Beyond the Qurʾān: Early Ismāʿῑlῑ Taʾwῑl and the Secrets of by David Hollenberg

By David Hollenberg

Ismailism, one of many 3 significant branches of Shiism, is healthier identified for taʾwῑl, an esoteric, allegorizing scriptural exegesis. past the Qurʾān: Early Ismaili taʾwῑl and the secrets and techniques of the Prophets is the 1st book-length research of this interpretive style. reading resources composed through tenth-century Ismaili missionaries in mild of social-science theories of cognition and sectarianism, David Hollenberg argues that the missionaries used taʾwῑl to instill in acolytes a collection of symbolic styles, varieties, and “logics.” This shared symbolic international sure the neighborhood jointly because it created a gulf among neighborhood participants and people open air the circulate. Hollenberg therefore situates ta’wil socially, as an interpretive perform that sustained a neighborhood of believers.

An vital element of taʾwῑl is its unconventional gadgets of interpretation. Ismaili missionaries combined Qurʾānic exegesis with interpretation of Torah, Gospels, Greek philosophy, and emblems resembling the Christian pass and Eucharist, in addition to Jewish gala's. formerly students have speculated that this additional- Qurʾānic taʾwῑl used to be meant to transform Jews and Christians to Ismailism. Hollenberg, departing from this view, argues that such interpretations have been, like Ismaili interpretations of the Qurʾān, meant for an Ismaili viewers, a lot of whom switched over to the flow from different branches of Shiism.

Hollenberg argues that via exegesis of those unconventional resources, the missionaries verified that their imam on my own might strip the exterior husk from all demeanour of resources and exhibit the initiates truth in its natural, unmediated shape, an imaginal international to which they by myself had entry. additionally they fulfilled the promise that their imam could educate them the secrets and techniques at the back of all religions, an indication that the preliminary level of the top of days had commenced.

Beyond the Qurʾān contributes to our realizing of early Ismaili doctrine, Fatimid rhetoric, and, extra extensively, using esoteric literatures within the background of religion.

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