg
ISBN: 9781611176797 1611176794
OCLC Number: 958625709
Description: 1 online resource
Responsibility: David Hollenberg.

Abstract:

Ismailism, one of the three major branches of Shiism, is best known for ta'wil, an esoteric, allegorizing scriptural exegesis. Beyond the Qur'an is the first book-length study of this interpretive  Read more...

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This is one of the best studies to appear on the Ismaili hermeneutical system. Thorough and extensively researched, the book offers a new approach to read this rich tradition. It is also one of the Read more...

 
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   schema:description ""Ismailism, one of the three major branches of Shiism, is best known for taʼwil, an esoteric, allegorizing scriptural exegesis. Beyond the Qurʼan: Early Ismaili taʼwil and the Secrets of the Prophets is the first book-length study of this interpretive genre. Analyzing sources composed by tenth-century Ismaili missionaries in light of social-science theories of cognition and sectarianism, David Hollenberg argues that the missionaries used taʼwil to instill in acolytes a set of symbolic patterns, forms, and "logics." This shared symbolic world bound the community together as it created a gulf between community members and those outside the movement. Hollenberg thus situates taʼwil socially, as an interpretive practice that sustained a community of believers. An important aspect of taʼwil is its unconventional objects of interpretation. Ismaili missionaries mixed Qurʼanic exegesis with interpretation of Torah, Gospels, Greek philosophy, and symbols such as the Christian Cross and Eucharist, as well as Jewish festivals. Previously scholars have speculated that this extra- Qurʼanic taʼwil was intended to convert Jews and Christians to Ismailism. Hollenberg, departing from this view, argues that such interpretations were, like Ismaili interpretations of the Qurʼan, intended for an Ismaili audience, many of whom converted to the movement from other branches of Shiism. Hollenberg argues that through exegesis of these unconventional sources, the missionaries demonstrated that their imam alone could strip the external husk from all manner of sources and show the initiates reality in its pure, unmediated form, an imaginal world to which they alone had access. They also fulfilled the promise that their imam would teach them the secrets behind all religions, a sign that the initial stage of the end of days had commenced. Beyond the Qurʼan contributes to our understanding of early Ismaili doctrine, Fatimid rhetoric, and, more broadly, the use of esoteric literatures in the history of religion"--"@en ;
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