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Cover for the book Understanding the Qurʾanic Miracle Stories in the Modern Age

Understanding the Qurʾanic Miracle Stories in the Modern Age

Isra Yazicioglu
  • Copyright: 2013
  • Dimensions: 6 x 9
  • Page Count: 232 pages
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-271-06156-6
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-271-06157-3
  • Series Name: Signifying (on) Scriptures
“A significant contribution to our understanding of how and what scriptures signify.”
“Yazicioglu’s monograph should and will be taken, in the years to come, as a reference point hard to be ignored in the interreligious and intercultural debate over the reconciliation of faith and science.”
“An intriguing study not only of the Qurʾan but also of the reception history of the sacred text in light of the challenge of rationalism. Isra Yazicioglu's work serves as a useful reminder of how intellectual trends in each era have shaped our interaction with divine revelation in a way that is timeless—and also timely.”
“An important book that brings miracle stories from Islam into conversation with philosophy. Isra Yazicioglu takes us on a journey through Ghazali’s defense of miracle stories—and she reframes those stories in terms of modern philosophy, beginning with Hume, developing with Peirce (who reminds us that natural laws are not absolute but who nevertheless recognizes regularities in nature), and ending with Nursi (for whom miracles invite us to rethink our assumptions about natural causation).”
“A lucidly written volume from which students of philosophy and theology as well as the informed general reader can benefit.”

Understanding the Qurʾanic Miracle Stories in the Modern Age explores the ways in which meaningful implications have been drawn from stories of miracles in the Qurʾan. Isra Yazicioglu describes the fascinating medieval Muslim debate over miracles and connects its insights with early and late modern turning points in Western thought and with contemporary Qurʾanic interpretation. Building on an apparent tension within the Qurʾan and analyzing crucial cases of classical and modern Muslim engagement with these miracle stories, she illustrates how an apparent site of conflict between faith and reason, or revelation and science, can lead to fruitful exchange.

A distinctive contribution to a new trend in Qurʾanic studies, this volume reveals the presence of insightful Qurʾanic interpretation outside of the traditional line-by-line commentary genre, engaging with the works of Ghazali, Ibn Rushd, and Said Nursi. Scholars of Islam, philosophy, and the intersection of science and religion will especially want to engage with Yazicioglu’s study.

Isra Yazicioglu is Assistant Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at St. Joseph’s University.



Note on Transliteration

Introduction: The Qurʾanic Miracle Stories: A Puzzling Motif?

Part 1 A Medieval Muslim Debate

1 In Defense of a Literal Reading of Miracles: Ghazali’s Case for Contingency and Grace

2 A Cautious Approach to Miracle Stories: Ibn Rushd’s Case for Rationalism and Divine Wisdom

Part 2 Reframing the Debate on Miracles in Modern Terms

3 David Hume on Empiricism, Common Sense, and Miracles

4 Charles S. Peirce on Pragmatism, Science, and Miracles

Part 3 Contemporary Connections

5 Said Nursi’s Contemporary Reading of Qurʾanic Miracle Stories

Conclusion: Qurʾanic Hermeneutics in the Modern Age




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