Prof. Mustafa Abu Sway: The Garden of Meaning(s)

27.02.2014 | 15:00

Gastvortrag auf Einladung des Teilprojektes A05 "Von Logos zu Kalām: Figurationen und Transformationen von Wissen in der vorderorientalischen Spätantike"

“The Garden of Meaning(s)” is a theoretical paradigm that attempts to explain what theoretical meanings are possible when the Qur’an is interpreted. The primary sources for this paradigm are the Qur’an and the Prophetic traditions. The Qur’anic self-references to its function will be especially addressed. The metaphor of the “garden” allows room for visualization of relevant variables relevant to interpretation such as “weeding” unwanted meanings, the necessity for a “fence” between neighboring gardens as different paradigms of interpretations. Could neighboring gardeners offer advice for each other? Who is the “gardener”? What are her qualifications? What “gardening” tools are at her disposal?

Other questions that will be addressed include the following:

Does the Qur’an qua book/message open or limit the possibility of interpretation? What is the role of the historical context of revelation vs. the universality of the Qur’an? Is it possible to interpret the Qur’an in other languages as in Arabic? Whose Arabic in the first place? What is the impact of pre-Islamic Israeliyyat narrative of the People of the Book on the interpretation of the Qur’an? Is de-Israelization of tafsir possible? What is the impact of current socio-political contexts? Is the Qur’an being interpreted for different audiences? Who qualifies as an interpreter? And does the non-canonization of tafsir lead to endless possibilities of meaning?


Mustafa Abu Sway is Professor of Islamic studies at al-Quds University, Jerusalem, and inaugural holder of the Integral Chair for the Study of Imam al-Ghazali's work at the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque and Al-Quds University. He specialises in the study of Imam al-Ghazali, Islamic philosophy, and modern and contemporary Islamic thought. For further information:

Zeit & Ort

27.02.2014 | 15:00

SFB-Villa Schwendenerstraße 8, Sitzungsraum