Keith E. Small is Qur’ānic Manuscript Consultant to the Bodleian Library and Associate Research Fellow at the London School of Theology.
Keith Small was a visiting Lecturer and Associate Research Fellow at the London School of Theology and teaches both undergraduates and postgraduates in Britain and internationally concerning Islamic and Christian theology and especially the history of the texts of the Qur’an and the New Testament. Dr. Small has also presented his research at major academic conferences in Britain, Germany, France, and the USA. His previous book Textual Criticism and Qur’an Manuscripts was published by Lexington books in April 2011. (source: http://www.euroleadership.org/speakers/keith-small)
This book provides a unique visual history of the Qur’ān using fifty-five rare, beautiful and significant Qur’ān manuscripts.
A general introduction guides the reader through the Qur’ān’s entry into the world of late near eastern antiquity, a world where books of scripture were inextricably bound to the political and religious identities of empires. Books of scripture, as well as being visible statements of divine majesty, personal piety and religious identity, were viewed as providing a point of contact with the divine. In this setting the Qur’ān came to be viewed by Muslims as the point of divine contact without peer, and the calligraphy of its text became the foundation of Islamic visual culture for centuries to come. From this beginning, the development of the Qur’ān in book form is followed chronologically and geographically, and the themes of textual development, art, identity and divine presence are highlighted in each chapter.
This book draws mainly from the collection of Qur’āns in the Bodleian Library, one of the oldest collections in the English-speaking world and one of the finest collections internationally. Manuscripts are featured from every major chronological period of the Qur’ān’s history, and most of the Qur’āns pictured have never appeared in print before.
Qur’āns: Books of Divine Encounter brings together in one volume a magnificent range of Qur’ānic manuscripts, providing a lavishly illustrated historical overview of one of the most influential, most memorized and enduring sacred books in our world.