Qurʾanic interpretation in contemporary societies is shaped in a multitude of ways. There are educational institutions that inform how one understands the text, linguistic hurdles for readers and commentators, publicly accessible forms of media, editors and translators that shape what audiences have access to, and global interpretive positions among various Muslim denominations.
In Muslim Qurʾānic Interpretation Today: Media, Genealogies and Interpretive Communities
(Equinox Publishing, 2018), Johanna Pink
, Professor at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, explores the rich and varied expressions of Qur’anic materials and places them within these frameworks. The volume takes a genealogical approach to numerous contemporary cases studies to see where they come together and where they diverge in their assumptions, hermeneutics, and conclusions. Pink demonstrates that tensions around the Qur’an today extend from questions of who has the authority to interpreted, what is the best method to do so, and the new expanse of commentarial genres, including numerous recent media spaces available to new types of interpreters. In our conversation we discuss the factors shaping a contemporary interpretive position, the legacy of the pre-modern tafsir
tradition, Ibn Kathir, the Qurʾan as source of guidance for everyday life, comics, Qur’an translations, televangelism, new media and online commentary, the use of scientific language to account for the Qur’an, gender relations, modernist, Islamist, and postmodern interpretation.
Kristian Petersen is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Religious Studies at Old Dominion University. You can find out more about his work on his website, follow him on Twitter @BabaKristian, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.