A Christian Qur’ān? A study in the Syriac background to the language of the Qur’ān as presented in the work of Christoph Luxenberg

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King, Daniel ; Cardiff University (2009)

The present article is a contribution to the public debate surrounding the controversial thesis of an anonymous scholar known as Christoph Luxenberg. The thesis that a Syriac Christian literary source lies behind the text of the Qur’ān is not entirely new, but Luxenberg has presented it in a more forceful and comprehensive manner than ever before. The manifold responses to his work have mostly come from the arena of Islamic and Qur’ānic studies whereas the present article seeks to explore Luxenberg’s work from the standpoint of Syriac philology. It demonstrates that his method is severely lacking in many areas, although he may on occasion have hit upon a useful emendation. Thus although the hypothesis as a whole is faulty, the individual textual suggestions ought to be treated on a case-by-case basis.
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