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A Challenge to Islam for Reformation. The Rediscovery and Reliable Reconstruction of a Comprehensive Pre-Islamic Christian Hymnal hidden in the Koran under Earliest Islamic Reinterpretations (Günter LÜLING)

A Challenge to Islam for Reformation : The Rediscovery and Reliable Reconstruction of a Comprehensive Pre-Islamic Christian Hymnal Hidden in the Koran Under Earliest Islamic Reinterpretations/Gunter Luling. Reprint. Delhi, Motilal, 2003, lxviii, 580 p., $77. ISBN 81-208-1952-7.

Presentation

As a protestant theologian and disciple of the renowned critics of Christianity, Albert Schweitzer and Martin Werner, the author wanted since long to contribute to the breakthrough of their resolute non-trinitarian position which has throughout the twentieth century by all and every Western Christian university theology been silenced by pretending tacitly and tenaciously the non-existence of their strong argument. His aim was solely to combat this ubiquitous fundamentalistic World Christianity by showing that the Koran teaches the original ur-Christian true concept of understanding Christ.

But this limited text-critical endeavour led unexpected, much more important discoveries of dogma-historical import. The author stumbled across the fact that around 1900, some renowned German Islamicists already discussed the important circumstance that the Koran contained a comprehensive vernacular-Arabic strophic poetry. These studies became almost instantly deserted because the pluralistic democratic Western Academia, after World War II, showed no interest at all in dogma-critical text-criticism.

The author succeeded in developing these forgotten studies of around the turn of the century to become an incontestable achievement. The proof is established that the pre-Islamic Christian hymnody contained in the Koran under early Islamic reinterpretations can reliably be reconstructed.

These reconstructions yield a totally new insight into the rise and early development of Islam : the intentions of Prophet Muhammad have obviously been altered by his early successors in power, often rendered into the contrary. The reconstructions submitted here are only an exemplification of the necessary special methods of reconstructions of that period. Hundreds of pre_Islamic strophes remain to be restored.

Table des matières

Preface : 1. Keeping alive liberal Dogma-criticism despite suppression. 2. The peculiarity of Central-European liberal Dogma-criticism. 3. Prussia ś spirit of enlightenment. 4. Anglophone revisionism in the field of Islamic studies. 5. Perspective of liberal dogma-criticism today. Introduction. I. The phenomenon of ambiguity to be found in many sections of the Koran text exemplified by the text of Sura 96 and 80 : 1. The critico-exegetical interpretation of Sura 96. 2. The critico-exegetical interpretation of Sura 80. II. Comments on the rules of strophe composition applied in the Pre-Islamic Christian Hymnody as contained in the Islamic Koran : 1. The original Strophic form of Sura 89. 2. On the history of Koranic Strophe-composition. 3. Strophic composition in Sura 101. III. On the Islamic reinterpretation of the Arabic term Al-Ganna "The Garden" as the term for the promised Islamic paradise after Al-Ganna had been fiercely resisted in the pre-Islamic Christian Koran as the despised Pagan Holy Grove/high place (in Hebrew : Bamah) : Preliminary comments. IV. Distinguishing between the texts of the Pre-Islamic Christian groundlayer of the Koran and its originally Islamic texts mainly on the basis of Criteria in content : 1. The thematically contrasting parts of text in Sura 55. 2. The thematically contrasting parts of text in Sura 77. 3. The thematically contrasting parts of text in Sura 78. V. The original text of Sura 74, 1-30 : the fragment of a “Hymn to Christ” breaking off at Christ ś descent into hell : 1. The traditional interpretation of Sura 74 and Why it must be questioned critically. 2. Christ’s descent into hell : the Christological interpretation of Sura 74, 26-30. 3. The sections Sura 74, 1-10 and 74, 18-25. 4. The corroboration of our reconstruction of Sura 74, 1-30 by a significant variant reading peculiarly transmitted. 5. Supplementary remarks unto verses 74, 21-23. Epilogue. Bibliography. Indices.

(Source : www.vedamsbooks.com)

- Compte rendu/review de Wolfgang Günter Lerch

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